Staying “On Track” This Holiday Season

December 3, 2021

By Chelsea Potter

Here’s the thing… I don’t believe in women depriving themselves. I believe in living your life, no matter your size, no matter your health situation, no matter if you are an emotional eater, you deserve enjoyment.

Food is amazing because not only is it powerful medicine and nourishment to our bodies, its also a way we connect, its a big part of family memories, culture and traditions. It’s also comfort, joy, and fun (what’s so wrong with that every once in awhile?!).

Living your life to the fullest means enjoying your food and enjoying optimal health and energy. You can have both, I promise.

So staying “on track” to me means finding balance and happiness.

Let’s explore ways we can find this balance:

1. Give yourself Permission

Yep I said it. I see this all the time, you restrict yourself from treats because you don’t trust yourself around them OR you think “cheating” even a little bit puts you back at square one with your goals. The restriction of these foods makes you want them more, and when you “give in” (because you aren’t going to go the rest of your entire life without eating a cookie), you feel guilty and crappy about your will power. Then you think-“well i’ve blown it anyway” and eat 5 more cookies. Sound familiar?

The flip side of this- you give yourself permission to enjoy a cookie. You savor and enjoy it without guilt. You feel satisfied and move on with your life.

2. Make some food allergy/sensitivity friendly treats (if applicable)

You might be thinking, giving yourself permission sounds great but I know certain foods make me feel…bleh. When I say give yourself permission, I mean allow yourself to have fun with food, and feeling crappy isn’t fun. So if you have allergies/sensitivities make sure you treat yourself to an allergy friendly version of your favorite holiday treats.

3. Ditch the guilt

Now this likely won’t happen overnight but a really important thing to work toward. Guilt is NOT a good motivator for moving your life in a better direction. And again, your enjoyment matters for your happiness and for your health-guilt only holds you back from that.

4. Eat enough

If I could give one health tip to every woman-make sure you are not under eating. I see intentional and unintentional under eating all the time. Eating enough throughout the day decreases cravings and helps you enjoy your sweets in moderation.

So don’t “save up your calories” so you can over indulge or cut back on calories later to punish yourself. Consistent nourishment throughout the day is key.

5. Put some clothes on your carbs

Cravings are a lot less intense (or non existent) when blood sugar is stable.

Blood sugar balance doesn’t mean avoiding carbs all together (I saw your mind going there), it means pairing them with protein, fat and fiber at each meal. Shoot for 20-30 grams of protein with meals and don’t forget to pair with protein with snacks and sweets as well.

6. Set boundaries when needed

The holidays are an excellent time to practice setting healthy boundaries with love.

This means setting boundaries around comments about your body and food choices. This also means, not feeling high maintenance for having food sensitivities. These boundaries allow for a more healthy relationship with food around the holidays and beyond.

7. Give yourself what you need for stress relief

Nothing like holiday stress to send emotional eating into a bit of a spiral (if this sounds like you, you are not alone). This could mean not spending time with stressful people, this could mean spending time alone when needed, or more time with chosen family. Could also mean more bubble baths and mental health days off work. You do you.

Enjoy your holiday sweet friends!