Feed Your Soul with Kim

62_Intuitive Eating at Thanksgiving

November 10, 2021 Kim McLaughlin Episode 62
Feed Your Soul with Kim
62_Intuitive Eating at Thanksgiving
Show Notes Transcript

The holidays are in full effect right now as we get closer to Thanksgiving. Ever wonder how to be an intuitive eater at the holidays? In this episode we explore intuitive eating on the holiday. It is not hard, but it does take mindfulness and knowledge about is Intuitive Eating. 

In this episode, we look at the various difficulties (including my top tip to manage emotions that might come up) that Thanksgiving brings and offer some helpful suggestions

Food is a large component of Thanksgiving, and you will want to listen to this podcast to get some ideas of how you can have peace with food when this holiday is mostly about the food!

Join us on this weeks’, Feed Your Soul with Kim Podcast we are looking at how to be an intuitive eater at Thanksgiving. In this podcast we will explore:

  • What is Intuitive Eating?
  • What do intuitive eaters do on Thanksgiving?
  • Get practical/doable ideas for you to make Thanksgiving successful?


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Get the Am I an Emotional Eater Quiz that I mention in the podcast here.


Emotional Eating Solutions- 8-week course



Check out last weeks podcast on Holiday Trifecta and Candy:



How you can find Kim:




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Kim McLaughlin, MA

Kim McLaughlin is a licensed Marriage and Family Therapist, inspirational coach, speaker, and writer. She helps people who feel frustrated overwhelmed and overloaded, and it shows up in overeating. She has a Master of Arts Degree in Clinical Psychology. Kim is a certified Intuitive Eating Counselor, and she assists people to gain peace with food. 

We would love to get your feedback on this show and let us know what you would like to hear in upcoming shows. Email us at [email protected]


