Food guilt…been there, done that. Of all the times to have the voices in your head telling you to eat this, don’t eat that, I shouldn’t have eaten that – now is not it. The holidays can be stressful enough without adding food to the list of things making your head spin.

As a health coach that specializes in helping women find food freedom, I find it especially important over the holiday season to not have to worry about the foods you choose to eat. It’s the most wonderful time of the year, and I want you to be able to enjoy it all. Use these 3 tips to stop the mental chatter at your next holiday meal and find the confidence to enjoy the day.

1) Eat breakfast, lunch, and dinner too

It’s time to break free from the mindset that calories dictate how much you can eat in a day. No more skipping another meal in the day in exchange for a larger holiday meal. In fact, skipping breakfast can only lead to increased cravings by the time you do reach mealtime.

Take control over your hunger and allow yourself to eat. Remember food is energy, and you need it all day.

2) Treat it like any other meal

The foods we get to have over the holidays are our favorites because we do only get them this special time of year. It leads to building them up in our minds. We overindulge because we know it will be another year before we get to enjoy them again.

So let’s take away that power and treat it like any other meal. Make your plate with the foods you want to enjoy, eat until you’re satisfied, and keep the leftovers.

3) Balance out your plate and enjoy

Holiday meals tend to be side focused. It’s hard to choose when there are 9 different options at the family table. And even more, most of them are carbohydrates: think rolls, macaroni and cheese, sweet potato casserole, mashed potatoes, stuffing. Eating mostly carbohydrates leads to that tired, regretful feeling we’re all familiar with at the end of the meal. Instead of piling as much on your plate as you can and feeling more stuffed than the turkey later, think about macronutrients as you make your plate. It’s not a matter of limiting what you can and can’t eat, but instead making your food work for you.

Make sure all macronutrients are on your plate:

  • Protein, like turkey or ham,
  • Carbohydrate, like mashed potatoes or stuffing, and
  • Fat, like butter in your mashed potatoes or cheese on your macaroni and cheese

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