Healthy Holidays

Tips to Avoid the Stress Around Holiday Eating

The holidays are a time for enjoying family, friends and festivities! However, for those who struggle with disordered eating, the holidays can lead to increased stress and anxiety in these social situations. Here are a few tips to help survive the holidays in a healthy way.

  1. Take time to do the things that you enjoy. The holidays can be hectic, but it is still important to take time for yourself. Do you enjoy going skating, having some time alone or reading a book? Plan these activities into your day the same way you would appointments.
  2. Stay hydrated! Carry a water bottle with you when you are running around doing errands or between festivities. This can help reduce the urge to eat when we are not hungry or to overeat at events.
  3. Bring a healthy or "safe food" potluck item to gatherings. If you are worried about what food options will be available at an event, offer to bring a contribution that you feel more comfortable eating. Don't worry, this is not rude to the host, it can be a very nice gift to recognize all their hard work.
  4. If you choose to drink alcohol, alternate between alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages throughout the evening. For example - water alternated with a wine. This helps reduce overall alcohol intake, keeps us hydrated, reduces the potential hangover, and helps us make better choices around food throughout the night. Remember, if you do choose to drink, please plan for a safe drive home.
  5. Do NOT skip meals in "preparation" for an evening feast. By restricting your intake or not eating when you are hungry and your body needs fuel, you set yourself up to overeat, binge or feel out of control around the eating situations later in the day. On the day of big events, continue to eat your healthy, balanced meals leading up to the event.
  6. Try to enjoy your food, mindfully. It is the holidays after all. If you favourite food is there, enjoy it! Slow down and savour that food. Remember, there is no need to feel guilty about enjoying a small portion of your favourite food. All foods can fit into a healthy, balanced diet plan.

Happy holidays from your team at InnerSolutions.

(Written by Jana Spindler, RD)

Learn more about Dietetics here.