Don't feel guilty about holiday eating

Posted at 10:20 AM, Nov 23, 2015
and last updated 2015-11-23 10:20:59-05

'Tis the season for turkey, pie and more. While celebrating the holidays is supposed to be a festive, joyful time, for a lot of women it isn't.

But Michigan State University researchers have a new message for women this holiday season. They say women shouldn't worry about overeating around the holidays.

There is real pressure for women not to overeat and to maintain their shape, and all of that holiday food can add another layer of stress.

MSU researchers want women to remember, when you sit down at the table for Thanksgiving, biology and the food in front of you play huge roles.

Women are biologically wired to eat more during their monthly menstruation cycle, it is something that is supposed to happen to prepare for pregnancy.

MSU Foundation Professor Kelly L. Klump found that increased food intake can cause some women to become even more preoccupied with their shape and weight.

Add turkey, stuffing, pie and more treats, and a lot of women may feel guilty for over eating or binge eating. Researchers call it a potentially dangerous chain of events that can lead to eating disorders like anorexia or bulimia nervosa.

"The holidays can trigger this chain of events," says Professor Kelly L. Klump, Ph.D., with the Department of Psychology. "The message for women is to realize that there are multiple factors that can contribute to binge eating during the holidays, including the presence of a lot of food and biology."

The researchers are going to continue looking into what else drives eating disorders in women, beyond hormonal changes and more food present around the holidays.