How to Stay Healthy and Sane Around Food During the Holidays

Whether we love them or not, the holidays are here. I love the cozy feeling this time of year brings, but for many of us it means more stress with the additional travel, family time, parties, food, and fear of gaining weight.

A lot of women I talk to feel like they either:

A) Need to double down, white-knuckle their way through the cravings, be “good” and pass up dessert, be in complete control, and maybe even follow a diet so they have something to stick to throughout the holidays


B) Say “forget it” and eat everything in sight, feel completely out of control around food, and feel guilty about it later on.



And both scenarios make it harder to enjoy the holidays because we’re stuck in a cycle of feeling tired, moody, stressed, and just not happy with our body.

Whether you are someone who is stressing out because you feel like you need to have complete control, or you eat all of the things and feel guilty about those three cookies you ate standing up in the kitchen, I’m going to give you some tips so you don’t have to be stuck at either extreme.

Think of this as your healthy holiday check list. You can customize this so that it works for you, but make sure these are habits that are realistic for you to commit to now and can also carry over into every day (not just for the holidays!) so you can always be treating your body with care. These tips will help you to support your mood, cravings, energy, digestion, and stress levels not only during the holidays, but every single day.



Healthy Holiday Daily Checklist

  1. Move early. Start your day off on a good note with 10 minutes of some movement. It can be as simple as a short walk or a few sets of body weight squats and push-ups. You’ll feel better mentally and physically. And don’t put off until later because if you’re like me, it won’t happen.
  2. Don’t skip meals to try to “save your calories” for a big meal or party later on. Deprivation leads to overindulgence. If you’re feeling deprived throughout the day, you’ll be more likely to overeat when you have all of the tempting food around you. Be consistent with your meals, give your body what it needs, and when you have all of those exciting foods around you, you can slow down, be mindful, and enjoy everything without overdoing it.
  3. Change your language. Instead of saying “I can’t have dessert” or “I shouldn’t have that cookie” you can say “I don’t want that dessert right now” or “I’m going to have more (insert other food) instead.” Remember that you can have these foods anytime, anywhere you want. No foods are actually off-limits. You get to choose what foods you do and don’t eat. And also remember: you can say no, without feeling guilty or having to justify yourself. If you really don’t want something, you don’t have to have it.
  4. Slow down and eat to feel nourished. Sit down and relax. Chew your food and pay attention to when you start to feel full and if you’re actually enjoying the food, rather than scarfing it down while standing up in the kitchen, chasing the kids, or engaging in a stressful conversation with the in-laws.
  5. Support your digestion. As a Nutritional Therapy Practitioner, I can’t overlook the importance of your gut health. It affects your mood, energy, and cravings on a physiological level. Supporting your digestion during this time of year (and all the time) is really a foundation for your health. The first step to doing this is making sure you’re eating in a rest and digest state (see #4). For extra support, take digestive enzymes with your meals and activated charcoal after your meals.
  6. Ditch the all-or-nothing mindset. Stop striving for perfection and thinking if you can’t stick to the plan exactly, then nothing matters. Reframe negative thinking around patterns like “I ruined everything by eating X” by realizing that whatever you ate tasted good, and you can get back into your normal routine tomorrow. Get back to your normal routine instead of overcompensating with even more exercise or further food restriction.


One final tip: remember that the food will always be there, so you don’t have to eat it as if it’s never going to be there again. Eat, live, and think of every day of the holiday season as if you are already at your goal weight. This is not a time to restrict or diet.

The holidays should not be a time when we’re worried about eating this or that or making food a big deal at all. Just. Eat. Enjoy the food, your family, and the experiences. This is just a time of year when your routine is different — not a permanent habit or a lifestyle that will impact your health long term. Celebrate, connect, enjoy, and be thankful!




If you want some more guidance on nutrition and healthy eating habits, join Megan and Adrien on December 9th for their upcoming workshop: Healthy Eating for Perimenopause and Menopause. We know what it’s like to feel like you’re doing everything right, but still not seeing any results. You’ll leave this workshop feeling more confident in how you can support your body with good nutrition. You can RSVP by signing up here.



  • The latest from Megan
Megan Crozier is a Nutritional Therapy Practitioner who helps women fix their digestive issues, balance their energy, improve their periods, and cut through all the diet (mis)information out there. She uses an individualized and real food approach to empower women to find a way of eating that works specifically for them. You can learn more about her through Alexandria Wellness or over at

Alexandria Wellness offers achievable answers for anyone who is tired of chasing fitness and health without a clear plan, someone who has struggled and is not satisfied with their fitness and wellness or someone who is open to maximized healthful longevity and fitness along with healthful weight loss. Adrien and her team offer help with food guidance, body acceptance, sleep and stress issues, and insist you have fun along the way.

Alexandria Wellness
215 North Payne Street
Alexandria, VA 22314


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