KELLEE Waters understands the emotional turmoil associated with food addiction.
She was obese by the age of 18 months and this started a 34-year battle with food, weight, and body dissatisfaction.
She has become one of Australia's leading food-addiction and obesity experts and her new book, Food Addiction Therapy: The Simple Eating Plan, draws from her training as a psychologist and personal experiences with food addiction.
Sunshine Coast residents will have the opportunity to meet her during her book tour on Monday and Tuesday at local libraries.
When asked what sets her book apart from other diet books, Kellee's answer comes from experience: "It helps people to understand themselves and what happens during these times when they crave or eat junk food, and how to replace these foods with healthy alternatives and how to stop the cycles for good."
As Christmas is a time of pudding, turkey, cake and trifle, little wonder this is when most of us see our waists expand.
So what are Kellee's top tips to prevent indulgence on Christmas food this year?
1. "If you are a people-pleaser, you will want to eat and drink to please the host and people around you," she said. "This will only cause you to dislike yourself and 'beat yourself up' later. It is okay to say no and to stand up for you, your health and your goals."
2. "Try and pick parties that are outside or more active so you can get away from the food and engage in the activities. If the adults are not being active, go and play with the kids."
Kellee practises what she preaches. Within six months of following her own good-eating plan, she had lost 20kg without exercise, and within 12 months she had lost more than 30kg, as well as what she calls her "disordered eating", and body issues.
Food Addiction Therapy: The Simple Eating Plan is available at selected Dymocks, Mary Ryan's and other independent bookstores. The book is also available from the thefatkey.com
Rum Protein and Carb Balls for Christmas
1 ½ cups mixed almonds, seeds (pepitas, sunflower and/or chia), coarsely crushed
4 tablespoons protein isolate (whey, soy, pea - your preference)
8 pitted dates, chopped
1 ½ tablespoons cacao
1 tablespoon vanilla essence, pinch cinnamon
¼ cup sweetener such as xylitol (add more to make mixture sweeter)
Coconut for rolling
1. Place nuts and seeds into a blender and coarsely crush
2. Place all other ingredients into a food processor and mix together
3. Add rum 2 tablespoons at a time with the water until required intensity of rum is achieved
4. Add water to make a sticky consistency that you can roll
5. Roll into balls and cover in coconut
6. Store in the fridge