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Your Holiday Eating Story

Nov 14, 2016 11:01AM ● By Daphne Olivier

The holiday season is here and brings with it many celebrations. It also brings a variety of foods that are crafted just for this season, and regrettably a tendency to overindulge. If your holiday eating story of the past is one that you’d like to re-write, now is your chance. No matter how you’ve handled the holidays in the past, this year you have the opportunity to maneuver through the season without the anguish of defeat. Here are some tips to assist you:

Set your intention of how you would like your story for the holidays to be written. Visualizing how you want to handle your eating habits during the holidays, with very clear detail, is the first step to practicing it. This also works for social gatherings. Before you arrive, complete the sentence, “I will be satisfied when I leave if (I limit my wine to two glasses, I don’t go back for seconds when my stomach is satisfied, or I enjoy the one dessert I can’t live without).”

Set yourself up for success during the holidays-be realistic in your expectations. Right now may not be the best time for you to plan or finish a project, start changes to your eating habits, or lose weight. On the other hand, the holidays are not a reason to wait until after the beginning of the new year to “get healthy.” Challenge yourself to do at least two things that are supportive of your health goals every day.

Leave the stuffing for the turkey. When you are no longer hungry, enjoy socializing away from the food table. Ask yourself if the second serving is really worth it. Consider how you will feel, both physically and mentally, after eating another serving.

Forget the all-or-nothing mindset. Depriving yourself of special holiday foods or feeling guilty when you do enjoy them isn’t a healthful strategy. Deprivation and guilt are not part of the holiday spirit. If Aunt Betty’s sweet potato casserole is something that you only get during Thanksgiving or your neighbor’s peppermint bark is something that you really look forward to, go ahead and enjoy it. However, be selective and leave behind the chocolate chip cookies that are always available.

Take the focus off of food. Turn candy and cookie making time into non-edible projects and fun such as arranging wreaths, ornament making, or a playing a killer game of UNO with the family. Plan group activities with family and friends that aren’t centered around food.

Make sleep a priority. Sleep is the time for your body to get refreshed, rejuvenated, and re-energized. Getting adequate sleep allows for you to make better decisions, especially when it comes to food choices. Make a plan and a priority for 7-8 hours of sleep every night.

Give back to the community. Everyone in our community can use some love. Giving back is an immediate way to warm your heart and soul.

About the author: Daphne Olivier is a food passionista, farm girl wanna-be, and registered yet unconventional dietitian with a private practice – My Food Coach. She focuses on unprocessed, real food and balancing the diet with your lifestyle. Visit her website at

Read more of Daphne's articles.