WASHINGTON (WUSA9) - Loading up on turkey and mashed potatoes during the holidays is more ritual than reckless.
But what happens when stuffing yourself becomes habitual? Here’s the truth to overhaul your overeating from a doctor who was also once a patient.
It was a real problem that started in high school for Dr. Jane Baxter.
She says, “I couldn’t stop eating ice cream. I wanted to go out and get food and I was really leaning on food to help me. I was very anxious and insecure in high school so I started overeating.”
With therapy, Jane overcame her overeating and even turned the tables on her problem.
She became a therapist herself because she knew she could help others struggling with the same food addiction. And she admits the problem isn’t just psychological.
“The pancreas is secreting insulin to try and control our blood sugar levels and that’s kind of a sedative so not only are you eating to distract yourself but you’re starting to also feel soothed,” she says.
There are a few easy things you can do to stop the cycle.
First, Dr. Baxter says you should just stay out of the kitchen.
“Keep your environment safe and redirect your steps. It’s fine to go watch TV but grab some gum instead of food.”
Recent studies have actually found that open concept floor plans where you can see your kitchen from the living room or dining room also leads to overeating because it can give you easy access to food.
When it comes to cravings, Dr. Baxter says they usually only last 20-30 minutes so use distractions to get over the initial cravings.
“Once you start having certain wins where you didn’t give into the craving, you start to feel better about yourself and that replaces the pleasure you can get food.”
Finally, get help if you feel you can’t control it.
“Detach yourself from all that crappy negative self-talk because it just buries people.”