Eating healthfully during the holidays seems like an impossible task. What is “healthful eating” anyway? It means no white foods, drink only kale smoothies, and if it tastes good, don’t eat it, right? Wrong. There is a great deal of misinformation about what it means to eat healthy.
Healthful eating is not a restrictive diet plan filled with tasteless, joyless foods, but a mindset and lifestyle that incorporates a balance of all foods. Healthful eating means balance and establishing a healthy relationship with food. Love the donut and love the apple, shamelessly and guilt-free.
Many times, my clients are so worried about gaining weight during the holidays, and because they are so weight focused, they miss out on the joy of eating. Take the taboo out of your holiday favorites and allow yourself to enjoy them mindfully. Meaning, allow yourself to eat a moderate amount until you are comfortably full. Don’t feel that you can’t have a taste – deprivation leads to overeating. However, don’t feel you must try everything you’re offered to appease a family member. It’s OK to say, “No thank you – I am full.”
Food is a fuel, and sometimes our bodies need different types and amounts of fuel from day to day. I encourage you to pay attention to your hunger and fullness cues. Eat when you are hungry, and stop when comfortably full. Look for ways to increase fruits, vegetables and legumes. Most of us need more of these, and they do much for our bodies.
I challenge you to be present this holiday season as you spend precious time with loved ones. I encourage you to whip up some of your favorite holiday treats and share them with friends and family. Take time for yourself and reflect on the meaning of the holidays. Eating healthy is much more than weight alone and you are so much more than your weight alone.
Merry Christmas and happy holidays!
About the Author
Haley Brannan, RDN, LD, is a clinical dietitian for Freeman Diabetes Education. Freeman is the only local hospital with diabetes educators that are certified through National Certification Board of Diabetes Educators and certified insulin pump trainers. To learn more visit freemanhealth.com/diabetes or call 417.347.5700.