Holiday time can be wonderful and stressful. Ideally, holidays are a time to cherish family, friends, and all the wonderful gifts we’ve been given in this life. As you may know, holidays can be a time to focus on the positive and to express generosity to our loved ones and those less fortunate.
However, holidays can also be a source of anxiety. The holiday season can become overwhelming for those struggling with an eating disorder, disordered eating or trying to lose weight. Dieting and stressing over the food is not the answer, in fact, dieting will make the holidays a disaster.
Your holiday can be less stressful.
As REBEL dietitians, we believe in healthy eating without deprivation. Avoiding foods and setting up lists of good/bad foods ultimately fails. The key to a happy healthy holiday is planning, preparing, and staying mindful. Following these tips will help you stay focused on a healthy lifestyle without deprivation.
Our Registered Dietitians share their healthy tips to enjoy the holidays:
1. Allow yourself to focus on celebrating and spending time with family instead of counting calories and stressing over food. Spend time focusing on the celebration and tradition, not on dieting.
2. Keep a journal, before going to a party write down why you are going what you will focus on at the party and reflect on your entry after the party.
No bad talk
3. Avoid good food bad food talk. Our dietitian discusses how to enjoy the holidays and reduce stress around food in her blog.4. Be aware of your stress level and do not overbook your schedule. Choose the events that mean the most to you and allow time for yourself to relax.
5. Stay connected with your Registered Dietitian to carefully balance meals in advance. If you regularly attend supports groups, stay connected and seek strategies for the holiday season.
Stay on a regular schedule
6. Before a holiday event consider calling the host before the event. Asking the host what foods will be served and if it is necessary bring along favorite foods. Remember it is important to eat regularly during the holidays to prevent yourself from getting too hungry.
7. If you’re feeling up to the challenge let holiday events be an opportunity for progress and to practice a healthy lifestyle. Practice a three-meal-a-day schedule. Do not go to a holiday meal hungry by skipping meals in preparation for a larger one.
8.Surround yourself with people who have healthy relationship with their food, their body, and their weight. Try and bring a trusted friend to holiday events if you can.
9. Keep lines of communication open and involve your family and friends in your challenges, victories, and goals. Ask for help and support with your nutrition goals, it will make a tremendous difference in you success.
Do not diet
10. Most important of all, do not diet. Self-care does not including dieting. Self-care includes taking a moment for yourself and doing something that you enjoy. Self care also includes fueling your body properly with a variety of foods.
How we can help during and after the holidays
We can keep you focused and accountable over the holidays without spoiling your fun. Reach out to us for more information 301-474-2499 or fill out the contact form. You can also subscribe or our newsletter. We are also open during the holiday season and we are very happy to help you stay focused on your nutrition goals during this typically hectic season.
Blog updated December 2019.
Rebecca Bitzer loves to empower Registered Dietitian Nutritionists (RDNs) and their clients. Co-author of Welcome to the Rebelution: Seven steps to the nutrition counseling practice of your dreams and Taste the Sweet Rebellion: Rebel against dieting.