Relish Your Holidays and Eat Yummy Food!

By Guest Blogger: Brooke Espinoza

Between Halloween and New Years there are tons of goodies to eat and holiday drinks to enjoy. We may already have challenges keeping our 0-5 eating boundaries when it’s not the holidays, but how can we keep our boundaries with all the delicious foods and drinks we look forward to enjoying this time of year? How can we ring in the New Year lighter than we are today? How can we avoid holiday weight gain that is so common each year?

Keeping our  0-5 boundaries during the holidays can be easier than we may think. Below are strategies you can start applying today too keep seeing results throughout the holiday season and well into the New Year.

I’m not at zero yet but I want to eat! What can I do to stick to my boundaries and hold off eating until I’m hungry?

Often we may feel like giving in when the temptation entices us with some form of instant gratification (even though we’re not technically hungry yet). Temptations abound like:

  • Free samples.
  • Cookie exchanges.
  • Celebratory cakes and candies.
  • Office donut day.
  • Delicious leftovers that look so good.

While no foods are off limits, we may be tempted to eat favorite foods when our body isn’t telling us we’re hungry.

One effective strategy is to distract yourself with a project you can make progress on until you get hungry.

If you’re at home, see how many items off your to do list you can complete before your body truly gets hungry.

Do something fun you enjoy like watching a favorite show, taking a walk, playing a game with someone, reading an interesting book, running an errand, calling a friend to catch up, etc. Make a list of activities you can do whether fun or on your to do list that you can get engaged in to get your mind off eating until your body says it’s time to eat.

When I do get hungry, I feel super hungry! Then I end up bingeing and feel bad that I didn’t practice more self-control. How can I avoid this?

If you feel ravenously hungry when you’re finally able to eat, a stash of nuts on hand can dim

inish the intensity of your hunger signal, enabling you to eat calmly and consciously.

If mealtime is an hour or more away, eat a little something to tide you over until mealtime. Eat enough so you aren’t unbearably hungry, but not so much that you aren’t hungry for your meal (especially if you’re having dinner with friends or family at a certain time.)

The key is to listen to your body and not get overly hungry.

When my daughter was a toddler and was going through potty training, sometimes she’d run to the bathroom on the verge of peeing her pants. Thankfully she never had any accidents. I’d ask her, “How long has your body been saying you needed to go?” I explained to her that our bodies tell us when we need to go and will become more insistent the longer we ignore the signal that we need to go until we reach a point where we desperately have to rush to the bathroom. My husband and I always encouraged our potty-training daughter to listen to her body, because God made our bodies to tell us when we need to go.

For me, recognizing hunger is the same way. I listen to my body for a clear message that I need to stop what I’m doing and go eat. My zero is when my body has been nagging me to eat, until I no longer can ignore my body’s need to eat. Still at that point I’m not so hungry that I feel starving or ravenously hungry. I just know I definitely need to eat. I have a small bite to eat if my hunger becomes too intense before a planned mealtime with others. I enjoy eating meals with my family when it’s meal time, so I will curb how much I eat during the meal prior to make sure I’m hungry when our family mealtime comes.

I started eating at a zero but I’m tempted to eat past a 5 because there’s still delicious food left to eat. (Or I’m having a rough day and deserve a yummy pick me up.)

Whatever tempts you to eat when not hungry or past contentment, there is hope!

I’m always comforted by 1 Corinthians 10:13:

“No temptation has overtaken you except such as is common to man; but God is faithful, who will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation will also make the way of escape, that you may be able to bear it.”

I’m comforted that our struggles are not the exception, but totally common. God in His grace will not allow us to be tempted beyond what we are able. God puts limits on our temptation, just as He tells the oceans waves how far they may come up on the beach.

I love that with every temptation we face, God will faithfully provide a way of escape. Every. Single. Time. May God open our eyes to always clearly see that way of escape and help us to always take it.

When I’m tempted to go outside my boundaries I like to ask myself, “What’s at stake if I indulge in this food when I’m not truly hungry? What’s at stake if I start eating at zero but continue to eat when I’m already satisfied?” Those calories will get stored as fat, and it’ll take me longer to release my excess, unhealthy weight.

“What’s at stake if I eat my food way too fast?” I risk eating past a five because my stomach and brain need about 20 minutes to clearly communicate to me how satisfied I am. “What’s at stake if I eat when distracted?” I risk not feeling satisfied after my meal because didn’t pay attention to it. So I’ll want to eat something else I’ll enjoy to make up for the meal that didn’t satisfy. Considering what’s at stake helps me see my temptation as much less attractive.

Today, thank the Lord that each temptation you face has God-ordered limits so you will not be tempted beyond what you are able. Moreover, with each temptation God will always provide a way of escape! Praise the Lord for the way of escape so we be able to bear our temptations. Ask God what way of escape He has provided just for you when temptation comes and be on the lookout for it.

In Christ we are more than conquerors! And God has provided all we need for life and godliness. Putting on the full armor of God let us not fear temptations but boldly trust the Lord to give us the victory in Christ! With God all things are possible!

As you look to the Lord and trust in Him you will surely be blessed! See what God’s promised you in Jeremiah 17:7-8.

“Blessed is the man who trusts in the Lord, and whose hope is the Lord. For he shall be like a tree planted by the waters, which spreads out its roots by the river, and will not fear when heat comes; But its leaf will be green, and will not be anxious in the year of drought, nor will cease from yielding fruit.”

Creating truth cards and truth journaling is a great way to combat temptations and stand firm in your boundaries.

 I eat at a zero and stop at a five, renew my mind, and do the book study and my weight still went up! How is this possible?

