Managing Stress, Family and Food during the Holidays

Managing Stress, Family and Food during the Holidays

Managing Stress, Family and Food during the Holidays

Stress during the holiday season is normal. Many people feel stress because of the extra family gatherings they have to attend and all the food they will be presented with. If you are trying to get healthy, it can be overwhelming to be around all the delicious foods of the holidays. To reduce your stress and worry about eating healthy you can prepare snacks ahead of time, make sure you are eating healthy snacks, use relaxation techniques and talk with your family about expectations for the holidays. Stress often comes from unknown situations, so if you can prepare ahead of time you can reduce your stress.

Preparing Ahead of Time

Take time to cut up vegetables or fruit and bring small bags of snacks with you while you are traveling between family houses. If you are filling up on healthy snacks you will be less likely to eat the unhealthy foods you find at family holiday events. Or at least you will be eating less of the unhealthy foods because you are full from your healthy snacks. Preparing ahead of time will take some planning, but it will help reduce your stress and worry about eating at your family’s house for the holidays.

Snacks that Satisfy

When preparing your snacks, take the time to plan out snacks that are from several food groups. A balanced array of snacks will keep you full for longer and help you stick to your diet over the holidays. Proteins, healthy fats and carbohydrates in equal amounts will result in the best snacks for filling you up and satisfying your cravings.

Relaxation Techniques

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If your stress is overwhelming you and it is hard to consider telling your family you cannot eat their foods. Try taking time to use some relaxation techniques before you travel to your family’s house. Sit in your living room with the lights off. Take 15 minutes to sit and breathe deeply. Concentrate on your health goals and how it will feel to make it through the holidays and still reach your weight loss or health goals.

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Family Expectations

Try talking with your family about your health goals and the types of foods you are trying to eat right now. Explain that you want to spend time with them but are worried you will end up eating too much of the wrong kinds of foods. If you are honest and upfront with them ahead of time their expectation will be that you will not be eating the food. So they will not be hurt or offended when you arrive and just want to visit without eating.

Arrival Times

It might help relieve your stress if you plan your arrival for family events after the food has been served. If you explain to your loved ones ahead of time and you eat a healthy meal before you arrive, you can join your family for fun and conversation without worrying about the food.

Eating healthy during holiday events can be stressful. Take the time to plan ahead and talk with your family about your health goals and why you are not eating with them. Discuss the option of arriving later than the rest of the family if necessary, so you can avoid the main part of the holiday meal. Take time to relax and focus on your goals. Managing your stress and family can be an overwhelming task during the holidays. Give yourself plenty of time and communicate as much as possible to avoid hurt feelings and stress from your family not understanding your healthy eating goals. Most families will be supportive once they know how important staying healthy is to you.

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