The festive season is upon us, friends! It's the time for family, feast and fun. Or so they say. The truth is that for most people who suffer from food addiction, specifically sugar, this can serve as an incredibly anxious time.

From mince pies to Christmas pudding, we're faced with abundant platters at every occasion. These tempting treats often bare very fond memories. Unfortunately they're sometimes followed by feelings of shame and fear of having overeaten or binged

Serious weight issues are sometimes looked over by friends and family during the holiday season. Everybody just wants to celebrate, and for good reason. However for some people who have worked so hard to make a positive lifestyle choice during the year, it can prove to be a tricky time. Whether you were overweight and worked hard over the last few months to stay healthy, or have issues like thyroid, it's critical to keep your mind in check at this time.

The guilt becomes a permanent reaction to any festive meal. Issues like unhealthy body image and body shaming take over in your mind. The key here is to recognise the spiral. When you notice this pattern developing, try not to overcompensate. This only leads to disaster! Don't hit the gym every single day or restrict yourself to steamed vegetables at every meal. You will only set yourself up for  even more failure, and so the vicious cycle will continue.

The best way to break free from bad eating habits is to create a simple set of rules for yourself. This way you'll have your own guide to follow, tailor-made for the specific occasions you know are coming up.

How to avoid overeating at Christmas

How to avoid overeating

1. Plan ahead! Ask the host what's on the menu. Set boundaries for yourself by working out a meal plan in advance which can be shared with a sponsor or buddy.

2. Serve yourself the preplanned plate of food. Then it eat mindfully. Mindful eating is enjoying every mouthful and focussing on what you're eating.

3. Don't skip meals ahead of the occasion. 'Stocking up' later leads to developing bingeing behaviour.

4. Listen to your stomach. If you're full, feel panicky and everyone is having dessert, excuse yourself. Make a warming cup of coffee or herbal tea and let your body digest. If you can, allow yourself a treat later on.

5. Focus on what gives your festive season meaning that doesn't revolve around food, like gratitude, love and relationships.

6. Create your own ritual, like lighting a candle or repeating personal affirmations.

7. Ask for help if you're feeling unsafe or are about to spiral out of control.

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7 Strategies to Avoid Overeating This Season

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