Intuitive Eating During the Holidays

Nov. 21, 2019

The holiday season can be rich with tradition offering so many opportunities to connect with family and friends, often over delicious food.   The frenzy of shopping, holiday cooking, and social gatherings may result in mindless eating. Here are some tips for cultivating intuitive eating through the holiday season.

  • Be careful not to skip meals and snacks or to save up for an upcoming meal.Eating in response to hunger and fullness cues is ideal, however, the busyness of the season may lead to disconnection from our body’s internal cues for hunger and fullness. If this is the case, try to have something to eat every 3-4 hours.Maintaining this pattern of eating deters ravenous hunger which can destroy our intention to eat moderately and with consciousness.


  • The holiday season can be filled with comforting and delicious food traditions.Food is meant to be enjoyed! Give yourself unconditional permission to partake.Make a decision to eat what pleases your palate and then eat as much as you need to satisfy your body.Pleasurable foods are more satisfying.If food desires are denied, potential for food cravings and binges increases.A good rule of thumb is; if you don’t love it, don’t eat it, if you love it, savor it.


  • Sometimes within our family and friend groups, food and body image issues can arise.Work at setting boundaries by disengaging from body bashing and body comparing as well as food and diet talk. Protect your boundaries by refusing to allow others to comment on your weight or body or tell you what, when, or how much to eat.


  • Include pleasurable movement into your holiday schedule.Movement is a form of self-care, a way to honor the body.Fun, pleasurable movement is one of the best gifts you can give yourself this holiday season.

Have a happy and healthy holiday season!



NutriNews is written by Lisa MacDonald, MPH, RDN, Christy Wilson, RDN, and Ashley Munro RDN, CDE, Nutrition Counselors at the UA Campus Health Service.

Food and nutrition services (including healthy eating, cooking skills, weight concerns, digestive problems, hormonal and cardiovascular conditions, disordered eating and eating disorders) are offered year-round at Campus Health. Call (520) 621-6483 to make an appointment.