Top Tips to Avoid Stress Eating during the Holidays

11 Dec Top Tips to Avoid Stress Eating during the Holidays

The holidays can be a great time of joy for many. But for others, they are filled with anxiety and stress. Sometimes the stress of holiday shopping, large financial outlays and hosting relatives can drive people over the edge. When stress hits at this time of year, it’s easy to turn to that tray of homemade cookies for moral support. After all, cookies won’t criticize you the way your family can!

But you know that’s not healthy, and you’ll feel even less joy when you realize you’ve undone a whole year’s worth of healthy diet and lifestyle choices.

Check out these 5 ways to stop the stress eating before the first tray of cookies arrives at your doorstep.

1) Be active

When your boss announces there are no bonus checks this Christmas or your mom says you’re still single because one of your manicured nails is chipped, stress results. Instead of reaching for the holiday goodies, get outside in the fresh air for a walk, hit the gym, chase your kids in the yard, or turn up the music and move your body. Exercise increases dopamine which releases stress and counters depression – thus making your feel better. Even 5 minutes can change your state of mind!

2) Workout your mind

The brain needs exercise too. Don’t harp on the negative things that cause you to stress-eat. Try taking 10 to 20 minutes for yourself to read something, work on a crossword puzzle, play word cookies or Sudoku on your phone, or do something else that stimulates your mind in an enjoyable way. It will help you feel refreshed.

3) Focus on healthy eating

Don’t go to a holiday party hungry! Eat a small snack with protein, fiber and healthy fat (such as almond butter and celery sticks, hummus and carrots, small green smoothie) before you go out, so you don’t stuff yourself on hors d’oeuvres the minute you arrive. Stay hydrated by drinking a few glasses of water before you go and alternate water with alcoholic beverages when you indulge. Your head will thank you in the morning!

4) Practice moderation

There are certain foods we look forward to during the holiday season. If you always look forward to your sister’s famous pecan pie, then choose that instead of treats that aren’t so irresistible, like boxed cookies. Savor every bite – and don’t feel obligated to finish the whole treat!

5) Forgive yourself

No one is perfect. If you cave into peer pressure and eat treats you promised yourself you wouldn’t, forgive yourself and move on. Make the next thing you eat healthy and move your body. But above all, stay positive and be thankful, because that is the key to getting through the stress of the holiday season.

Click here for 10 additional strategies to thrive during the holidays, including short goal exercise to keep you moving forward over the next few weeks.


Need a simple, delicious and relatively healthy appetizer to bring to your next holiday gathering? This 5 ingredient buffalo chicken dip is perfect. I brought it to a party last week and it was gone within minutes! Pair it with some carrots, celery sticks or organic tortilla chips, and you are set.


New year, new you: Increase your energy, lose weight, think more clearly and more! Join the annual Healthy Eating Challenge beginning on January 18th. This is a whole food, clean eating program, where you eat whole foods, and reducing addictive foods and high allergens. Fuel yourself with real food and experience the transformation! Here’s what a recent client said:

“Prior to working with Elizabeth, I thought I already knew a lot about food, but I learned so much more! She is credible, competent and extremely knowledgeable. My husband and I have changed our diets significantly since working with Elizabeth through the Healthy Eating Challenge and feel fantastic. I highly recommend working with Elizabeth.” Lisa DiSciullo, CPCC Parenting Matters

Enjoy the holidays and focus on the fun, rather than just the food!



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