What feelings do the holidays bring up for you? I love this time of year (minus the cold weather), but a lot of us feel a lot of stress with the additional travel, family time, food, and fear of gaining weight. If you can relate to they cycle of feeling stressed, overeating, feeling bloated, unhealthy, and wanting to throw in the towel, these tips will help you. Instead of giving into this perpetual cycle that makes you tired, moody, and stressed, make an intention to take control of your actions and health daily so that you can move into the New Year feeling amazing. First, a daily checklist of things to remind yourself and practice for the rest of the month, that should also carry over into everyday (not just for the holidays!) so you can always be treating your body with care. And secondly, because a healthy gut is essential for good health, I’ve summarized a few digestion tips so you can enjoy the food without feeling bloated.

Healthy Holiday Daily Checklist

  1. Move early. Start your day off on a good note with 20-30 minutes of some exercise. Even a short run or walk is perfect. 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. Don’t try to starve yourself because the more you slow down and eat throughout the day, the more you can slow down and enjoy our dinner and not overeat.
  3. Drink water. Start your day with 12 ounces of warm lemon water and give your body what it needs first thing in the morning. Flush out the toxins, then start enjoying your coffee only if you’re not already under a lot stress.
  4. Support your digestion. Feeling bloated is uncomfortable and makes you feel crappy. So crappy that you just eat more because you really don’t care at this point. Use the tips below so that you keep your tummy and your mood happy.
  5. Eat to feel nourished, not to feel stuffed. 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 everyday of the holiday season as if you are already at your goal weight. This is NOT a time to restrict or diet.

One thing that can really throw off your mood and make you say “screw it” when it comes to not overeating is feeling bloated. Supporting your digestion during this time of year (and all the time) is really a solid foundation for your health. In addition to the daily checklist above, keep these tips in mind when you are eating throughout the holiday season.

Healthy Digestion Tips 

  1. Sit when you eat. Your body needs to be in a completely relaxed, rest and digest mode. This starts with sitting. Don’t mindlessly pop things in your mouth while standing in the kitchen, and if you do… see tip #3!
  2. Eat your proteins and veggies first. They are more satiating which means your body knows it’s getting what it needs and you’ll be less likely to down the rolls and leave your belly feeling bloated.
  3. Chew your food until it is almost liquid. Basically, chew more than you feel like you should. This will help you to slow down (get in that rest and digest mode), it will also help you break down the food before it eve hits your stomach, which means less bloat. This can also help you if you have acid reflux.
  4. Watch the combinations of sugar, carbs, and alcohol. Combing all of these can wreak havoc on your gut flora and cause the bacteria to move to places it shouldn’t be. Which means time on the toilet or just feeling bloated.
  5. Drink water (from above) but don’t CHUG it with your meals. Too much can dilute your stomach acid and digestive enzymes.
  6. Manage your stress. This includes physical, emotional, and environmental stressors — really they are everywhere! If you’re running around all day, getting criticized by your inlaws, or putting toxins into your body, it’s going to put digestion on the back burner and make even the healthiest foods difficult to break down.

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 struggle with holiday stress, overeating, bloating, and fear gaining weight over the next few weeks, join me for my FREE online workshop December 7th: How To Feel Nourished, Satisfied, and Healthy this Holiday Season. You can save your seat and I will email you with all the details!