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12 Ways to Listen to Your Body This Holiday Season

It's a week from Thanksgiving! Gratitude is in the air. There's lots to be grateful for and also the holidays can be overwhelming all at the same time. Can you make the choice this year to not take holiday stress out on food or your body?

Here are "12 ways to Listen to Your Body this Holiday Season."

1. When embarking into this holiday season, don’t sit with the “my diet starts January 1st” mindset.

  • Anticipation of starvation can cause binge eating and an over consumption of food.

  • This is called, “last supper syndrome” eating.

2. Make sure you are not “saving up” for dinner.

  • If you have plans for a holiday dinner, be sure to eat three meals that day, just like any normal day.

  • Make sure you focus on feeling satiated with a range of proteins, carbs and fats.

  • If you go into the meal famished, there’s a high chance you will feel stuffed when it’s over.

3. Think about how you want your body to feel after your meals.

  • For “family style” eating, scan all the options and then decide what would both look good and feel good to eat.

  • Don't deprive yourself of dessert or anything else, If you are saying no to a food, ask yourself if you will feel restricted if you don't have the food (understand the why behind it!)

  • Take passed hours devours or appetizers all on one plate to prevent feeling out of control

4. Create a check-in point.

  • Half way through your meal, check in with fullness so you can make sure you stay attuned

  • Take a time out during dinner to pause and check in, but by no means stop at half way!

5. Look out for binge eating risks around the feelings that come up when you are exposed to foods you generally have once a year.

  • Try not to have “single opportunity” eating.

  • Save some for left overs the next day or freeze them!

  • The food also doesn’t taste as good after you are full, so remind yourself that you won’t enjoy it at 100% either.

6. Catch your labels and I don't mean the nutrition labels! Don't label your Holiday food as "good and bad."

  • Christmas cookies aren't BAD. Stuffing isn't BAD. ALL FOODS HAVE FUNCTIONS!

  • Believing that you are a bad person for eating a “bad food” could put you at risk for overeating or binge eating based on guilt and shame.

7. You don’t have to “obligatory eat.”

  • If “Aunt Karen” has made her best apple pie and wants you to have some, but you are full, and not in the mood, you have every right to turn it down.

  • Take a piece and save it for later, if it feels too uncomfortable to fully turn down.

8. PAUSE and Re-set!

  • If you find yourself turning to food at a relative’s house (or your own) between meal times when you are not hungry, use an “exit strategy” to take yourself out of the kitchen and give yourself a healthy space to self sooth and re-set.

  • Emotional eating is a red flag that you have a need that is not being met or an emotion not being felt!

  • Focus on meeting your needs this holiday season.

9. Make sure you sit in a peaceful eating environment.

  • Avoid talking and eating.

  • Put your fork down while having a conversation to prevent mindless eating.

  • Your eating environment is the sounds you hear, the temperature you're in, the colors you see, the people you're around etc.

10. Don’t let your body image come in the way of making memories.

  • Buy new clothes you feel comfortable in to wear to holiday meals.

  • Focus on gratitude.

  • Focus on the things you are grateful your body can do instead of what you dislike about your body.

  • Meet your basic needs even during a busy time. Pencil in self care.

  • Focus on having meaningful conversations with friends and family instead of on how you look.

11. Get up and get out!

  • Go on family walks.

  • Enjoy being active with the family in the special time you have together.

  • Use your time off of work to do the movement you love but don’t have time to do, day-to-day.

  • MOVE because you WANT to, not to work off the food you ate.

12. You can drink intuitively.

  • If you’re choosing to have a drink, have one that tastes good to you when you are actually in the mood for it.

  • Think about how your body is feeling as you drink.

  • You don't need to drink just because everyone around you is.

Enjoy yourself this Holiday Season. Stay attuned. If the Holiday's are bringing up eating behaviors you don't like for yourself, please reach out. I would be happy to work together to help you have a healthy relationship with food and listen to your body this holiday season.

Call Julie Rothenberg MS, RD, LDN at 954-655-8543 or email for more info.

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