Balanced Eating During The Holidays And New Year…and Beyond !

Learn our best tips on how you can maintain your balanced eating habits during the holidays and beyond this year. 

The holidays are often a particularly trying time when it comes to maintaining balanced eating habits. Our routines are often shifting frequently due to events, outings, and vacation time. Additionally, for a lot of people, this involves much more socialization than they’re used to on a regular week-to-week basis.

Changes in routines and schedules generally indicate a change in eating opportunities and options. There may be more sweets and treats around than you’re used to, more social eating sessions, and simply more opportunities for dining out. While the holidays are a beautiful time to celebrate and spend time with loved ones, it’s understandable that this same time can be a bit more stressful than most.

By learning how to navigate the holidays with ease, you can spend more time focussing on the enjoyment and excitement, and less time on the stress and guilt of food choices.


1. Set An Intention For Yourself And Your Experience

We’re creatures of habit. This means, we often function on auto-pilot when we’re in familiar scenarios and situations. If you have a history of feeling a bit stressed during eating situations at holiday events, or of simply checking out and mindlessly eating in the past, chances are, if we don’t intervene, history is bound to repeat itself.

As you approach your holiday events and gatherings, think about what you would like to experience. Think about the purpose for being there, what you would like to do, and how you would like to feel afterward.

That may involve enjoying the company of others, practicing gratitude for all of the wonderful, cultural, and delicious food you have access to. Or maybe it involves gratitude for some time alone to relax and recuperate during the holiday season!

Whatever that may look like to you, picture it. Envision what you would like to happen and how you would like to feel. As well as, how you will act in order for that to take place. Setting an intention is such a powerful tool to ensure you maintain balanced eating during the holidays.

2. Practice Mindful Eating

Mindless eating is one of the most common ailments I hear from the Wellnessbymod Community during the holiday season. With so much going on, it’s easy to get caught up in the excitement and mindlessly eat.

This time around, focus on mindful eating habits you can hold on to as you navigate the holidays. Maybe that means you really check in with your hunger and satiety cues while at a holiday gathering, or while at home after having purchased some of your holiday favorites from your local bakery or the grocery store.

Maybe that means you pause to reflect on your stress and emotion levels to make sure you address them with compassion and ease so you don’t unintentionally attempt to cope through mindless eating.

If this is something you’ve struggled with in the past, set a mindful intention for yourself. Ask yourself, “What food items am I really looking forward to enjoying this season? Or at this particular event? On the other hand, what do I frequently not really enjoy and what do I want to choose not to have?”.

Pausing to reflect and plan ahead for mindfulness can set you up for success.

3. Communicate Your Needs To Promote Balanced Eating During The Holidays

Communication is key for so many facets of a healthy relationship with food. During the holidays, it’s no different. We’re all unique in so many different ways, so in order for us to eat balanced in a way that works well for us individually, it’s important to communicate our needs when necessary.

Maybe you’d like an idea for what’s being served at the holiday dinner you’re attending, so you contact the host for a quick heads up. Or maybe you have a food sensitivity to be wary of, so you let the host know you’re bringing a dish that ensures you have something to eat. Or lastly, maybe your friend or family member really wants you to try their dish but it just isn’t something you’d like to have. It’s perfectly fine to kindly and honestly communicate with them that it looks so delicious! But you’re good to go with what you already have at the moment.

Communicate with others to relieve the pressure of internalizing your questions, thoughts, and apprehensions.

4. Build A Balanced Plate, Smoothie, or Bowl

No matter the time of year, a balanced plate is always a good idea to help balanced eating. A balanced plate allows you to feel full, satiated and energized after your meals. It ensures you’ve given your body everything it needs to thrive so you can be fully present and enjoy the holiday season!

When preparing, building, or choosing meals, just run through the following formula to the best of your ability to see if you can involve each of these components: Protein + Starchy and Sugary Carbohydrates + Non-Starchy Carbohydrates + Fat + Flavor Factor.

There are a few ways you can use this balanced plate model to maintain balanced eating during the holidays. Firstly, you can use it day-to-day for meals whether you’re attending a holiday event or not. That way, you’ve practiced plenty and feel confident.

Secondly, you can use it on the day of your holiday event or gathering. We don’t want to “save up” or fast for holiday meals or skip breakfast. Instead, stick to your routines and eat balanced outside of the event. That way, when you get there, you’re excited and hungry for the meal, but not starving and feeling out of control.

For example, including a balanced breakfast like a smoothie is such an easy, delicious, and nutritious way to nourish yourself.

5. Remember To Enjoy Yourself

When we talk about balanced eating, we have to talk about the balance between nourishment and enjoyment.

All too often people can find themselves in one camp or the other, especially during the holidays. Where they’re either only thinking about enjoyment and instant gratification, or attempting to “be good” and avoiding enjoyment-based foods in an attempt to focus solely on nourishment.

This mindset with food can lead to an all-or-nothing, start-and-stop cycle. Over time, this can lead to crash diets, food guilt, stress and overwhelm. None of which embody balance!

So to prevent this, start practicing balance with your eating choices during the holidays. Prioritize and incorporate enjoyment foods that you love, simply because you love them. Prioritize and incorporate nourishing foods that make you feel good and fuel your body. That way, you’re balanced from the inside out.

Happy and Healthy Holidays from Our Family to Yours 


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