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Hi there, this is Kim and I wanted to talk to you about ways that we have to support you. I know when you're listening to this podcast that you are wondering about emotional eating and wondering what you can do differently with food and I want to have you go get the EMI and emotional eater quiz. This quiz is so helpful to help you determine what's going on for you how food is affecting you, and then what you can do about it. Go to my website, feed your soul unlimited.com and click on the link for that EMI emotional eater quiz. I know this quiz will help you get on the right track with food. Hi, everyone, this is Kim. And I'm so glad you have joined us here today because we have a lot to talk about it is becoming the holiday time. And there's a lot of information out there about overeating. And so I wanted to talk to you today about intuitive eating at the Thanksgiving time at the holiday time in. And as I was thinking about it that, you know, when I talk about the idea of intuitive eating and Thanksgiving, it can seem like an oxymoron where they don't really seem to go together. Right doesn't seem like if you're going to talk about Thanksgiving, it's about overeating, about having a lot of different foods and about binging. And when we talk about intuitive eating, that's about becoming more in touch with your body and what your body needs. And I don't think those two things intuitive eating and Thanksgiving are talked about enough. So I really wanted to go in depth with you about this today. What I have learned that after years of being an intuitive eater, and helping other intuitive eaters, I know this works. And I know that it works at Thanksgiving because I've done it myself and my clients have done it also. I call this time of year the holiday trifecta that the time between October one and December 31, the time of Halloween, Thanksgiving, Hanukkah, Christmas, all of the holidays that go on this time of year. It's really the time where people are encouraged to binge and to overeat. And we really give ourselves a pass on that. And I'm okay if you want to overeat. That's fine. It's just know where that's coming from. And that is that coming from that backlash from the diet mindset, right? We talked about this a lot before that the diet mindset, the dieting and restricting leads us to Binging at certain times. And it could be actually what I think is that it actually leads us to binge over the holidays is that we restrict throughout the year. And then we binge at the holidays, we're even encouraged because we know that come January 1, we're going to dye it again, we're going to restrict again. And it's this never ending cycle of how do we eat throughout the whole year. And and what I want to pose to you is this idea of how about we eat intuitively 365 days a year where it's just what we do. And eating on Thanksgiving is no different than eating on February the third, right? They're no different. And we could come to the table like literally and figuratively come to the table in the same way through using intuitive eating all throughout the year. I find this time of year is really challenging, because we're really met with the idea of special foods this time of year. Those foods that only come out at you know, October, November, December. And they're available in a limited time. They're special and you can't get them at any other time of the year. And I've talked about this actually last week in our podcast about Starbucks is great at this. They're great about having the pumpkin spice latte that comes out on a certain day. And it's now they just came out with the Christmas drinks. And so there's this limited time where you can get it and that's just like restriction and then right. So throughout the whole year we restrict pumpkin spice latte, right and then it comes out On this particular day, and we know it's going to end on another day on another day where we can't get it for the rest of the year. And so people go crazy like drinking it, because it's in such limited supply. So this is where marketing actually does that kind of feast and famine kind of idea. In order to get us to buy it, I gotta tell you that there are a lot of recipes on how to make a pumpkin spice latte or any of the other things so that it really can be something that you can have all throughout the year, if you wanted to. And I just want to introduce the idea that this is a marketing technique to show you that there's a restriction throughout the year and then you can have this special item only in this limited time. So know what's going on. And knowing that this is really a ploy to get you to buy more so that you know that, that they're marketing to you with this restrict and binge kind of idea. I also became really aware of this binge restrict idea when I thought about the foods that we have at Thanksgiving time and, and thought, Oh, this is the only time I can have it until I really thought about it where I literally could have any of those items in that holiday meal anytime throughout the year that where I live at our store they have we have all the things I could do to make that holiday meal. And I realized that like, it didn't have to be that special meal so much that it was something that I could have at any time of the year. So what I wonder for you is what would happen if you allow yourself to have these foods at any time of the year, if they felt like they were something that weren't special, but that were regular, if you wanted it, I tend to not have the holiday foods the other time of the year because I just make other choices. And I do enjoy that the holiday time. But now that I know about intuitive eating and the idea and binging it's like it's not that important to me to get it all the food in all at once. Because that's really the the idea is is that we restrict all year, and then we go all in during the holiday. Because it's it's going to go away. So I want you to consider is whether you want to allow yourself to have those foods, I'm gonna say Allow in quotes because you can really do whatever you want. But to notice that that dieting mindset can lead you to not have it or think you can't have it. And that you only can do it at holidays. There's this idea that once again, we talked about last week in the podcast about habituation, which is where you have full free access to foods that you want. And I think that's what happened around Halloween, or Halloween. And that's what I talked about last week in our podcast about Halloween, and candy. And