Intuitive Eating During the Holidays
Thanksgiving is less than a week away!
The holiday season can present so many challenges related to our relationship with food. There’s travel, family dynamics to navigate, and so many parties to attend.
Whether you’ve already begun your Intuitive Eating journey or perhaps have just started learning about it, there are things you can do during this busy season that can help you move closer to food peace.
As always, I preach curiosity over judgement and self-compassion over criticism. You can’t use self-loathing to move towards a better place.
Here are some strategies to help you navigate potentially sticky situations, collected from my experiences and those of my clients:
- If you find that too much close family time leaves you eating to soothe negative emotions or anxiety, plan some alone time daily for an activity you love, and put in place the supports you need to make it happen.
- If you find that days of travel have you eating foods you don’t even like just to keep you going, try some advance planning. Do some research on airport restaurants/shops, pack some food for your road trip, toss some nuts or dried fruit in your bag in case there are unexpected delays. Anticipating your needs is an element of self-care, something we all need!
- If you are working on making peace with forbidden foods, parties and holiday dinner tables can be stressful. Taking a minute to stop and give yourself permission to eat these foods – in your head is probably best! 🙂 – brings you another step closer towards normalizing these foods.
- If things don’t go as you planned, reflect on the situation with curiosity. There is really no sense in holding on to negative experiences and emotions. All of our experiences teach us valuable lessons, and the holiday season gives us so many experiences from which we can learn.
- And in this season of gratitude, take a deep breath before you begin each meal to appreciate the food you have. Savor the smells and sights before you take that first bite. Remember, we get satisfaction from all our senses!
I wish you and your family a Thanksgiving!
Kelly Abramson MS, RD is a dietitian and Certified Intuitive Eating Counselor who works with clients in Alexandria, VA and virtually via telehealth. She guides women as they break free from dieting to find joy in food and their bodies. Kelly blogs regularly at NpowerYou.com and has created a free e-book for download, “7 Steps to Overcome Stress Eating.”