It’s the holiday season and there can be added stress from family, gatherings, diet talk, and being around food that can just bring up more anxiety. Practicing intuitive eating during the holidays can help ease the tension and help you find some peace around food this season. Here are a few of our favorite tips from the dietitians at iLiveWell Nutrition to help you feel a bit more relaxed around food.
Permission to Eat!
You are allowed to enjoy food! Let’s really hear that one more time. I give you full permission to enjoy food this holiday season. Avoiding your favorite holiday foods, or coming up with random “reasons” why not to have them will leave you deprived and only cause you to want them more! When you notice yourself passing judgment on foods (good / bad / right / wrong), see if you could take a moment and shift those thoughts to listening and trusting what truly sounds good at the moment. I promise, you can’t get this wrong!
Listen to Your Body Cues
Do you know how smart your body is?! It does things all the time to keep you alive, like breathing, pumping blood, digesting food, so why would your body all of a sudden stop sending you signals on how to nourish itself?! During the holidays there might be a bit more stress (yes, I’m being sarcastic) and with added stress, it’s easier to not listen to the body cues. Next time you are sitting down to eat, give yourself a few moments to check-in and listen to your amazing body. Check-in and feel how hungry you are. What are you hungry for? This simple pause allows you to get out of your stress-filled head and into your body.
Check-in with Yourself
Just like taking a moment to check in with yourself before a meal, you will also want to check in with how you are doing overall this holiday season. Being around friends and family during the holiday may mean opening yourself up to food, diet, and weight, or body talk. Figuring out how to deal with comments – whether directed towards what you’re eating, pushing food at you, or just general weight/diet talk – can help you get through the day without as much anxiety or stress. By checking in with yourself on a regular basis during the holiday season can help you determine what boundaries or support you may need to make the holidays a positive one.
Be consistent with Fueling Your Body
It is a special season and yet that is not an excuse to skip meals and snacks and hold back on normal fueling of your body to “save up” for a meal. You need fuel normally, no matter what the day is. Instead of saving up for meals and not checking in with yourself, what if this year you actually listened to your body and had normal meals?! Eating consistent meals with plenty of variety and excitement will help satisfy your hunger and keep you from feeling deprived.
“No Diet” January
Are you ready to take a pledge to make this holiday season not about food and not plan to change your body in January?! Let’s do this!
I, (state your name), pledge not to go on a diet in January. I, (state your name), will not Google, Pin, or search on Instagram for “new” ways to exercise or make food to make “healthy” choices in January. I, (state your name), will enjoy this holiday season and be present with myself, family, and food without judgment or plans for a diet in January.
Are you looking for more support with intuitive eating and body image healing?
We work with clients virtually throughout Texas, helping people who are frustrated with dieting, change their relationship with food and their bodies. Learn more about our dietitians to see how you can find balance and develop long-term lifestyle habits, no guilt or obsession required.
Adrien Paczosa is a Registered and Licensed Dietitian practicing in Austin, Texas and the surrounding counties.
She is the owner and founder of I Live Well Nutrition her Dietitian practice which started in 2007 and serves clients in the Austin, Texas area in two locations. Fearless Practitioners, the division of her business that offers training to dietitians and wellness professionals.