Are you tired of the constant cycle of chronic dieting or struggling with disordered eating during the holiday season?
Our entire team of dietitians and Intuitive Eating specialists understand the challenges you face, and we are here to help you navigate the holidays without focusing on diets or restricting food.
Imagine feeling a sense of peace and joy during this time, free from food chaos and stress.
Imagine not worrying about all the family meals and holiday gatherings that come in full force every December and January.
Imagine, not panicking at the thought of sitting next to “Aunt Jennifer” who always comments about your food or your weight. She means well, but those comments sting.
This is possible when you have your Holiday Toolkit of Strategies and tips to help you manage the holidays without falling off the wagon and reverting to your old ways.
We know it’s stressful, but we also know that a peaceful holiday season is possible. We help our clients manage these challenging times all year round!
Our team put together a list of 12 invaluable tips to help you manage the holidays with confidence and embrace a healthier relationship with food. We want you to have a joyful holiday season and not panic when it comes to joining family and friends for all the special meals that come during the holidays.
Here are 12 tips to help chronic dieters or individuals with eating disorders or disordered eating manage the holidays without focusing on diets or restricting food:
- Embrace the concept that all foods fit: Remember that there are no “good” or “bad” foods. Allow yourself to enjoy a variety of foods without guilt or restriction.
- Practice mindfulness: Take a deep breath and survey the scene. Choose the foods that appeal to you and savor them. Pay attention to your body’s cues of hunger and fullness.
- Show self-compassion: Be kind to yourself and remember that recovering from chronic dieting or disordered eating is a process. If you eat emotionally or more than you intended (or find yourself eating less than you know you should), acknowledge it as a normal response to stress and an opportunity to practice new skills.
- Avoid diet talk and body comments: During holiday gatherings, steer clear of discussing diets, weight, or commenting on others’ bodies. Focus on more interesting and meaningful conversations.
- Find alternative compliments: Instead of complimenting people based on their appearance, find other ways to appreciate them, such as their kindness, intelligence, or talents.
- Distract from food post-meal: Engage in activities that distract from food, such as going for a walk, playing cards, or listening to music. Connect with loved ones and express gratitude for the good things in your life.
- Mentally prepare and visualize your plate: Work with your support team to strategize for the holiday. If you have a meal plan, follow it and visualize how you want your plate to look.
- Challenge negative thoughts: Recognize and challenge negative thoughts or beliefs about food and your body. Remind yourself that it’s okay to enjoy holiday meals without guilt or judgment. Replace negative thoughts with positive affirmations that promote self-acceptance and body positivity.
- Bring a dinner buddy: Consider having a friend or family member sit close to you for moral support during the meal.
- Practice self-care: You matter too! Prioritize rest, unfollow social media accounts that promote dieting or negative body image, and remember that recovery takes time and patience.
- Create a self-care plan: Prioritize self-care activities during the holiday season. This can include practicing relaxation techniques, engaging in hobbies you enjoy, or spending quality time with loved ones. Taking care of your mental and emotional well-being can help reduce food-related stress.
- Seek support: Reach out to a dietitian, therapist, or counselor for guidance and encouragement during the holiday season. Having a support system can provide you with the necessary tools to navigate challenging situations and maintain a positive mindset.
Remember, everyone’s journey is unique, and it’s important to prioritize your well-being during the holiday season.
Seek professional help, if needed, and allow yourself to experience peace and joy during this time, free from food chaos and stress. It really is possible, but for some folks, that added support is one of the only ways to get through these challenging times.
By implementing these 12 tips, you can transform your holiday experience. Embrace a new approach to eating, focusing on self-acceptance and body positivity.
If you’re ready to experience a peaceful and joyous holiday season but need some help, book a discovery call today with Erica and we can determine where you are with your own food journey and which one of your team members is the best person to support you on your path from food chaos to food – and holiday – peace!
Not quite ready to talk… check out some of our free resources to help you manage the food chaos and find peace with your body and food, too!
Erica Leon is a Registered Dietitian and practices from a Health at Every Size (HAES®) lens. She and her team of eating disorder specialists and Anti-Diet Dietitians provide insurance-based care for eating disorders, disordered eating, chronic dieting, or other health conditions in a safe and non-judgmental space for healing.
We work virtually with our clients from our offices in Westchester County in New York as well as the tri-state areas of New York, New Jersey, and Connecticut, along with Florida, California, Wisconsin, Iowa, Texas, and Vermont. We are in-network with the following insurance companies: Aetna, Cigna, and United Healthcare; including Oxford, UMR, and The Empire Plan (NYSHIP).
We take the time to learn where you or your family are in the pursuit of health. Respectful of your individual needs and lifestyle, Erica will provide an honest assessment of whether or not you are a good fit to work together. Click here to schedule a 15-minute Discovery Call with Erica to let us know about your needs, and to see which of our Dietitians is the best fit for you!