if you want to listen to that all I'll link it in the show notes. But if you have access to candy throughout the year, Halloween doesn't become that great. Even kids is like, you know, they might have a bit of it on Halloween night. But then they become less interested in it as the days go on. They're not gonna keep overeating it day after day after day, because they can have it at any other point that that they want. So when you have the food in your regular rotation as what you can just have, it's just food that you have. So it doesn't feel like you've restricted during the other part of the year. So that habituation is one way to get out of that dieting mindset. Also, the messages about binging are so pronounced this time of year. It is constantly in our faces about having this food about how special it is, and how you should just eat. And I'm going to tell you some stories in a few minutes. Some of the things that I've noticed just recently about some stories I heard recently that are really interesting to me, because it's really so ingrained in our society, this idea of overeating. And that's why I call it the holiday trifecta, because each period of the holiday has its own reason for overeating. And I just want you to be aware of it that it's part of our society and kind of we made the decision to jump into that mindset and to be a part of it. And I'm saying how about we jump out of it? And notice that that's part of the mindset that's going on, and that we don't want to engage in it anymore. So one story that actually happened to me last week. I was at the gym and I heard somebody say that they were going to exercise all out full out on Thanksgiving Day in order to burn off the turkey or to be able to overeat later in the day. And that is something that doesn't resonate with me anymore. That idea of, we have to punish ourselves with exercise, so that we can eat more later on in the day. It's, it's an, it's a, an idea, once again, of that dieting mindset, where we, we plan to overeat, we plan to binge, and we're going to exercise it off. And I'm going to talk to you a little bit later about some ideas about how to enter into that holiday day, in a different way. But but just think about are you one of the people that thinks that you need to exercise in order to burn off the calories. Another thing that happened to me a long time ago, when I would go to weight loss programs, I remember going quite a few times at the Thanksgiving time and and we'd be given a paper plate. And you were supposed and they gave you listed the foods and you know the value of those foods, you know, in their program values, number value. And you would then pick all the foods that you wanted, and you'd put it on you'd write it on your plate and write the number value and and get it so the number value would equal whatever the number value of what you were allowed to eat that day. And you were supposed to write it down. And then that was what you were going to eat on your holiday meal. And granted, it was planning way in advance what I would really want when I don't know what I really want until the day off. And the idea was that you would eat that amount that was you'd written on your plate, and then you'd stop. And I it was just such a strange idea that we would have this idea of what we'd want to eat well in advance. And then say you were going to just stop without any real way of of making that happen. Or reason why. And I always thought that was strange. And it to me it made it harder for the day because I was so invested in weighing and measuring and making sure the food number came up proper for the day. Another thing that I know people do and I've hear people talk about it now is not enough day. So they save up the calories appoints the macros in order to eat a big meal. And this is another thing I want to talk about in a little bit about some ways to look at food differently on the holiday but but really looking are you entering the day where you don't eat all day in order to have this huge meal. And and really consider what you're doing and, and whether that's a dieting mindset for you. And does it set you up for failure. Another thing that happens over the holiday is over eating your favorite foods, because it's the only day you're going to have it. And that I think happens a lot on Thanksgiving where it's like, oh, I'm going to really go all in because this is the only day I'm going to have this food. Well, like I said earlier, really this food, at least in the United States is available all the time. And you can get it in order to make it at other points and other days of the year. So really think about if it's this one special food, and you want to have it other days of the year, have it other days of the year. That's what Intuitive Eating is all about. Another story I just I was reminded of is a nutritionist that I knew a long time ago who told me that, you know, she eats well, or eats in her, you know, required way of eating and oh, you know, the 364 days a year but that one day on Thanksgiving that what she talked about was having a tray full of different supplements that she would take throughout the day because she knew she was going to overeat. And she knew she knew she was gonna eat foods that were going to make her sick. And she said she would take the supplements throughout the day in order to not get sick on the foods. And I just thought that was so strange for a nutritionist to tell me that and also that somebody would like go into eat foods that made them sick and had supplements to help her not feel sick was really odd to me because I thought Why are you eating foods that make you sick? And or or maybe it's not the food me sometimes it was the foods that made her sick but the quantity made her sick. And this is another piece about Intuitive Eating is we eat till we're satisfied. Eat till you're satisfied and and that that is what our body is expecting from us, but to eat and In a way that makes you feel sick, I wonder how that is for you, and that maybe you might want to try it differently. And once again, I'm going to give you some free some ideas later on about what you can do differently on the day of Thanksgiving in order to do it differently. So the last story that I was thinking of is, I remember learning a lot about making low calorie, low fat and tasty foods. Right, so you get the version of you know, this is the low calorie food, this is the low fat, this is the low fat way to make this. And it was never the tasty version of it. It was I was writing down what I thought