What You Need To Know About Guilt-Free Holiday Eating
Updated: Jan 11
The holiday season has arrived. Thanksgiving, Friends-givings, Christmas, Hanukkah, Kwanzaa, New Years -- and all the festivities in between.
It’s a time of tradition, family, friends, faith, and often… indulgence.
We eat up and soak up all the holiday fun and wake up in January with a hangover of guilt and regret -- and feel like we need to punish ourselves with a “new year new me” diet.
Do you relate?
That’s exactly what the diet industry wants you to feel.
Diet culture LOVES to take this opportunity to make some money off of you! They lure you in by *promising* fast results with a whole list of rules and restrictions for your post-holiday New Year diet. And, before you even hit spring, you can't believe you ended up right back where you started. You gain the weight back, you lose your confidence, and you feel defeated like you wasted time, energy, and money on another diet.
Let's take a different approach this year. How about something more sustainable that won't takeaway any of your joy, so you can eat your holiday meals without worrying about gaining
weight. You CAN have your holiday cake (pie?), and eat it too!
How does that sound?
Here’s why you might feel stress, shame or guilt around holiday eating: The holiday foods you love only come around once a year so there’s a “last supper” mentality around it. You might think: “Thanksgiving is my chance to eat EVERYTHING I’ve been depriving myself of”, so you feel like you need to eat as much of it as possible -- maybe feeling physically sick and exhausted afterwards.
Diet culture wants you to believe that eating more than your body needs will INSTANTLY lead to weight gain and bad health. That’s just not true. Your body can handle a few days of extra food, you WON’T gain 5 pounds overnight -- you’ll be OK! You might not feel your best for a few hours, but your body is designed to digest, detox, and bounce back natural
ly (no expensive juices, teas, or pills required).
I know talk shows and articles are going to be popping up about how to ‘avoid weight gain’ and ‘overeating’ during the holidays. There will be messages on how to “restrict” before big meals, or how to “burn them off” afterwards.
The diet industry has made us believe that restricting before a big meal is healthy, but again it’s NOT TRUE!
You don’t need to earn or burn off your holiday meals. You don’t need to let diet culture take away the joys of the holiday season or add any extra stress to your plate.
In fact, deprivation actually leads to MORE cravings and MORE overeating! If you do avoid food all day, your body physiologically is set up to binge later because your body thinks you’re unsafe and starving. Limiting food, a basic human need, puts your brain into a “hyper-focused” state until it finally gets enough food to function again.
We need to face diet culture head on in order to overcome it. I know it’s so deeply rooted in our society. So many people have been restricting and following food rules for so long that the idea of letting them go can be scary. But, if you’re worried letting yourself eat what you want will lead to overeating, remember that restricting your eating could have the same result plus, all that guilt and shame.
So this year, how about you take a NEW approach?
What if you just ate the food you’re excited to eat during the holidays, and just move on after? Eat knowing it’s OK that you ate foods you don’t normally eat, it’s OK that the foods aren’t super nutrient-dense, and it’s OK if you ate more than you usually eat. No overthinking, no guilt, no stress, no shame, just enjoy every bite of tradition and nostalgia and joy with your loved ones.
Reframing how you think about these holiday feasts will help you feel more in control, and in return feel free around food.
The holiday season is a great time to try out intuitive eating. Intuitive eating focuses on nurturing your body instead of depriving it. It’s taking the steps to unlearn what diet culture has drilled into your head.
It’s difficult to do all of this unlearning on our own. I love supporting my clients with this so they can quit the shame and guilt around eating, and finally enjoy special events and holidays. I’ve watched so many clients break free from the “all or nothing” food and diet mentality and finally achieve a consistent weight, release their fear and stress around eating, and feel confident in their bodies!
I know we can all use a little more support in this, especially during the holidays, that’s why I’m offering a FREE 30 minute Food & Body Freedom Assessment Call. On this call we’ll create action steps you can start taking this week so you can FINALLY quit the food guilt, quit dieting once and for all, reach your ideal weight in a way that feels GOOD, so you can finally feel confident in your skin. So are you ready to have your cake (pie!) and eat it, too? Book your free call here.
Let’s celebrate this holiday season without the guilt and shame around food, so you can focus more on the joy and less on the stress!