On certain occasions, especially big holidays and family get togethers everyone tends to overeat. Don’t freak out about eating all the sugar-filled treats around you or overdoing it on too many helpings of mom’s special homemade goodies.

In the scope of the big picture, that’s really no big deal and you can’t do anything about it after the fact. There’s no sense whatsoever in beating yourself up over eating more than you intended. It’s a habit borne out of feeling deprived.

To neutralize that tendency and normalize your appetite, it’s more important that you learn how to feel safe and comfortable around eating the foods you love all the time, every day. That’s an ideal circumstance if you have the freedom to eat what you want.

However, if for any reason you are on a medically restricted diet which requires you to limit your consumption of certain foods, or food groups, like carbohydrates or fats you can still get a handle on your cravings and overcome those urges to eat them.

You would do this by dealing directly with the emotions that drive those cravings. That way you can unplug your body’s tendency to binge on them when they are present.

In the next article, I’ll show you how to use a simple stress relief process derived from Acupuncture. If you’ve ever had the wonderful experience of receiving an acupuncture treatment, you know how incredibly relaxing it feels.

The process I teach my coaching clients is called Emotional Freedom Technique, or EFT. It is similar to acupuncture, but it delivers stress relief without the need for needles. That’s because the body responds to the touch of your fingertips in the same way as if you were receiving acupuncture. In the next article, I’ll teach you how to apply this simple hands on stress relief process to neutralize your cravings. EFT is a method of deliberately and specifically utilizing our human tendency to comfort ourselves using our hands.

By verbalizing what you are thinking as you tap on your body’s various comfort spots, (technically called meridian endpoints) you will be able to achieve things you’ve never been able to do before. I like to think of EFT as my sanity saver and ‘courage’ in a bottle. I use it all the time in my own life and I teach it to all my clients because it works.

In some of the following tips, I allude to 2 different tapping points which are typically used in EFT.

I hope you’ll enjoy and benefit from these 20 tips. They are designed to help you stay in touch with your natural hunger signals throughout the day making it easier for you to honor your appetite during the family meal so that you can enjoy your special day to the max:

1)    Eat regular meals throughout the day prior to eating your big holiday meal – Eat whatever you love throughout the whole day. Beware of the trap of the old diet mentality of saving up calories for the big meal.

2)    Bring a take home container if you are going to someone else’s house. You don’t have to feel that you’ll never be able to eat the food again. You will eat less knowing that you have more of that favorite food to enjoy later.

3)    Wear clothes that are comfortable yet able to keep you aware of subtle changes of how your body feels

4)    Wear something special that reminds you of how beautiful and empowered you are! – a special bracelet, necklace, shawl, a hair comb, or a scarf, whatever you love!

5)    Listen to some inspiring music or do something you love to set the tone for the day

6)    Using your dominant hand, tap on the side of your non-dominant hand (where a martial artist would break a block of wood) This is called the Karate chop point. As you lightly tap on this spot with your fingertips, say to yourself that you are going to have a wonderful day.

This Karate chop point, found on either side of each of your hands, is one of the tapping points that I mentioned earlier. It is called the Psychological reversal point. By tapping on this area, or holding, rubbing or just even thinking about it, as you set an intention for what you want, you will neutralize your tendency to sabotage yourself in any situation.

7)    As you prepare to eat, take a few moments to really look at the food before digging in. – Remember to feast with all your senses

8)    Choose to put small portions of the foods on your plate that really curl your toes – you can always have more!

9)    Say a quiet prayer of thanks acknowledging all of the hands and all of the lives that have participated to bring this food to you

10)    Midway between the meal, slow down and ask yourself, “How satisfied am I and if I’m still hungry, What do I Really Want?”

11)    Pause in the middle of eating, to assess your level of hunger. It’s most effective to do this while placing one hand over the area of your neck and upper chest as if to play with a necklace that would rest on or close to your collarbone. You have a spot on your body here that is a natural comfort spot.

You can find it by palpating the area just about 1 1/2″below your collar bone. This is called the sore spot and it connects with an acupressure endpoint on your body. By touching this area or massaging it, rubbing gently in a direction, away from your body, you will relax yourself and it will help you to focus. See suggestions as shown in photo below:

12)    Take a sip of water or whatever you’re drinking and tune into noticing how hungry you feel.

13)    Notice the eating habits of others around you – be curious and notice how you are feeling!

14)    Engage with others at the table – really enjoy the experience

15)     Eat until you feel satisfied or notice a natural sigh coming on – Pay attention to the degree of satisfaction that you are getting from each bite

16)    Become aware of the well-meaning and often loveable food pushers goading you to eat more – smile knowing that “you’ve got their number.”

17)     Express yourself honestly, lovingly and firmly – Say, “No thank you, _____, it was all so delicious.  I am satisfied, but I’ll take some to enjoy it later.”

18)    When you’ve decided you’re satisfied, place your silverware on top of your plate, wipe your mouth with a napkin, place the napkin on top of the plate and move your plate to either your left or right side

19)    Make sure to leave room for dessert, if it is important to you. It’s important to me!

20)    Acknowledge and thank yourself for having all this wonderful new awareness and committing to loving your body more and being gentle with yourself