Prevent Binge Eating During the Holidays

Binge Eating

Loading up on turkey and sweet potatoes at Thanksgiving? Remember that just because you stuff the turkey you don’t need to stuff yourself. Binge eating during the holidays is common and leads to quick weight gain.

Eating too much every once in a while is normal. So is eating for emotional reasons. “From the moment we’re born, we’re nurtured with food, rewarded with food, and so emotional connections to food are normal,” says Michelle May, MD, author of Eat What You Love, Love What You Eat.

People who compulsively overeat, though, may use food as their only way of coping with negative emotions. As a result, they often feel that their eating is out of control. They think about food all the time and feel guilty, ashamed, or depressed after eating. “That’s very different from what someone feels after, say, eating a big Thanksgiving meal,” May says. “You might feel full, and you might regret having had that last slice of pie, but you’re not consumed with shame.”

If you end up stuffed

If you end up feeling too full after the meal, lemon balm (melissa) tea is a good and natural alternative to help your digestion. Lemon balm is a carminative, or a botanical herb that reduces or prevents gas. According to the University of Michigan Health System, the terpenes–the constituent of lemon balm that produces the plant’s pleasant smell–are responsible for this herb’s relaxing and gas-relieving effects. A choloretic stimulates production of bile in your liver. Bile is stored in your gall bladder and then released to your small intestine to digest fats.

Choloretics, such as lemon balm, can help you with liver and gall bladder problems, such as stones and congestion or “attacks,” along with difficulty and discomfort digesting fatty meals. It is thought that the volatile oils in lemon balm contain chemicals that relax muscles, particularly in the bladder, stomach, and uterus, thereby relieving cramps, gas, and nausea.

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