How To Manage Emotional Eating Through The Holiday Season

I love the holiday season! It’s the time of year where you socialize a lot, eat a lot and drink a lot. It is also that time of year where you can forget about managing emotional eating.

If you are a chronic dieter than it makes sense that you have the all or nothing mentality. But what if you just want to focus on self-nurturing and feeling the best in your body? What if you manage your emotional eating in a different way this year? That is a big shift and a lot easier to maintain than a diet.

So how can you enjoy the holiday season without counting calories and feeling deprived?

1.     Write out the reasons you do not want to overeat.

It may sound silly, but it's easy to forget. If your only motivation is weight loss, I think we need to keep searching.

For example some other reasons would be to be more connected with yourself ,to live a healthier life or to have a break from beating yourself up.

2.     Slow down the alcohol.

It’s not about depriving yourself, but you don’t want to over do it. If you are a drinker then have your drinks, but add in a glass of water in between each of them so you slow down and are self-caring.

If you drink too much you are not going to be able to feel your hunger signals and you will overeat.

3.      Make sure you are eating regular meals.

Snacking is so common at this time of year. You can still snack, but make sure you are eating regular balanced meals. This will help you snack less and not over do it. The goal is to listen to your body and hunger signals.

4.     Try to find out what type of food is going to be served and plan ahead.

It may be helpful to know what is being offered so you can pick and choose what you want to fill up on. If you love turkey and potatoes and you know that is going to be served then you may want to pass on having so many appetizers.

5.     Have fun!!

It is so important to have fun in other ways besides eating. For me this includes board games, looking at pictures, sharing fun stories, spending time with people I like. 

Enjoying family and friends is so important. You don’t have to choose between deprivation and enjoyment.  


Natalie Shay is a Psychotherapist and Life Coach specializing in emotional eating. She struggled with her own weight for 20 years. She finally learned to stop dieting and lost 75 lbs. In 2007 she became a Registered Psychotherapist to help emotional eaters stop turning to food for comfort and lose weight without dieting. She helps support her clients and guides them to meet their goals to stop dieting and start living.
Natalie can be reached here