Season's Eatings

Indulge without guilt or suffer

'Tis the season for overindulgence in food and drink. While celebrating is joyful, for some women, it's not—the holiday goodies and temptations add another layer to an already-complicated biological process.

A new study links women's food consumption around their menstrual cycle—a natural, biological occurrence—with preoccupation with body weight and shape. Michigan State University Foundation Professor Kelly Klump notes that this intensified obsession can increase the risk of developing eating disorder symptoms.

"In our culture, we tend to view any increased eating by a woman as a negative thing, even when that gain is biologically and evolutionarily driven," Klump says. "This is a potentially dangerous chain of events that could lead to serious and life-threatening eating disorders, including anorexia nervosa and bulimia nervosa. This can be especially problematic during the holidays."

Man or woman, influenced by cycle or not, try not to be preoccupied with your weight or shape over the holidays—focus on the joy, the rituals, the traditions. Just make sure any indulgence you're taking fulfills a real want or need, not a course of habit or guilt. Because while you will want to continue to make healthy choices, indulging is okay too. Stressing about it might be worse for you than actually overindulging.

Image: some rights reserved by Sam Howzit 

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