12/15/2014 02:23 pm ET Updated Dec 06, 2017

Don't Fight Food FOMO This Holiday Season: Try This Instead


Do you find yourself facing FOMO or Fear of Missing Out when it comes to eating during the Holidays?

Perhaps it sounds like this:

You only eat this once a year, so eat as much as you can while you can!

Ooh, there's your mother's special pie and that turkey looks amazing -- and you can't not have that, too - you must eat everything!

It doesn't matter how full you are -- you'll be missing out if you don't try all those desserts!

Food FOMO wants you to believe you can only have the True Holiday Experience if you finish the meal with your pants unbuttoned and an Alka Seltzer in your hand. As the name suggests, it comes with an anxiety that if you don't eat more, then somehow your life will be less.

I don't want to give you a list of things you can do to get rid of FOMO when it comes to food.

I want to suggest a different approach: Don't fight it.

Accept instead that FOMO will inevitably show up because Christmas and food are so intrinsically linked. And that perhaps this isn't such a bad thing.

FOMO is only showing up because you take pleasure in eating. As emotional beings, food is more than just sustenance for us, it is also a source of pleasure. So what if you started to view FOMO simply as a reminder of how much you love food? After all, you wouldn't be afraid of missing out on something you don't actually value.

And what if, by embracing FOMO instead of resisting it, you could get even MORE pleasure from your holiday food this year?

So next time you notice FOMO creeping up on you, whispering seductive thoughts like Eat as much as you can! simply thank it for reminding you just how much you love food.

And after that, you could experiment with expressing this love for food in more vitalizing ways, such as:

  • Eating whatever you eat without guilt -- because an extra serving of guilt negatively impacts digestion and metabolism.
  • Slowing down and fully savoring every bite -- because by slowing down, you are satisfied with less.
  • Realizing that you don't actually need to taste everything and focusing on the foods that really light you up instead.
  • Starting with smaller portions, knowing you can always have more.
  • Listening to your body and honoring your satiety signals over finishing your plate.
  • Upgrading your food choices so you are still eating your favorite holiday foods, but a healthier or better quality version of them.

And from this space of true enjoyment of food, something magical happens. FOMO is still there, yelling, "Keep eating or you'll miss out on the True Holiday Experience!" -- yet you realize you can express your love for food in a different way. A more vitalizing way where Christmas is no longer defined by more food but by more pleasure.
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