5 Holiday Nutrition Tips: How to Enjoy Holiday Parties Guilt Free
Updated: Dec 27, 2022
As much as we all love the holiday parties, endless cookies, and seasonal drinks, at this time of year, there is a stressful stigma with “gaining weight” and “falling off track.”
Often the media tells us how to “AVOID these,” “WATCH OUT for that,” and “WORK HARD before you eat those.” It’s easy to want to set unrealistic expectations about trying to lose a whole bunch of weight or cut out holiday sweets altogether.
Restriction/dieting is a well-known trigger for binge eating. Withholding yourself permission to enjoy your favorite foods can lead to overeating, stress, and uncomfortable feelings pertaining to food.
This stress associated with the holidays takes away your joy and prevents you from enjoying food - shame and guilt-free!
Rather than listen to all the noise, think mindfully about balance and inclusion instead!
Here are 5 tips to keep you healthy this holiday season (body and mind):
1️. Avoid Over-Eating By Eating Often
Think Breakfast: Eat a normal breakfast and stay on track with your normal meal times as much as possible.
Saving your daily calories for one meal often ends in overeating. This is because low blood sugars tell our bodies to eat.
When cues of hunger are ignored, it causes intense cravings, and mindfulness of satiety goes out the window.
2️. Water is Your Friend
Our body is 80% water. It’s the key to most metabolic reactions in our body to take place! Not to mention we often confuse our thirst for hunger.
A good rule of thumb is to drink half your body weight (lbs) in ounces of water. Since we tend not to be as thirsty in colder weather, try hot water with herbal tea or slices of lemon!
3️. Leftovers are NOT for Quitters But Thinkers!
There is no need to eat all the food as if you’ll never have it again, honor your hunger and watch your portions. There’s always the next meal or the next day to enjoy your delicious favorite foods again.
4. Practice Food Freedom
Food is food. It all fuels our body, whether it’s a cup of fruit or a piece of apple pie your body is going to break down those carbs either way and use them for energy. All foods fit into a balanced lifestyle!
5. Be Mindful of Liquid Calories
Spiked apple cider, chestnut praline latte, peppermint mocha, etc, etc! Delicious beverages bring nostalgia to the season; however, they do come with extra calories that add up easily but don't satisfy hunger or necessarily thirst.
This doesn't mean you need to NEVER drink them, just be aware and mindful of the amount consumed.
Tip: Ask your local barista to add half the amount of syrup or substitute half with a sugar-free sweetener, you still get the flavor but half the sugar!
By focusing on purposeful and mindful nutrition, you can create a “yes” mindset to food rather than “no’s” that make you feel restricted
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1. Stice E, Burger K, Yokum S. Caloric deprivation increases responsivity of attention and reward brain regions to intake, anticipated intake, and images of palatable foods. Neuroimage. 2013;67:322-330.
2. Introducing mindful eating. The Center for Mindful Eating website. http://www.thecenterformindfuleating.org/IntroMindfulEating