Snacks are extremely accessible foods in our society; they are also very dangerous. When we get in the snacking habit, we lose track of how much we’re eating and how much energy we’re adding to our daily economy.
Holidays only add to the pressure, as they make snacks---cookies, candy, appetizers and left-overs---alarmingly abundant. Food is virtually everywhere and available all the time. At home, holiday snack foods pop up all over the place. At the office, nearly everyone brings in food and snacks sooner or later.
One (unsuccessful) strategy would be to ignore all this food and deprive yourself. That doesn’t work for two reasons: it’s almost impossible to ignore the food, and depriving yourself only makes you want the food more and leaves you feeling unhappy.
Another approach---one that many people do---is to give in and gorge yourself, only to “deal” with the consequences later. This is unsatisfactory for a host of reasons, not the least of which is that “dealing” with it never comes.
The CAMP approach is a good compromise: allow yourself holiday snacks, but in small doses and eaten very deliberately. If you take snacks “by the numbers,” you set a limit and stick with it. “Three pieces of candy, no more.” “Two cookies and that’s it.” “One piece of candy cane and I throw the rest away.”
Then, you eat each bite as if it were gold. Savor the snack to the utmost. Enjoy it more than anyone has a right to.
Often, when people eat this way they begin to notice that they didn’t need as much as they thought they would. They might eat one cookie and decide it’s enough.
The key, though, is in fully attending the eating. Don’t mix it with a lot of socializing or other distracting activities. If you remember to honor your food as you eat it, you will make better decisions about the amount you’re eating.