Guide to eating during the holidays

Oh, the end-of-year holidays can wreak havoc on your diet and meal plans. Your mind may be beset with thoughts of how to cope with the different foods that will be offered. Is there rumination about how can you truly delight in the foods that are comforting and close to your heart yet always lead to weight gain? Setting a plan to eat well-portioned selections and skip the sweet stuff at the end so as to absolve yourself of the decisions? Pinging between feeling deprived and punished at some of your choices? Balancing the pleasure next to the unforgiving guilty and remorseful voices within? How can you avoid engaging with foods that can trigger fear and terror, sadness and grief, and pain and suffering?

Here’s a guide to help you figure it all out – courtesy of Alex Raymond, dietitian with EmPowerEd Eating in Maryland. Get out your journal, laptop or notebook and jot your answers as you find your way toward contentment with your choices. Once you’ve completed this, let’s get together and talk about the parts of you that remain energized and unyielding so you can truly enjoy and engage in the connections to family and friends.

The following questions may be helpful to you throughout the holidays to create a plan for the most appropriate self-care around food and drink during the holidays.

 Describe the holidays:

  • Do you celebrate?
  • Which holidays?
  • Where do you usually go to celebrate?
  • Do you have a favorite tradition?
  • How is it to spend so much time with your family?
  • What is it like having food around?
  • Will there be work / school holiday parties?

What are your holidays goals? (These can be small or large goals.)

List 3 (or more) things you are looking forward to.

Describe these events and be as specific as you can as to why are you excited.

List 3 (or more) things that you anticipate will be a struggle and why they are so for you.

For each of these, consider establishing a plan.

Here are some suggestions to consider as you make your plan:

  • Who will be around?
  • How long is the event?
  • Where will it be held?
  • Do you know what kind of food will be offered?
  • Will there be dessert?
  • Will there be diet talk? Who will be engaging in this diet talk?
  • What can you do for self-care at the event?
  • Will there be options for you to meet the meal plan you’ve chosen for yourself?
  • How can you plan for what to eat?

Other notes, thoughts or ideas.

Gift of creativity – Happy Thanksgiving!
“Dry January”

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