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how do you navigate food anxiety during the holidays? by amara

from charcuterie boards to hotpots to take to traditional or homemade, the best part (but sometimes worst) part of the holidays is all the wonderful variety of foods! i remember always loving to eat gulab jamun (english translation: indian milk doughnuts) when we celebrated Christmas with my big family. last year, however, one of my cousins jokingly said “don’t eat too much, or you’ll become one” (i admit now, it’s honestly kinda funny too). as someone who struggles with body image issue, her insensitive comment made me lose my appetite for the rest of the night. i know the experience of receiving unwanted comments about your body during the holidays is 100% universal: when people haven’t seen you in a while, they tend to comment about your looks, since that’s what they see first! 

unfortunately, you can’t control others’s actions, but you CAN control your reaction. here is my advice in navigating food and food anxiety during the holiday season: 

  1. set realistic expectations about meals and snacks: focus on enjoying time with loved ones instead of obsessing over meaningless calories. make sure to choose healthier options if you genuinely enjoy them, and allow yourself the “cheat snacks” in moderation. 

  2. a healthy diet is not a restrictive one! so embrace intuitive eating and listen to your body's hunger and fullness cues. enjoy your food, eat slowly, and stop when you're comfortably satisfied.

  3. stay hydrated! drinking plenty of water throughout the day can help you feel full and prevent overeating or binging, especially if its accidental. 

  4. take breaks if needed: it’s okay to say no when you’re offered something you don’t need, and it’s okay to step away from the food table if you feel overwhelmed. taking a walk, finding a buddy to talk to, or simply take a few deep breaths always helps! (i also like to go on instagram but that’s not good advice.)

i hope this helps! happy holidays to you all :)

thank you to these sources for information used in the article:

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