Diet therapy

Stress reduction at christmas

Make some room for ‘Me Time’ this Christmas

With the build up to Christmas- it is easy to get swallowed up by all the jobs that have to be done.  The cards to send-cake to bake-tree to decorate- presents to buy- the garden- the relies- the visitors- the end of year work and school functions.

So much to do so little time!

When our personal time and space gets eroded by extra work and family commitments it’s easy to reach out for the extra food and drink. We console ourselves that after all we deserve it and come January the New Years resolution will be to diet away all the excess.  However rather than focusing on what we are eating it may help to look at why.

Impulsive eating is seldom due to hunger and more often a means of reducing stress, anxiety and tension.

Helpful tips

  • Keep a diary for a day of what you eat and look at the cues to eating.

Try recording

  • Where are you eating? home, office, café,
  • Body position were you sitting on the couch, at the table, standing, lying
  • How hungry are you? Very (stomach rumbling) hungry =3, a bit hungry =2, not hungry =1
  • What else are you doing? Watching television, driving, reading, working, studying
  • How are you feeling and what are you thinking? Relaxed, hassled, stressed
  • Who are you with? Eating alone, with a work mate, family, friends
  • How long did you spend eating? Number of minutes you were eating or drinking

Start making some changes:

  • Get up earlier for a walk before work or walk around the block during your lunch break.
  • Take time out for a coffee break each day or pick up a magazine. Even just 10-15 minutes can be refreshing.
  • Have a bubble bath or foot massage.
  • Resolve to go to bed earlier.
  • Prioritise what has to be done now and delegate some of the jobs to others. The rest can wait until the New Year.
  • Drink more water and milk and watch the alcohol.
  • Eat a healthy breakfast and try to include lots of fibre from breads and cereals, fruits and vegetables.
  • Talk to your doctor and contact us for help if you are experiencing rapid weight gain and ill-health.

About the author View all

Lea Stening

Lea is one of New Zealand’s leading paediatric dietitians and also specialises in Sports Nutrition. She has specialised in Paediatric Nutrition for 31 years and in 1985 was the first paediatric dietitian to enter private practice in New Zealand. Lea helps families through her private consultations, public lectures, newspaper and magazine articles as well as television and radio interviews. Read more »

View all posts by Lea Stening »


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