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  • Writer's pictureJacqueline Iannone, MS, RDN, CDN

4 Ways You’re Sabotaging Your Goals During The Holidays Without Knowing It (Student Guest Blog)

I'd I'd like to introduce Janelle, our dietetic intern and future dietitian who is helping us with understanding our mindset around the holidays. Janelle is a Stony Brook University Dietetic Intern and we loved having her at the practice over the past few weeks. I hope you enjoy the read as much as I do! Here's the blog:

"The holiday season may be the most wonderful, but stressful, time of the year. Not only are we stressed about planning holiday dinners, seeing family members, and food preparation, but we often find ourselves worrying about the possibility of “falling off” our goals as a result.

But did you know that your mindset around the holidays and food could also be the very thing that is preventing you from reaching your goals? The “doomed” holiday mindset often sets us up for failure when it comes to our goals. Here are some ways you may have been fooled into sabotaging your own weight loss goals without realizing it, and we’ll touch on how you can shift your mindset.

The all-or-nothing mindset

  • Diet culture told us that we MUST completely do away with all the foods we love to be successful. However, this all-or-nothing mindset may have a major impact on our relationship with food. When we think in absolutes, rather than finding ways to incorporate our favorite foods into a balanced diet, this often leads to feelings of intense restriction. When we have a restrictive approach to food we will find ourselves thinking “well I messed up already, let's keep messing up for the rest of the week and I’ll start again next week.” However, a better way to look at a situation like the above is to try to pick up where you left off at your next meal. Remember it’s about consistency, not perfection.

Labeling foods as good or bad

  • While it is true that not all food has the same level of nutrition, eating something that may better nourish our soul rather than our bodies says nothing about who we are as people. When we label foods as good or bad, we often associate them with our own self-worth and morality, which could lead to greater feelings of guilt and shame. Stepping out of this mindset will allow you to give yourself some grace, prevent those feelings of guilt and shame, & may help you better learn to live with those foods in a healthful way! You are no less worthy based on your choice of food, and all foods can fit into a balanced diet.

Skipping meals to save calories for later

  • Many often think avoiding food all day will “cancel out” or “save their calories” for that big holiday meal later in the day. But the truth is, under eating during the day has a major impact on overeating at our meals once we finally do eat. Since our bodies are running on empty all day, this leaves us feeling ravenously hungry for our next meal. These intense feelings of hunger leave us unable to check in with our hunger and fullness cues, making us more likely to make unthoughtful choices and instead leaves with uncomfortable/unsatisfied feelings. Our bodies will always find a way to try to get the energy it’s been missing all day, so please remember this next time you try to “save calories” by skipping meals during the day.

  • The good news is that eating consistent, balanced meals throughout the day will help to keep you feeling satisfied throughout the day, and once you finally get to that holiday meal, we can incorporate mindful eating practices.

Over-stressing about your holiday meal

  • Overstressing is another huge aspect of all that has been mentioned above. Remember to breathe! In one year, there are 365 days x 3 meals per day. This equals that holiday dinner as 1 out of 1095 meals that we eat on average in one year. One meal is not going to “break” your health, just like one nutritious choice won't “make” your health either. Consistency and overall patterns are what matter the most. So please enjoy your meal and remember that you still have the whole day, week, and month to continue making more mindful meals/choices.

I hope this puts your mind more at ease and reminds you that you are not doomed. Most importantly, remember to enjoy your time with your family and friends, and enjoy your delicious holiday meals. Shifting our mindset and practicing mindfulness is key to not sabotaging your own goals, and might even help you progress further in your goals.

We believe in you and you got this! We wish you a safe and happy holiday."

Written by: Janelle Polanco, Dietetic Intern

Well explained Janelle, well explained. We are always pleased to bring fresh and new articles to the public and our patients. Please share and like our posts if you found this read informative!

Until Next Time,

Jackie Iannone-Cataldi, MS, RDN, CDN

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