Since you’ve been diligent to wait for a zero and eat just enough to satiate your hunger, here are some strategies I use to reduce the quantity of food I eat, resulting in losing weight consistently:

  • Try shrinking your portion by using a smaller bowl or plate for your meal. I do this and it has helped not only to consistently get my scale to go down, but enables me to be satisfied with my smaller portion because my small bowl looks full. I use my little dessert bowls for cereal, chili, ice cream, etc., and am plenty satisfied.
  • Lengthen how long it takes to eat your meal. The faster we eat, the more we eat. Since it generally takes 20 minutes for your brain to say its time to stop eating, I like to take mini bites and chew til there’s nothing left to chew. See how long you can take to make your meal stretch. Heidi has said,  “Take twice as long to eat half as much.” It’s a fabulous strategy to take the weight off!
  • As mentioned above, packing snacks with you to take the edge off when you start to feel famished between meals will help prevent overeating at your next meal.

How can I keep my boundaries with all the tempting holiday food that is around me?

If you have See’s chocolates or pumpkin spice muffins begging to be eaten, give yourself permission to eat them when you get hungry.

There are many times when I see something delicious, and I think, “I don’t want that just yet, because I’m not hungry. But when I do get hungry, that is definitely what I plan to enjoy to satiate my hunger!”

When you’re not hungry, make a list of your favorite holiday foods and drinks you love to enjoy throughout the holidays. Then, plan to enjoy a favorite when you get hungry, working off your list.

You might pack a favorite food to enjoy when you eat lunch in the midst of running errands. Alternatively, you can wait intentionally to run errands until you are hungry, then drive thru and get your holiday favorite to enjoy when you take a break.  Another option is to work in holiday favorites into your family’s meal plan for the week. By satisfying your hunger with a satisfying favorite, you’ll feel doubly blessed!

How can I diligently keep my boundaries at a party or gathering of friends or family?

Since people typically gather at a specified time, make sure you eat light before it’s time to go to the get together. Eat light enough that you will feel hunger when it’s time to eat. Then you’ll be able to eat when everyone else does, yet you will not be breaking your boundaries by enjoying yummy foods with your favorite people. Rather than taking a whole scoop of each potluck food on your plate, you can use your plate to make up a little sampler platter so you’re able to enjoy the flavors of all that look appetizing to you, but without overdoing it.

If you love dessert like I do, you don’t have to go without. Simply serve yourself 2/3 the amount of what would satisfy your hunger, and then indulge in and savor a small portion of dessert. This way you’re hunger will be satisfied as well as your sweet tooth! Who says you can’t enjoy your favorite dessert while releasing weight?

I’m so tempted to abandon my boundaries and start over after New Year’s Day.

Whenever I’m tempted I cling to and am encouraged by God’s promise to us in 1 Corinthians 10:13

“No temptation has overtaken you except such as is common to man; but God is faithful, who will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation will also make the way of escape, that you may be able to bear it.”

Since the Lord promises to provide a way of escape from each and every temptation, I look for the way out He is so faithful to provide.

While we are free in Christ, if we let go of our 0 to 5 eating boundaries, we will regret doing so come January. God doesn’t want us to be gluttonous—especially as we celebrate His birth. He wants us to enjoy food, but with self-control. Thin Within 0-5 eating and renewing our mind are wonderful in helping us release unhealthy, extra weight and help us to naturally get down to our God-given size.

Take the deprivation out of staying within boundaries by changing your mindset about how you think about your boundaries

How we word any boundaries we set for our eating can make or break our ability to stick with them. If I say “I can’t eat anything after 8:00pm” I will feel deprived, restricted, and like I have no choice in the matter. However, the rebel in me is less likely to rear up if I say, “I’m free to eat past 8:00pm, but I choose not to because my body already had enough to eat earlier at dinner time.”

Boundaries actually are freeing!

When you think of boundaries, what comes to mind? Restriction? Denial?

I see my Thin Within boundaries like I see guard rails on the road where a sheer drop off is on the other side. They are put in place, and there, for my safety and to guide me in the way I should go.

I don’t trust in my boundaries. I trust in the Lord, and thank Him for my boundaries because of how He uses them in my life to protect me from overeating and guide me in eating what I love, without overindulging.

Until just a few months ago, I looked at boundaries as depriving and restricting. Now I recognize boundaries as freeing!

  • I am now free to eat whatever my heart desires when I’m hungry.
  • I’m free to stop eating when I’ve eaten enough to soothe my hunger, so I don’t have to feel heavy and overly full after a meal.
  • I’m free to shed my excess weight, almost effortlessly, without counting, tracking, weighing, and measuring everything I eat.
  • I am free to eat when I’m hungry, and don’t have to deny myself from eating when I’m hungry because I don’t have enough points or calories left for the day.
  • I am free to eat from all food groups and continue to release weight without cutting carbs, sugar, etc.

I’m still excited about the weight I’ve lost, and all without depriving myself of my favorite foods and drinks. I love the way God is using gentle boundaries in my life to help me shed my excess weight. Thin Within works! Stick with it and you will be blessed!


Brooke Espinoza has found freedom from overeating through Thin Within, and she couldn’t be happier about it. She has been married to her husband almost 20 years and keeps busy homeschooling their daughter, caring for her family, blogging at Hemmed In By Love, and designing products for her Etsy shop, Joyful Life Printables.

 

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One Response to Relish Your Holidays and Eat Yummy Food!

  1. Kay Prior November 30, 2018 at 5:33 pm #

    Thank you Brooke. An awesome article and very helpful.

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