I hope you will embrace the spirit of the season and recognize that holiday parties are about celebration and connection. The food and the drinks are necessary and just more festive right now. Still, it’s just food that we can eat any time of year. Don’t get distracted. Allow yourself to enjoy the festivities and the company of loved ones, without making your focus on food 🍰. It’s time to jingle and mingle and take advantage of the fun activities 😜.
Plan accordingly for a party, be hungry when you eat. Eating is something everyone must do, keep your focus on being hungry and eat what you love (and eat what loves you back). Consider bringing a dish you love to share, ensuring there's something you know you'll eat and enjoy. Prioritize your well-being at the party, while also allowing yourself to eat normally. Be hungry when you eat, start with half, trusting the other half will be there when you are hungry for it. Sometimes we eat things we don’t normally eat, that okay, it’s normal. Move on. Be intentional with the six simple rules. If you can’t hit them all one day, make it happen the next. Forgive yourself if you get off track (and then get right back on).
Practice mindful eating by honoring what your body needs when it needs it: don’t forget to eat slowly, savor each bite, pay attention to your body's hunger and your fullness cues, and stop eating when you're comfortably satisfied. Avoid distractions that can lead to mindless overeating. In chapter 9 of my book, This Is What You're Really Hungry For, I mention having a rebound bag in case you need a quick reset. These items can help you stay grounded and in the moment. (Aromatherapy, a mini toothbrush, lip gloss, or hand sanitizer. ) You can also apply the 15-minute rule here. Just like with food, sometimes we just need a minute to regroup.
Maintain perspective and remember, that one day of eating more than you need doesn't derail your overall healthy habits. Focus on balance and enjoyment, rather than guilt or restriction.
Prioritize non-food activities: Engage in conversations, participate in fun party games, or simply enjoy the festive atmosphere. Shift your focus from food to the social and celebratory aspects of the event. And allow yourself some grace.
Focus on self-compassion, and if it’s more than you intended, practice bringing your mind back to this moment. You know the same time zone your body is in. This is being mindful and knowing where your mind is without judgment. Acknowledge it, learn from it, and recommit to the six simple rules the next day. Remember, progress is not linear.
If you are offered food, don’t label them as “rewards, desserts, treats", instead label them as food, check in with your body, be hungry if you are going to eat them, start with half or politely decline with a simple "Thank you, I'm all set." You don't need to explain or justify your choices to anyone. You got this!
By adopting these strategies, you can navigate holiday parties with a calm and mindful approach, allowing you to enjoy the festivities without succumbing to food-related stress. Remember, it's all about balance, self-compassion, and focusing on the true spirit of the season.
Happy holidays! 🥂
If you find yourself struggling with food anxieties, reach out to a trusted friend, an RD, a family member, or a healthcare professional for guidance and support.