Tips for Happy Holiday Eating

I know that everyone is already in a Mcflurry celebrating the holidays, so this will be short and semi-sweet 😉

  1. Please be realistic with yourself. Whether you are struggling with binge-eating or feeling overwhelmed and restricting, take a minute to decide how this year will be different than last year’s holiday season. Identify a few things that you want to accomplish this season and stick with those. No one is perfect…especially during a celebration. Maybe you will decide to suspend a few of your food worries and challenge yourself to eat a bit more variety.  Or maybe the goal is to plan and eat a healthy breakfast or to eat instead of restrict your food during the day prior to a party. Choose wisely so that you will feel great mentally and physically all day and every day.
  2. Eat mindfully. Select the foods to eat that look good to you in the moment and appreciate them with all of your senses. If you need to slow down to enjoy your food, try eating with your non-dominant hand. Tune in to your hunger and fullness cues. They will tell you when to stop eating. If you are at a buffet, select 3-4 items that are appealing to you, sit down, and relax while you eat. If you don’t like your choices, stop eating them. Put your plate down and go find something to eat that you do like. Check in with your stomach to see how it’s feeling. Give yourself permission to go for more if you are hungry with the promise that you will stop eating when you are satisfied.
  3. Just say, “No”, when you are feeling pushed to eat or not to eat by others. You’ve got this!
  4. If you are eating something that you crave and if you are truly hungry, the craving will be satisfied with the food and you will stop when you eat enough of it. If you are emotionally eating, the food will never satisfy you. Go deeper! Ask yourself, “What is going on with me right now?” Try to notice where your desire to eat is coming from and find a solution for soothing that feeling without using the food as a substitute for coping skills.
  5. Feeling overwhelmed by all of the food? Take a few deep breaths and unwind before eating. Fix your plate and sit far away from Officer Food Police. Find a pleasant conversation and participate in it while you eat. If someone starts to talk about food and weight issues, change the conversation by introducing new subject matter… holiday gifts, an ice breaker game, favorite movies of 2015, the weather… whatever works!
  6. Have a happy and safe holiday season!!

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