The holiday season is approaching, and some may be dreading its arrival. The busiest time of the year is around the fall and winter holidays, and often the most stressful. Traveling, shopping for gifts, and preparing big holiday meals are on a lot of people’s minds. The holidays may also bring up feelings surrounding food guilt.
Food guilt is the feeling that we’ve done something wrong for eating or not eating certain foods. It’s normal to experience small amounts of food guilt occasionally, but if it progresses it can lead to disordered eating habits. These habits can be detrimental to both our physical and mental health, so it’s best to acknowledge when we’re experiencing food guilt to stop it at the source.
We are our own worst critics. Be gentle with yourself this holiday season and eat the foods you like! We know it’s easier said than done, but your relationship with food is not worth missing precious moments with the people you love.
Here are some tips to enjoy the holiday season to the fullest:
- Eat regular, balanced meals. It’s common for people to feel like they shouldn’t eat anything all day leading up to a big holiday feast. You’ll be able to enjoy the food you are eating more when you’re not starving going into the meal.
- Remember there are no “good” or “bad” foods. Food isn’t just fuel. It can be for nourishment or even just pleasure. Viewing food as good or bad creates unnecessary stress around making food choices. One meal doesn’t have the power to change your body.
- Focus on what matters most. If you are spending your holidays with loved ones, think about the memories being made. Food will always be there, and this isn’t the only chance you will have to enjoy those specific foods.
We understand that the holiday season may not be a joyful or exciting time for some. If you are celebrating alone, treat yourself to a delicious meal and indulge in your favorite activities. Remember that you are loved, and the foods you eat don’t dictate your value.