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How to Build a Self-Care Toolkit to Conquer Emotional Eating

August 2, 2017

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How to arrive in 2018 with a Powerful Mindset around Food

December 15, 2017


What if you could arrive in 2018 feeling calm , confident and at a healthy weight and loving every minute of it …..


The festive season is a busy and stressful time of the year. There are lots of people, family you want to catch up with, events to attend, gifts to purchase for loved ones, finances and work load to manage. All of this, on top of your normal busy every day life can feel overwhelming to say the least. 


So it comes as no surprise that Emotional eating & stress eating tend to increase during the holiday period because you are also faced with more temptations and unexpected emotions and challenges.


I wanted to share with you some useful ways to navigate through this busy, stressful time of year so you can eat healthy and still enjoy the festive season , creating loving memories and know how to avoid holiday stress and emotional eating. Creating these rituals and habits now will give you a head start to building a powerful mindset around food for 2018.


The best approach starts with some planning & making decisions in advance.This puts you in control of your time and gives you a plan you can follow so that you don’t have to react to unexpected events.



So here are some strategies and healthy eating tips ,that actually work, for a calmer & healthier holiday


#1.Manage your time to create your quality holiday experience


The key here is to focus on quality over quantity..

  • Make a list of all the things you have - obligations, events, family commitments etc.

  • Look at the list- Is there anything you can eliminate so that you can spend your energy on meaningful things?

  • Can you limit the time and energy you will invest into some things?

  • Are there any events that you can skip?



#2. Create your holiday eating plan


How to manage festive feasting and have peace with food

Holiday eating is often unstructured, so planning in advance and identifying HOW you

want to feel during & post your break will shift your perspective:


The following questions will help you identify this

  • How do I want to feel at the end of my holiday?

  • If feeling this way is my goal  , how would I eat?

  • What choices do I want to make with food so that I can feel the way I want to feel?

  • What will help me stay connected & support me to eat peacefully this holiday? ( like a reminder on my phone ,some quite time alone, an extra walk etc)



#3.Get Organised and Be Prepared

Getting organised and planning in advance will give you more control so you can be more intentional and deliberate with your food choices .To ensure healthy eating these holidays take some time out to plan and prepare so that your environment is supporting you.


Here are some tips:

  • Get rid of foods that trigger you to over indulge

  • If you are hosting a family gathering try make at least 50 percent of the meals, where possible a day before the event

  • You can also pre-cut the ingredients to speed things up

  • Prepare some healthy snacks in advance so you don’t get caught out when you are busy

  • Order or make a colourful fruit salad for Christmas lunch, this is a great healthy dessert option


#4.Schedule and find time to move your body

Make this time no matter how busy you feel .Even a walk after dinner or in the morning will help you feel good, clear your mind and burn off some calories


  • Get outdoors and connect with nature

  • Breathe fresh air

  • Take in the sunshine

  • Go for a swim



#5.Slow down and let yourself feel

Holiday time can be quite stressful with family visiting, extra entertaining so its easy to loose sight of your priorities. Slowing down can feel very challenging but it’s a very important skill to learn in taking control of emotional eating and stress eating.


  • That’s why slowing down is a good time to reengage and check in with your self .

  • When you slow down internally, you will connect to the thoughts & feelings that maybe making you reach for comfort foods to soothe your emotions.

  • One option is Meditation and its a very powerful tool for dealing with holiday stress, even 10 minutes will help you clear your mind.


When you have slowed down you may find it useful to ask your self these questions:


  • What am I feeling right now?

  • Where am I feeling this?

  • What do I understand about that feeling?

  • What do I need to “feed” that feeling/s?



6. Be Mindful, Be Present, Enjoy and Taste

Being present means that you can enjoy the taste, that conversation with your relative and create genuine connections with your family/friends that you will remember the next day.


Being present and mindful when you are eating means :

  • You are in the drivers seat and can make better choices

  • You will engage with the texture, aroma,

  • You will be making better decisions about portions

  • You also have better awareness of your body signals like hunger and satiety



7.Eating mindfully and intuitively builds awareness

One of the ways of mindful eating is to connect with your food and savour your experience. Give your self the permission to savour and indulge and stop once your experience has peaked and you feel satisfied.


• Slow right down
• Take in the textures and colours
• Taste it
• Smell it
• Feel it
• Drench your self in it



Here are some strategies that I find very helpful in dealing with tempting situations and avoiding the holiday food traps:


A. Have a snack before you arrive to a party

To avoid you overindulging  on high fat foods like cheese, chips and dip, which are usually consumed mindlessly, you can try and eat a healthy balanced snack around 60-90 minutes before you arrive

B. Practise the art of compensation


B. Practise the art of compensation

Holiday eating usually means extra treats and more down time. So to achieve a healthy balance between healthy eating, regular social outings and weight control, a key skill is learning to compensate when you’ve overindulged.


Here are some useful tips:

  • Factor in an alcohol free day

  • Eat lightly for the rest of the day after a heavy meal

  • Eat lightly in the morning if you are going to a lunch tie event

  • Do some extra walking or exercise


C. Watch what you’re eating when drinking

Chances are you’ll be enjoying a few drinks with friends more often than usual during the holidays.


A few things to note:

  • Your food choices may not be as healthy after a few drinks

  • Alcohol gets metabolized first so the burger and the chips you have with it will be stored

  • Based on this having a small meal before you head out will help

  • Best options are seafood, salads and grills as they will help you control your overall food intake


Yes, it’s a busy season. But when you take care of your body, mind and spirit — making sure you’re well nourished, hydrated, rested and sane — you’ll be better able to handle the intensity and you’ll be a lot more fun to be around.


And finally have a restful and joyous holiday with out putting extra stress on your self to be perfect! Throw away this useless expectation and enjoy your break!



How can you create a Healthy Holiday Eating Plan to manage festive feasting and have peace with food?


I know your life style, your requirements and your goals are unique, There’s no standard approach that works for everyone. I also know that when you've absolutely nailed it – when you are crystal clear on your approach – the method and strategy that works for you – and the habits, rituals and systems you need to support your success – SO MUCH changes


If you would like help with creating your healthy holiday eating plan, so that you can arrive in 2018 feeling calm, confident and loving every minute of it , contact me for a chat on this link  15-minute discussion  Its free. And it might change your life.


Irena Geller

Your Emotional Eating Coach

I am a creative scientist and a Health and Wellness Coach who helps 35+ busy women to stop fighting with emotional eating, stress eating and overwhelm and start living the lives they’ve been craving.


















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