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  • Writer's pictureAmanda Nicole RDN

4 Tips for Healthy Holiday Eating

For many of us the Holidays feel different due to the pandemic of COVID-19. This can add an extra layer of stress to this time. Many of us cope with stress and sadness with food. Eating food may potentially be a problematic way to cope with stress. There are other ways to manage stress that can be more helpful. It is important to practice mindfulness and self-care during the Holiday Season to ensure you are taking care of yourself, especially as we continue to endure the pandemic. Whether you are able to have small intimate gatherings or are planning on spending the Holidays alone, these tips will help you have a healthy, more cheerful Holiday Season.

Practice Mindful Eating

You can enjoy your favorite Holiday foods and desserts by practicing moderation and mindfulness. Here are my top tips to eat the foods you love without guilt and shame. Also, these tips will teach you how to cope with emotional eating during the Holidays.

1. Before eating, take a moment to ask yourself “How hungry am I?”

2. Use the hunger fullness scale to listen to your body and fuel it with what it needs.

  • Avoid waiting to eat at a 1 and 2 level. At a 1 and 2, you may feel irritable, tired, and fatigue. You may overeat at a 1 or 2 level, due to eating too fast for your body to know that you are full. Prevent this by having healthy snacks in between meals.

  • Start eating around the 3 and 4 level. You have a green light to eat. Eat slowly and mindfully to know when your body is full.

  • When you are at a 5 start to slow down eating. You have a yellow light to slow down.

  • Stop eating at the 6 and 7 level. At 6 and 7, your body is full, but not overstuffed. You have a red light to stop eating.

  • Avoid eating to the 8-10 level. When you eat to 8-10 you may feel tired, bloated, and uncomfortable.

3. How to cope with emotional eating:

  • Ask yourself, “Am I hungry?” “What am I feeling?” and “What do I need?” to assess your level of hunger and how you are feeling emotionally.

  • If you are not actually hungry, try doing one of these activities that can help you manage stress:

  1. Do something physically active, like going on a walk or stretching exercises

  2. Call or FaceTime a friend or family member

  3. Journal or read a book

  • If you are actually hungry, eat!

4. Managing stress and anxiety without food:

  • Try yoga to focus on your breathing and center yourself

This YouTube channel has hundreds of yoga videos on varying lengths, levels, and needs

  • Try meditating to clear your mind

This meditation app has guided meditations to help you refocus your mind

  • Get in a good workout to release energy

This app has body weight workouts from 7 minutes to longer that do not require any equipment

  • Breathe deeply for 30 seconds

This will help you come down from feeling anxious and the breath app on the apple watch and iPhone are great to guide you

Finding time for yourself is so important, especially during the busy Holiday Season. Taking a few minutes to check in with yourself and focus on what you need in that moment will help you practice moderation and keep your stress and anxiety under control. I hope you find these tips helpful to practice mindfulness and self-care during the Holidays and year-round!

I hope you’re staying safe and well during this time. As always, feel free to reach out to me if you have any questions about the post. I offer a six-month nutrition coaching program to help individuals achieve their nutritional goals. If you’re interested in learning more go to my link below.

Let’s create a great year for 2021 together!

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