5 Steps to Food Freedom this Thanksgiving

The holidays can be tough and stressful. Do you have feelings of anxiousness and nervousness about how you will maintain your healthy eating habits through the holidays?

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5 steps to Food Freedom

1. REASON FOR THE SEASON: What is the holiday about? Spending time with loved ones or proving to yourself that you’re the best dieter that ever existed? If you place your focus on what the holiday is really about, your mind can focus on “how can I get to know my relatives or friends more this holiday?” rather than “OMG what will happen if I eat more pie than my diet allows?” Shifting your focus away from stressing about the food, will help you see that you are really here to connect with others and show gratitude.

2. PRACTICE MINDFULNESS: Ask who cooked what and show appreciation for each individual item. This will slow you down so you are enjoying and appreciating each bite, rather than ravenously shoveling food down your throat. This will help you realize that the best ingredient is love.

3. PRACTICE NOW. Learning how to listen to your body is a practice, you don’t have to get it right every time, but the more you practice, the more you learn to listen to your hunger cues & realize that you are able to stop when you are full. When the day comes, you will be able to stop when you are full and enjoy the company of the people you are with, rather than going back for a third or fourth helping, after your stomach has reached maximum capacity.

4. EAT ON YOUR NORMAL SCHEDULE. I used to think that if I skipped breakfast, that meant I could eat even more for dinner, but that usually leads to eating more than I need at dinner and feeling sick. If you are starving, you rush to dig into the food or get annoyed if it’s not ready by the time you get there. Whether you normally eat breakfast in the morning or practice intermittent fasting, eat something before you eat your main thanksgiving meal, on your normal schedule.

5. PLAN AHEAD. Don’t be afraid to be the person that brings a salad or some veggies. I love all of the food at thanksgiving but I know I usually make myself sick from eating too much, especially if I don’t have any vegetables or if my only veggies are fried or canned. If I plan ahead and eat a salad or plate of fresh veggies first, then I can enjoy all of the food and know I won’t make myself feel sick.

(BONUS TIP) QUE SERA SERA. What will be will be. Okay so you have eaten past the point of fullness and now you feel sick. You are not a bad person. You do not deserve an ounce of guilt or shame. Enjoy a really amazing nap. Your body will digest. Don’t flip the switch and go on a restrictive diet the next day. You don’t need to punish yourself with a “cleanse” or try and live off of a box of skinny detox tea. Move on with your life and continue to practice intuitive eating. It’s a practice after all and no one is perfect. Hopefully you enjoyed time with your family, laughed until your heart cracked open and got a full night’s rest.

Amy Potter