How To Survive Eating During the Holidays
If your holiday eating is chaotic and filled with shame, you might want to consider the intuitive eating approach.
If you’ve been dieting off and on for some time, you might feel pretty apprehensive about the upcoming holidays.
All your favorite foods laid out on one table….
- Family members who can’t resist talking about their latest diet
- Unlimited wine and cocktails….
- Family time that can leave you drained ….
Sometimes people find it hard to see just how stuck they are in their thought patterns.
And they are equally unable to see what is possible for them in the future.
But, I’m here to tell you that you CAN enjoy the holidays and enjoy holiday treats while still feeling physically and mentally fantastic!
Does this scenario at a holiday party feel familiar to you?
You walk into your friend’s annual holiday party, feeling a bit anxious because the dress you had planned to wear is a bit snug, but there’s no way you’re going to spend more on a new dress. You embarked on a quick diet (just for this week to lose a few pounds!) so you’ve been limiting carbs most of the week. You’re a little hungry as you walk into the party, but, heck, you can handle a little hunger! You’ve done that plenty of times before.
“Focus on the conversation” is your mantra for the evening.
For a while you enjoy seeing so many friends that you don’t even notice your hunger. You’re feeling pretty good – “you’ve got this!”
But then something happens:
Perhaps its a plate of brownies or a special cookie your friend makes.
“I can have one” you say.
“I’ve been so good all week.”
You pop it into your mouth and suddenly you feel the flood gates open.
“I’ve blown it,….again!”
“I can start again tomorrow,” you say. Since you’re off your diet today, you might as well eat all the treats you want tonight.
(Or perhaps you don’t eat anything at the party, but you raid the fridge when you get home.
You might snap at your spouse when they ask what you’re doing eating so much…)
As you lay down to sleep, you are filled with feelings of guilt, shame and inadequacy.
How did I do this again?!?! I can’t even follow a diet for a week!!
Can you relate to feeling like this??
I know there was a time when I could.
Let me paint you a drastically different picture.
One that you could be yours during the holidays too….
You’re so excited for the upcoming holiday party.
Life is so busy and you don’t get to see your friends all the time. A night out is so much fun to look forward to.
You know, from attending this party for years, that there will be lots of finger food, but that it’s not a full meal, so when hunger strikes you at 5pm, you plan a snack with a few different food groups to tide you over.
You feel confident in your outfit because it fits your body so well.
(No pinching or Spanx needed…) You look AND feel great, even though you don’t weigh the same as you did in college.
As you walk into the party, feeling so confident, you find some friends and begin to catch up.
As the appetizers pass by, you choose to try a couple. (One doesn’t taste as great as it looks, and you’ve become discriminating, so you wrap it up in a napkin and toss it away.)
The dessert table looks so alluring. You remember how delicious those peppermint chocolate cookies were from last year (when you had 5!). But, you scored the recipe and you’ve had them a few times since.
They are DELICIOUS! And you know you can have them anytime you want.
But even though you LOVE those cookies, you’ve had them enough and you know they’re always there.
So, you eat ONE cookie, bite by bite. You want a little bit more so you take a second, have a bite and then feel satisfied. You toss the rest in the trash, feeling completely satisfied.
You enjoy the rest of the evening socializing and feeling pleasantly satisfied
When you get in bed that night, you and your spouse happily exchange stories from the party.
You fall asleep thinking about your next party the following week. You enjoy the rest of your weekend.
Which scenario sounds more like the way you currently experience holiday gatherings?
Do you feel miserable with your current situation but not sure how to change without negative consequences?
When women reach out to me to consider ditching diets, they often have so many questions and doubts.
After so many attempts at dieting, they’re often scared:
“Will this really work for me??”
“I know you have worked with women who don’t crave sweets anymore, but that is never going to be me!”
Some women aren’t ready to take the leap yet, and that’s ok.
But for those who make the choice and put in the work, I’ve yet to have one woman who hasn’t found that their compulsion for their forbidden foods has faded away.
They are able to enjoy ALL social situations.
So, where will you be on January 1? Or in 6 months?
Are you sick and tired of being stuck in the rut of the “Before” scenario?
Curious about what your “After” could look like?
What kind of person do you want to be?
Would you love to shed the stress you are feeling around food and your body? Does the second scenario sound like a dream come true?
That’s why women hire me, an Intuitive Eating dietitian, to help them change their habits so they can get out of the diet rut.
So many women shy away from 1:1 work during the busy holiday season.
But, I also know how much value there is in getting help in dealing with these holiday eating experiences. They can be stressful and chaotic, and you can end up feeling pretty bad about yourself during a time that you should be happy and having a great time.
If you’re curious about what it’s like to work with a dietitian like me, apply for coaching today. You don’t need to remain stuck in the same pattern year after year!
Afraid you’ll fail at Intuitive Eating? Here’s what one of my former clients has to say about our work together:
“Before meeting I felt very negative about my body image and like it was something that was broken and needed fixing. I was very focused on my body and had a very complex relationship with food and felt like health was a thing of the past. I found myself struggling the most with feeling like I needed to lose weight and that I was completely out of control with my food choices.
I feel much better about myself overall. I stop assuming that any problems I have are weight related and finding myself focusing more and more on simply making choices that will make me feel good (vs. choices that supposedly = weight loss). As a result of our work I’m able to eat food and recognize when I’m content. I don’t need to measure things or portion control. I’m able to stop when comfortably full and can’t think of the last time I was stuffed…
Don’t hesitate to reach out if you find yourself struggling…” — Nicole V.
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.”