by Annie Wang, M.A. Psychology
Ah, the holidays. The time of the year that we are very tempted to overeat holiday comfort food, grab an extra helping of dinner, drink an extra creamy cocktail and snack on more sweets than we intend to. While we face nutritional and diet challenges during this season, depriving yourself of treats can actually backfire: you may overeat one food because of deprivation of another or you start to feel guilty when you do “break.” You may even be overly pre-occupied with what you are and aren’t eating.
Here’s the good news: I don’t believe in deprivation but rather mindful or intuitive eating instead and building a healthy relationship of inner peace with food. It’s all about learning to enjoy and eat food without guilt, anxiety, discomfort or fear about being judged by others. Here are some tips for happy holiday meals:
- Savor your meal and take your time.
- Do you still feel hungry? Enjoy a second serving without guilt, savoring and taking your time consuming this meal just as you did the first time.
- Listen to your body and how your body responds to different foods. Maybe you’ll avoid the mashed potatoes for your second helping because it made your stomach feel uncomfortable. Or, perhaps you didn’t like the texture.
- It’s okay to say “no” or say “no thanks, maybe later” when you feel full or are offered food you do not want to eat. Even if it’s an extremely fancy sous vide turkey.
- You have the right to not talk about diets or weight during the holidays, and ask for support.
- Enjoy your food without guilt. Building a healthy relationship with food takes time, and sometimes it takes years of work with your nutritionist, dietitian and/or therapist.
Want more tips from Annie? Check out her Fit Foodies Workout Plan and follow her on social media!