By: Alison Ross, LMFT, CEDS
Happy Halloween, everyone! 🎃👻 We know that this holiday, with all its sweet, sugary candy, can be overwhelming for people in recovery from eating disorders. So, if you need some help, here's a stance that can help people who struggle to regulate their eating of candy and to enjoy it in moderation.
A good strategy involves creating the conditions of low stress, good nutrition, self-trust, and mindfulness, which together help you regulate your eating, even when eating highly-rewarding foods like candy. Here's how you can create those conditions:
First, stay calm around candy, by taking a few deep breaths and giving yourself permission to have it. When you relax and allow yourself to eat the foods you love, you reduce the stress that often leads to overeating.
Before eating candy, it's a great idea to eat a nutritious meal or snack with lots of natural plant fiber, such as cut veggies and hummus, or a salad full of veggies, nuts, and protein. Filling your stomach with nutritious foods first, reduces the blood sugar spikes that candy can cause and prevents the brain's "keep eating" switch from turning on and overriding your body's natural fullness signals.
When you eat candy, eat it mindfully. Slow down, and savor every bite. Really notice the texture and taste of the flavors. 🍭🍫🍬 Take your time. Pay attention to the experience. Being mindful plugs you into your higher brain, which is your regulator, helping you to connect to your bodies' natural eating off-switch and to regulate your eating more effectively.
This Halloween I hope you won't be scared of candy. It can be a wonderful part of the holiday when you create the conditions of low stress, good nutrition, self-trust, and mindfulness. Happy Halloween! 🙌💖🍬