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Turning to Food During the Holidays Harms Your Health

With the holidays fast approaching and all sorts of distractions arising, unfortunately, patients, particularly women, are turning to food for comfort, according to the latest American Psychological Association (APA) study of some 800 patients. Almost half of the women surveyed feel the increased stress that leads many of them to eat and drink excessively.

Seems the holidays bring out the worst eating habits. More than 40 percent of the women in the APA study admitted they're more prone to overeat during the holidays, a bump from 31 percent for the rest of the year. Men don't get away scot-free either, as their holiday eating habits of 25 percent of them turn to overeating, compared to 19 percent during the remainder of the year.

That's why planning ahead for handling those holiday situations that make you feel compelled to eat is vitally important. And, when those big holiday food spreads present themselves, consider eating smaller meals and not waiting for the big meal at your office.

Probably, the most important thing you can do for your health, even during this joyous season, is to relieve the stress that prompts out-of-control eating. Some study participants turn to exercise, always a wonderful alternative that yields amazing benefits, especially when you treat it like a drug that must be properly prescribed to do the most good.

Another healthy alternative that has nothing at all to do with a drug: Learning a proven energy psychology tool like the Emotional Freedom Technique, particularly to help you feel better during the holidays.

MSNBC December 18, 2006