Holiday Eating (November 2019 Focus on Food Article)

Picture of Miriam

Hi my fitness family,

One of the most curious things I hear from people is “oh I was so bad at the potluck; I’ll be good tomorrow”. They don’t recognize that there is nothing to feel bad about. Eating enjoyable foods is normal, not something to pay penance or do some restriction games for the next week or feel shame about.

The issue is that when we have a “good vs bad” belief system about food, or believe higher energy foods (foods with high fat, carbs, or sugar) make us gain weight, we tend to not eat what we might like or not eat in an attuned way.

So when we are around higher energy foods + foods that have special significance + when we have been restricting physically or mentally, AND we are in higher stress situations, eating can become wild— then we feel really bad.

Listen, it doesn’t have to be that way!

Here are some steps to help this holiday season:

holiday food
If you are not already, stop restricting. Restricting will cause a deficit that will inevitably need to be filled. And as I can attest, and maybe you would too, we don’t tend to binge on broccoli.

Break down foods for what they are. Every food is made from protein, carbs, and fat. If we don’t make the carbs and fat in sugar cookies any different than quinoa and kale, and pay attention to the feedback of hunger, fullness, and satisfaction, we can eat what is “just right” versus all or nothing. Does that ring a bell?

Self Care. If you are not taking enough time to restore yourself with exercise regularly (daily movement is best), getting outside, connecting with people (in a deep way), relaxation time (hello Netflix), quality sleep, and over doing it with the spending, you might eat to try to self soothe.

And remember, it is normal to enjoy food! When we can pick the best available versus getting full of what we don’t want (and then picking, slivering, and eating in secret), our bodies naturally handle all foods from a weight perspective as they need to maintain equilibrium. And don’t “polite eat” at dinner parties. It’s just not body-honoring.

Commit to not restrict, but eat mostly from hunger and fullness.

thanksgiving scripts
Don’t make food more powerful – delicious yes, but not special/magical weight gain food.

And if you need more support to navigate the fear mongering around food, unhelpful comments, or tenuous family circumstances, consider scheduling a nutrition counseling with me!

Peace and love,

Miriam (MPH, RD, CPT, Certified Intuitive Eating Counselor)
Studio SWEAT Dietitian

Resource: Tracy Brown RD, Somatic Nutrition and Body Image Coach