Eat with Freedom Holiday Survival Guide.

main imageDo you find yourself swayed to overindulge during the Christmas Holidays?

And maybe you decided to just forget about your healthy eating during the holidays and eat whatever you want?

You can, of course, eat whatever you want, but let’s look at what happens if you do.

If you decide that, because it’s a special time of the year you’re going to eat whatever you want, that’s a form of disruption of your healthy eating routine and sets your brain and habits back.

If your heart is sinking at the thought of not overindulging this Christmas, don’t despair..

Consider thinking about the holidays as an opportunity to rise above the chatter around food that your sabotaging voice wants you to engage in and focus on having a blissful, one-of-a-kind holiday that has nothing to do with food.

Let’s explore some ways that that have to do with gratitude, connecting with family and friends, and it has to do with honouring yourself at the deepest level.

This holiday season, change your thinking and plan.You can do this.

Strategy # 1 – Create a Plan

Spending this time now, creating a plan that involves strategies to deal with all the unexpected things and events that happen when you are exposed to tempting foods during your holidays.

Researchers at the University of Wyoming say it’s more effective to plan in advance to manage temptations with well-thought-out strategies.

For example:

Begin with a plan that’s designed for you, so it’s important to spend the time up front to understand exactly what you need to do your best.

  • Identify upcoming overeating triggers and challenges now .
  • Create some routines to help you stay connected with yourself.
  • Adjust your environment.


Here are some common questions that I get asked around this time of the year.I hope you find the answers helpful. 

Q & A – #1

Q:  What do I do if I have finished eating my food and everyone is still eating?

A:  Focus on the conversations and creating special holiday memories and /or ask the host or hostess how you can be of service

Q & A – #2

Q:  I am food focused when I go to parties, how can I change my focus?

A:  Remember that those foods are available all year round. Repeat a promise to yourself that just for today, you will not eat anything that you didn’t plan for. This is your day to celebrate YOU—not the food. Tomorrow is another day.

Q & A – #3

Q:  I sometimes feel emotional and overwhelmed during the holidays and food always helps me get through this. How can I handle my emotions without turning to food?

A: Plan ahead and acknowledge that this may happen. When it does and go to a quiet place and allow the emotion to come up and then ride the urge wave.

Q & A – #4

Q:  How do I deal with all the food gifts that people give me over the holidays?

A:  Feel grateful and as soon as you have an opportunity, put them in a place that’s out of your sight or wrap them up re-gift them.

Q and A

Strategy #2 – Self-soothing solutions

“Schedule in your self-soothing practice to feed your soul-when you feed your soul you won’t need to feed your emotional hunger.” 

Find your own rhythm and routine. Build a self-soothing routine that is yours, what I mean by that is it ticks all of your boxes, not your neighbours or your best friends. A practice that feeds your soul.

Ask yourself this question:

.   “What one routine could I put into place this WEEK that would improve my life the most?”

And then follow these two steps:

  1. Satisfying:

Make it supportive but also fun, so that you look forward to dipping into your self-soothing bucket when a craving strike, as opposed to turning to food for therapy.

Ask yourself this question:

  • “What am I HUNGRY for?”
  1. Sustainable:

Make it simple so it’s easy and sustainable to practise even on your busiest and most stressful days. Make sure to pop it in your diary as a non-negotiable activity.

Ask yourself this question:

  • “When, Where and for how long will I practise?”

self soothing solutions

Strategy #3 – Give Gratitude

One of the biggest keys to not just surviving, but truly enjoying a holiday eating with food freedom is practising gratitude.

 “A grateful heart goes all the day, Your sad tires in a mile-a.” —William Shakespeare

Gratitude is scientifically proven to increase willpower, and it could be just the boost you need to make it through the holidays sticking to your plan.

For example:

  • Reflect on what you can be grateful for and make a gratitude list.
  • Write daily about Three Good Things that happened each day and why they happened.

 A regular gratitude practise has been scientifically proven to lift mood and improve health.

You can also play a Gratitude Game with the people around you.

  • Form a circle and each share what you’re grateful for.
  • Share three highlights from this year.


Lastly remember that if you buy into the fallacy that you can’t stick to your healthy eating because there’s a holiday or a birthday, or you’re going on a cruise, you’ll constantly be sliding off course.

Remember that these events are part of a full life with family and friends.

Practicing deep gratitude, connecting with family and friends, meditating, and being open to healthy alternatives can make these holidays special for you.

Now I have a few questions for you….

  • What’s your biggest challenge with healthy eating over the Christmas ?

I would love to hear your feedback, thoughts and any questions you have on this article.

Please write a comment below. 

Irena Geller

Emotional Eating Coach

BSc (Biomed), Cert IV (PT), Wellness Coach (Level 3))

I coach busy women to put down their fork and pick up their life.  

If you want to lose weight, feel proud of yourself and eat with freedom, book a free 15-min mini-coaching session with me and I’ll show you how to liberate yourself from your inner critic.

“My mission for 2020 is to free 10,000 women from their inner critic so they can love their bodies, eat with freedom, grow in self-confidence and enjoy the body they deserve.

Irena Geller

Irena Geller is a Sydney-based health & wellness coach specialising in the 🍓food and 😃 mood connection. She loves helping professional women to find the motivation and energy to eat healthily and exercise regularly and be consistent with these habits.

Have you tried every diet you can think of and lost confidence in yourself that you can be successful?

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