Food plays a role in every culture and celebration. Its presence is symbolic, an honor of tradition, a sign of love and care, a connection to our heritage, ancestors, and beliefs and so much more. So if food is all of these things for humans all over the world, how did it get so darn stressful? Especially around the holiday season?! Here’s my perspective – sure, food is particularly stressful around the holidays due to the general stress and increase in diet culture during the holiday season – change in routine, travel, financial stress, potentially challenging family dynamics, packed schedules and, of course, the increase in fear-mongering around food selection, portions, delicious food, and weight gain.
But, the big reason I think it’s so stressful? Because of the way we talk about it, treat it and act around it all year long. The holiday season will likely put your relationship with food under a magnifying glass. If you fear enjoyment of food year-round and try to avoid it, the holiday season will feel like a minefield. If you obsess about weight and overeating on the regular, the holiday season will understandably feel stressful and unbearable. I want you to know it’s not your fault and you’re not alone and, if you’d like, you can opt out of dieting at any time and there are so many intuitive eating pros ready to support you. And if you’ve been on an intuitive eating journey this year and the holidays still make you feel lost, confused and out of control around food, you’re also not alone, it’s not your fault and I have some (free) intuitive eating for the holidays support for you!
I’ve asked my colleagues in the non-diet community to share resources they have to help you find peace with food and your body and continue your intuitive eating journey while navigating some of the challenging aspects of the holiday season. Cheers to a joyful season and your ongoing intuitive eating journey!
Food Peace for the Holidays Audio Series
From Lindsay Stenovec, MS, RD, CEDRD, Registered Dietitian, Certified Eating Disorder Dietitian, Intuitive Eating Counselor in San Diego
Food is supposed to connect us. So why is it so stressful? Find out why and what you can do to find food peace for the holidays and all year long.
The 12 Diets of Christmas
From Dr. Stefani Reinold
Dr. Reinold is providing 12 honest reviews of some of the most popular diets out there (and ultimately why they don’t work). The catch? Each episode is only up for 24 hours so you better subscribe now before you miss more episodes!
What To Do When People Push Food On You
From Nina Mills, Accredited Practising Dietitian and Certified Intuitive Eating Counsellor
People tend to push food on us to show their love. But how can you work around this when you want to eat intuitively, or you have just had enough to eat!?
5 Supportive Strategies for Holiday Stress and Intuitive Eating
From Jennifer McGurk, RDN, CDN, CDE, CEDRD
Whether you’re struggling with food and body image OR anxiety about the holiday season, this list will cover mental and physical health for the holiday season.
My Favorite Non-Diet Podcasts for the Holidays and Beyond
From Jill Clodfelter-Mason, RDN,CD, and Certified Intuitive Eating Counselor
In an attempt to replace some of the diety messages that come up throughout the holiday season – and throughout the year – with some non-diet wisdom, here’s a roundup of my favorite non-diet podcasts.
Tips for Feeding Kids and Teens During the Holiday Season
From Anna M Lutz, MPH, RD, LDN, CEDRD-S
Is it hard to keep up with feeding your family when the holidays are in full swing and you’re out of your routine? You’re not alone! Anna has some helpful tips for how to keep your family fed during this busy time!
An Open Letter to Fitness Instructors Who Want to Help Their Clients
From Kathleen Meehan, MS, RD, LDN
“According to the National Eating Disorder Association, compensatory behaviors, or the idea that you need to earn or burn food with physical activity, is considered disordered. Therefore, mentioning an upcoming holiday, and implying that eating will be problematic on that holiday, is disordered. Encouraging people to work harder to “earn” their food or calories is disordered.”
Holidays are hard AF.
From Sarah Thompson, Certified Body Trust Provider
“My hope is that you’re able to practice going easy on yourself as we navigate the next few weeks of holidays and months of winter. Recognizing when I need to hibernate versus when I need to grab lunch with a close friend took time to decipher. Giving myself permission to not be brimming with holiday cheer took time.”
When Instagram feeds the “I’m not enough” story: A step you can take today
From Jodi Arnot, Masters in Counseling & Co-founder of Moderation Movement
Get some tips for how to use social media to bring more support and body positivity into your life during this season and all year long!
9 Tips for Healthy Holiday Eating
From Rui Tanimura, dietetic intern & graduate student at Simmons University
“So how can we leave the table or party feeling comfortable and joyful, instead of overly stuffed and guilty? Here are nine ways to say “no thank you” to holiday food guilt, and savor the spirit of the season instead:”
I hope you find these resources helpful! I’ll continue to update this list as I find additional resources!
And for intuitive eating resources and support all year long, consider joining our email list and get my free Intuitive Eating for Moms Starter Series! Or if you’re a pro looking for support and education in eating disorders, perinatal wellness, and child feeding join our mailing list here.
Connect with our Registered Dietitian Nutritionists for Eating Disorder Treatment & Intuitive Eating in San Diego
Looking to remove the guilt and shame around food and your body? Nutrition Instincts is here to help! Our team of specialized Registered Dietitian Nutritionists have expertise in eating disorders, intuitive eating, nutrition counseling for families and individuals struggling with selective eating disorders, ARFID, and picky eating, prenatal and postpartum nutrition support and diabetes therapy in San Diego and online. Learn more about our fees and insurance and answers to common questions on our FAQs page. Connect with us today to discover how to make peace with food and your body!