Beat Holiday Blues

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Beat Holiday Blues

The holiday season can be far from a “holiday”; it can be stressful, especially for those trying to manage their weight. The temptation of indulgent holiday foods can trigger cravings, pressure to organize the perfect get-togethers can evoke stress eating, and even slightly falling off the wagon can compound the struggle. It is no surprise that so many of us suffer with holiday blues, but fortunately there are ways to fortify your willpower and get into the spirit of the holiday season.

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You already know the dangers ahead, which empowers you to prevent or at least lessen the stress associated with this time of year. If there’s going to be a family or office get-together with lots of foods that are not appropriate for your weight-management plan, eat something light before going to the event so that you aren’t ravenous on arrival but still have some room to take part in the festivities.


Yes, you read correctly. One of the biggest downfalls of any weight-management plan is avoiding certain foods at all costs. No food should be a complete no-go, as that will only make you want it more. Give yourself kinder rules. At the abovementioned family or office party, commit to eating all healthy food except for that one indulgence you are going to allow yourself — and enjoy it!

Pre-set your mood

The holiday blues usually begin days before the holidays due to anticipation. Do something relaxing a day or two before the holidays — watch your favorite movie, have a luxurious bath, or pamper yourself at the salon or spa. Going into the holiday season feeling relaxed and content will keep stress at bay, making you more likely to eat mindfully.

Choose stress-busting foods

Certain foods are known to boost mood and bust stress — dark chocolate, brazil nuts, fish, fruits, and even moderate amounts of coffee.

Steer clear of triggers

You are probably already aware of your triggers for overeating. Perhaps it is a certain food that sends you off the rails. Maybe it is a person who rubs you the wrong way. Replace these triggers with “soothers” — the foods and people who make you feel good! Armed with your preparation, permission to have an indulgence, and a pre-set positive mindset, go forth and enjoy the holidays!

Want to learn more about stress relief? Read “Stress & Diabetes: Relaxation Techniques,” “Yoga for Diabetes” and “Three Ways to Cope With Stress.”


Nicola Davies, PhD

Davies is a Health Psychologist and Medical Writer at Health Psychology Consultancy Ltd. Her expertise is in the psychology of health and well-being, which she writes prolifically on across the globe. She has three books: I Can Beat Obesity! Finding the Motivation, Confidence and Skills to Lose Weight and Avoid Relapse, I Can Beat Anorexia! Finding the Motivation, Confidence and Skills to Recover and Avoid Relapse, and Eating Disorder Recovery Handbook: A Practical Guide to Long-Term Recovery.

Davies’ work in the field of pain is largely focused on lifestyle, behavior change, coping, and developing the skills and confidence to self-manage.

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