The holidays can be a stressful time, especially when we think about food. That’s why I want to offer my top 5 tips for stress free holiday eating!
During the holidays, increased stress combined with ample indulgences available, can lead people to lose focus of their healthy eating goals with the mindset that they will “start fresh” in January. This mindset can lead to increased intake since psychologically you think that these foods will be restricted from your diet starting in January.
So, how can we approach the holidays differently this year while still enjoying holiday treats?
- Eat regular meals. With the hustle and bustle, it is still important to take the time to eat regular meals every 4-5 hours. Skipping meals leads to increased cravings and overeating later in the day. Also, if you have a dinner planned, it is still important to eat balanced meals leading up to these events. “Saving calories” for later in the day backfires and also causes increased portions.
- Don’t forget your veggies! Incorporate veggies at lunch and supper, but also try to find fun ways to include them in events to have with dips or appetizers.
- Self care. Take the time for self care to help with stress levels. Whether it is mediation, getting outside, puzzles, baths or exercise. Stress plays a direct role in our food choices and cravings.
- Be picky. If you are presented with a spread of goodies, it is okay to be picky and only choose the ones you TRULY enjoy.
- Eat slow & savour. Chew your food well, and actually enjoy the foods you are eating. When we take the time to eat mindfully, we are often satisfied with smaller portions.
Working with a dietitian in December can help you to feel confident with your eating over the holidays and start 2021 feeling your best. I hope that these 5 tips for stress free holiday eating help you navigate your food choices over the coming weeks.
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Jill Reid, RD