3 Tips for Holiday Stress Eating
Are you someone who struggles with the holiday weight game? Do parties, events, and even time spent with your family turn up your stress meter and you go to food for comfort? Well, you're not alone.
In fact, studies have shown that the average American can gain up to seven pounds between Thanksgiving and Christmas. But really it's no wonder, all our family holiday foods that only come around one time per year kind of helps us rationalize to make different choices during this time.
And not to mention the stress of the holiday gift buying work or personal events and even family expectations can turn up that stress. And what do we wanna do? We wanna head to some more tasty foods. So today I'm gonna share three tips to reduce your stress on holiday eating.
My name is Marcy Vasque and I'm a functional medicine nutritionist specializing in gut health. So I often work with people who struggle with symptoms like gas, bloating, diarrhea, constipation.
But even as we get to know with the importance of insignificance of the gut, I see a lot of clients that have hormone issues, thyroid issues, insulin dysregulation, and even autoimmune diseases.
So if this sounds like you or someone you know and would like to become a client, you can make an initial appointment with us so you can get some extra help in clearing up some of that gut stuff you might have going on, or maybe even hormonal stuff.
Or if you want to gain some extra knowledge on your own, I want you to check out our free guide, which is Five Ways to Improve Your Gut Health.
All right, so let's dig into holiday stress eating. It happens, and it can happen sometimes every year for people. So the question is, what can you do about it if you're working towards a healthier lifestyle so you can accomplish those goals?
3 Tips for Holiday Stress Eating
Stress and sleep
So tip number one that I'm gonna talk about today is stress and sleep. I know you've heard me talk about it before, but it is so important that you pay attention to your sleep.
If your sleep is lacking length or quality, you're gonna suffer more with the foods that you choose and the increased stress that you feel.
So when you sleep under six hours per night, your cravings for carbohydrates are going to go up dramatically. And it's not even something that you know can pay that you know that's happening. It just is a biochemical response to lack of sleep.
And so it sets you up to choose the chocolate cover goody at the office, or maybe the salty chip or even the ooey gooey dip instead of choosing the meat and cheese option or the veggie option. So take a look at your sleep hygiene.
Are you getting to bed on a regular time? Are you putting your phone down an hour before you go to bed? I know that's hard to do working toward that goal. So starting with maybe just putting it down 15 minutes before you go to bed at night and backing it all the way up to that hour is your room.
Cool and dark studies have shown that when you sleep in a cool dark room, you oftentimes get more quality sleep. And these are just a few of the things that can make really a big difference when it comes to our sleep.
And just a really simple form of self-care to even help reduce stress. Stress is massive component to choosing less than nutritious foods, leading to that overeating and keeping the perpetual cycle of stress and poor sleep going when we are high, when we have that heightened stress.
You know, if you think about yourself when you get home at night after a long day of work and you just don't wanna think anymore, sometimes our go-to is foods and it's not always the best choice that we make.
So really thinking about getting enough sleep will lead to less stress. Getting enough sleep will lead to better food choices because you'll be less stressed and you'll be more rested.
Make a commitment to yourself.
The second tip for reducing holiday stress eating is, one of my favorites actually, is make a plan and commitment to yourself.
And this is just as important as getting sleep and reducing your stress, but make a plan for what you're going to eat at any event or holiday get-together you might be attending.
So if you have an idea of what your family serves at holidays, try thinking about what are your favorite things that you want and stick to that in appropriate quantity.
Also, if you are going be going to a party, and you're not really sure what they're gonna serve there, it is really helpful to just eat a little bit before you go like a nice balanced snack of a protein, a carb, and a healthy fat.
That way when you get to the party, the foods will look less enticing and you'll do less of that grazing. That ends up being copious amounts of food by the end of the night sometimes. And so really what that comes back down to is just making that plan.
What are you going to eat when you're there? Are you going to eat before? What are you going to drink? How much are you going to drink? Make that commitment to yourself before you go. And oftentimes you can really outshine at all.
You can really stay away from those foods. And you know what? Sometimes it doesn't happen, but most of the time it will.
Intuitive eating and mindful eating
The third tip for holiday stress eating is probably maybe the most difficult. It is to be mindful of what you're eating and snacking on. Pay attention to what you are eating and actually enjoy it instead of just picking up something while you're visiting and talking.
That will help you be mindful in the moment and keep you from snacking, you know, all through the night and the time that you're there. Secondly, if you enjoy the food because you have time to do so, then you're going to eat less.
Eating in the moment can be really difficult, especially at events or holiday get togethers, because we want to listen to the other person that's sitting across from us and take part in all of it.
It's not that you can't listen to anybody else, you also need to listen to yourself. Just stay in the moment, be present with your food and with your family.
1. Get enough quality sleep
2. Make sure to reduce your stress. These two go hand in hand. make a commitment and a plan for yourself for holiday events. Get-togethers, and family time.
3. Be mindful of the food that you're eating. Really enjoy those foods. You only get one time a year and that's going to make for a happier, healthy holiday for you.
If you'd like to explore any of this information further or obtain an individualized nutrition plan, you can schedule an initial appointment at our clinic. We also take insurance and some of our clients get full coverage, which is great.
Or you can just start by downloading our FREE GUIDE: 5 WAYS TO IMPROVE GUT HEALTH