The holidays used to bring up a lot of food shame and negative body image for me. I felt out of control around all the Christmas cookies and treats, and would end up feeling guilty for overeating. That food guilt always led to feelings of unworthiness about my body.
Not exactly the merry feelings I wanted to experience during the holidays! As I began to heal my relationship with food and my body, I discovered some super simple ways to make the holidays healthier and feel more empowered around food.
No deprivation necessary, of course! That’s not my thing. I want to be able to enjoy some wine and some cookies during the holidays, and I know you do too. These tips are truly simple!
- Only eat what you absolutely love. This simple tip has been life changing for me. I used to mindlessly eat anything that was around during the holidays. But when I began, consciously, skipping the foods that are available year round, passing on store-bought goodies and avoiding food that I don’t love, it helped me to eat less and enjoy the foods I did eat even more. This is a practice I work with my health coaching clients on, and they’ve also made significant changes during the holidays and all year long!
- Don’t deprive yourself. If you avoid all of your favorite holiday treats, you’ll more than likely end up bingeing later or just feel like you missed out. Eating a few cookies, having a glass of egg nog, or enjoying a piece of pie isn’t going to derail your progress or cause weight gain.
- Bring your own healthier dishes. Many holiday dinners are full of creamy casseroles and cheesy side dishes, and there aren’t many lighter options. Take along a winter kale salad, a lightened up sweet potato casserole, or some delicious roasted vegetables. Having some vegetables to fill up on will allow you to crowd out some of the other heavier dishes. Try my recipes for Super Healthy Cranberry Sauce, Pesto Caesar Kale Salad with Cranberries and Almonds, and Roasted Winter Vegetables.
- Stay hydrated. With all the wine or egg nog flowing, it’s easy to forget to drink water. But the more tipsy you are, the more likely you’ll be to mindlessly munch. Have a glass of water along with the alcoholic drink that you have, and go back and forth between your water and booze. And maybe choose less caloric drinks like wine, beer or vodka and soda water with lemon. This Cranberry Pear Bellini or Cranberry Kombucha Cocktail are also a good options!
- Move on. You’ll more than likely eat a little more than you usually do on a holiday, and that’s ok. Enjoy the foods and drinks that you have, and move on. No need to dwell on that extra cookie you had before bed or the second helping of green bean casserole you added to your plate. One day of eating isn’t going make you gain weight. But if you hold onto that guilt, it could lead to eating emotionally later and it could be harder to get back to healthy eating.
What are your favorite tips for staying healthy during the holidays? Share in the comments!
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