it was like an approximation of the taste. It was close to the taste, but it really wasn't it. So it's like you're eating something that really isn't as satisfying as if you got the full flavor version. and, and this is another thing about Intuitive Eating is eat what you like, eat what, what tastes good. You dessert, eat food that tastes good. And, and I just want you to consider like, are you eating foods that aren't tasty? And maybe this is the year to eat foods that are tasty, in a more intuitive way. So how do we move them into you know, these are all the problems that I see. And and so I always like to give you ideas about what to do differently. So what are some things to do to counteract all of those rules, societal norms that we have that we've all grown up with about food and Thanksgiving? And how do we enter into this more in an intuitive eater way, one of the things I do on Thanksgiving is I love to move, I love to exercise. And I just do our family has been doing when when we're in the city, we'll do a local turkey trot. Because it's fun, because a lot of people around they dress in fun clothing. And we love to go do that. And if we're not able to do that, we'll go take a long walk on Thanksgiving. We don't do it, I don't do it to burn calories. I do it because it feels good. And that's the only reason why I do it is because it feels good to do that. Another thing that people will do is not eat all day, I talked about this earlier and I eat my regular meals, I eat them at regular times, just like normal and the Thanksgiving meal is one meal of the day, I don't come to the table starving. And I don't come with with expectations of of eating a whole lot or eating a whole little it's come to the table with expectations of putting a reasonable portion on my plate, the amount that I want the food that I want. And what I'll do is I'll tell myself that if I want to have more, I can go back and get more. And what I find is now that I've been doing intuitive eating for quite a few years, is that I'm pretty good on what my portion sizes, and I don't need to go back for more. But I don't have this internal obsession about having more food and Can I have more food I can if I'd like and I don't have to if I don't want to. And this helps me move into feeling peace with food at the holiday because for me not obsessing about food during the meal is really huge. I don't want to have to wonder about or keep thinking about food all day long. I really want to put food in its proper place as nourishment. And one of the ways I do that is I do like a kind of a scan of my body and and start noticing how hungry am I? Do I want more food is my body needing more food, what might be my right kind of food because I don't want to do like the nutritionist from a long time ago that I knew. I don't want to eat, eat in a way that's going to make me feel sick. And this is what happens for a lot of people at this time is that you know you you go into the holiday or into Thanksgiving at least thinking yeah, and I'm gonna feel uncomfortable and I'm going to be sick at the end of that meal. Well, I don't want to go into any meal where I feel sick or uncomfortable afterwards. So for me with intuitive eating, having that quick scan of my body to know if I'm hungry and want more is really, really helpful. The other thing that I want to talk to you about is that issue of or the idea of emotions. Emotions are one of the six components of feeding your soul. And you know the food is one component or body with the food. And another component is the emotions. I always make my mental plan about how I will take care of myself emotionally throughout the day of Thanksgiving. Sometimes this year that Thanksgiving meal is actually going to be in our house. So I will put together my plan of what I need to do to take care of myself. And I do that when we go to other people's houses. And what I find is that there, at some point, I might feel overwhelmed or a little bit overloaded with people or with what's going on. And what I think is interesting is that I'm actually an extrovert. So I like being around a lot of people, I like the energy, if there's a certain point, when it goes on for many hours that it gets to be too much for me, it can be too much. So I always plan in advance, what is my strategy for what I might do in whatever this situation is to take care of myself, one of the things I do is I talk to my husband in advance about what I might need, if I'm overwhelmed, often it will be I'll tell him, like, you know, you know, if it gets to be too much, I'm gonna want to take, I might take a walk, and like, I'll let you know. And if you want to commit with me, that would be great. And so we'll have a little talk about that in advance. I also have ideas for myself about what I'll do is all go talk to different groups of people, that helps me a lot. Taking a walk, like I just said, helps me a lot. Changing the subject helps me a lot. Taking a deep breath helps me emotionally. So I have ideas of what I can do emotionally so that I just feel really calm and centered throughout the whole event. What I want you to consider is what might you need for the holiday this year. If you were going to enter the into this in more of an intuitive eating kind of wait, what might you do, I just gave you a lot of ideas about what I do and what my clients do. And I encourage you to consider them and make your plan in advance for how you can be more of an intuitive eater during this time of year during this holiday trifecta, so that you don't feel uncomfortable in a meal or uncomfortable with other people but feel real peace around food. That is always my goal is let's have peace around food and peace in our lives because that it just feels better that way. So I want to encourage you to try intuitive eating this year. See how that works. Shoot me an email. There's a link in our show notes. I'd love to hear how that goes, what you do and what works and what doesn't. Because I'm always up for new ideas and to hear what you all think too. This is Kim McLaughlin, thank you for joining us on this podcast. I look forward to talking to you soon. Bye Hi guys, this is Kim and I want to let you know that the emotional eating solutions eight week course is open now you can find it on my website at feed your soul unlimited.com Go to the work with Kim tab and click on that. This is the time to get peace with food and I know this course will help you. You also can find the link in the show notes to the emotional eating solutions eight week self study course