Holiday Eating: It's About Enjoyment, Not Guilt

Holiday Eating: It's About Enjoyment, Not Guilt

Cookies, cakes, stuffing, sauces, and ham...It is easy to veer from healthy eating during the holidays. Instead of feeling holiday cheer, many of us end up feeling guilty.

There are ways to eat sensibly at this challenging time of year. But it is also important to enjoy yourself. If you eat a balanced diet most of the time, it is okay to indulge a bit. Food is a big part of socializing. Catch the spirit of joy with family and friends as you eat your favorite foods. Do not feel shame about what you eat.

Be Realistic

If you think you might eat too much, set a goal. Be reasonable and focus on what you accomplished. The holidays can be stressful enough. Do not add to your stress with guilt and unrealistic expectations.

Trying to lose weight during the holidays is not realistic. How about simply trying to maintain your weight at this time? Trying to please everyone else is not realistic either. Realize that you cannot do everything and be everywhere. Think about what is most important to you.

Consider the difference between fact and fiction. Gym memberships are going to be advertised through December. They will talk about holiday weight gain and inactivity. Guilt and shame will be used as selling tools. However, the average person gains only 1 to 2 pounds through the winter holidays. The problem is that most people do not shed that weight. It adds up over the course of several years.

This means you can breathe a bit easier. Think about how you would like to lose that pound or two. Or set a goal to maintain your weight during the holidays. You have heard it before: everything in moderation.

Balance Can Be Key

Here are some tips to help you get from Halloween to New Year's Day:

  • Do not skip meals before going to a party. Try to stick to your normal eating as much as possible.
  • Have a healthy snack ahead of time. This will help curb your hunger and keep you focused.
  • When you arrive, check out the food and alcohol. Then, make a plan.
  • Fill your plate with the good stuff first. Choose fruits, vegetables, or salad before the desserts.
  • Politely refuse food that you do not want.
  • Keep track of how much you drink. Alcohol adds more calories. Consider drinking water in between.
  • Think about that 1 or 2 pounds. If plan to indulge, cut back on something else.

Physical activity is also important. If you exercise, try to keep your normal routine. If you do not, take a walk around the block. Schedule 30 minutes to do some sort of activity. Do this on most days of the week. It is better to do something than nothing. Physical activity will help you maintain your weight. It can also help you feel better overall.

Remember, the holidays are meant to be fun. Do it on your own terms and leave the bad feelings behind.

RESOURCES:

American Society for Nutrition
http://www.nutrition.org
Eat Right—Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics
http://www.eatright.org

CANADIAN RESOURCES:

Public Health Agency of Canada
http://www.phac-aspc.gc.ca

References:

5 healthy eating tips for the holidays. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website. Available at: https://www.cdc.gov/diabetes/library/features/holidays-healthy-eating.html. Accessed October 29, 2021.
Food and eating: An anthropological perspective. Social Issues Research Centre website. Available at:
...(Click grey area to select URL)
Accessed October 29, 2021.
Tips for guilt-free holidays. Lifespan website. Available at: https://www.lifespan.org/lifespan-living/tips-guilt-free-holidays. Accessed October 29, 2021.
Last reviewed October 2021 by EBSCO Medical Review Board
Last Updated: 10/29/2021

EBSCO Information Services is fully accredited by URAC. URAC is an independent, nonprofit health care accrediting organization dedicated to promoting health care quality through accreditation, certification and commendation.

This content is reviewed regularly and is updated when new and relevant evidence is made available. This information is neither intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider prior to starting any new treatment or with questions regarding a medical condition.

To send comments or feedback to our Editorial Team regarding the content please email us at healthlibrarysupport@ebsco.com. Our Health Library Support team will respond to your email request within 2 business days.

Home |Terms and Conditions |Concerned About Privacy? |Accessibility |Careers |For Employers and Medical Plan Providers

You may also be looking for: CVS/pharmacy | MinuteClinic | Specialty Pharmacy | SilverScript | Accordant