How To Navigate A Thyroid Friendly Holiday
Thanksgiving is a day to be thankful for all the good we have in our lives, especially during these tough times. Dealing with a thyroid disorder definitely has its challenges, but think of how far you’ve come on your journey! Take the time today to reflect on what you’ve accomplished and tell yourself... “I’m so proud of me!”.
I know, it’s super easy to fall off the health wagon during the holidays, but I know you can do it! Covid has made it difficult to enjoy the togetherness we all crave as humans; hopefully you’re finding safe ways to connect with others! I want you to succeed through the holidays, no matter what is put in front of you, but I also want you to enjoy yourself and not dive headfirst into deprivation.
Here are some holiday navigation tips I want to share with you to help you succeed:
Eat a healthy well-balanced meal in the morning, this sets your day off right! Avoid showing up to the holiday festivities STARVING and ready to eat anything and everything in front of you! Avoid extreme hunger! Intense feelings of hunger can lead to desperate food choices. When we restrict what we eat in order to “save it for later”, we often end up binging and overcompensating later. Set yourself up for success by putting yourself in the best position to make healthy choices.
Eat slowly and truly enjoy every bite - indulge in all of your senses, take note of your surroundings and really try to enjoy the experience as a whole.
Bring a healthy swap - bring something you know works for you to reduce your chances of reaching for foods that don’t agree with your body, mind and health.
Watch those liquid options - make hydration a priority and go from there, choose wisely and limit the empty calories. Sip slowly and again, really try to enjoy your surroundings.
Be kind to yourself, no matter what.
Everyone overeats sometimes, especially on the holidays. Are you going in for a second helping and you feel you’ve eaten past the point of feeling comfortable? Take a small break and give yourself some time to see if your physical hunger feelings return. If they do, it’s game on!
Avoid any pressure to overeat by simply saying “no, thank you”, even if you are asked multiple times! You can always ask for the food to-go and even ask for the recipe! You do not need to explain yourself; you have the right to say “no, thank you”.
Give yourself permission to choose the foods you’re craving without shame, judgement or guilt by releasing yourself from any rules of restriction. Try to remember that there are no “good” or “bad” foods.
How do we cope with feelings of guilt or shame when we do eat more than we wanted to?
First let’s remember that food is more than just nutrition. It’s also about sharing... sharing togetherness, family & friends, experiences and celebration. There are so many delicious and beautiful food traditions this time of year, eating for enjoyment and pleasure is a way of self-care. Setting rules around what we “can” and “cannot” have only sets us up to be fixated on performance, rather than relaxed and thankful for our surroundings.
Here are a few tips to overcome feelings of guilt or shame when it comes to holiday overeating:
Remember that these feelings are only temporary and they will pass.
Find a quiet spot in the house and sit alone for a minute. Take a few deep breaths, close your eyes and welcome the feelings you are trying to suppress. Feel these feelings, identify them and let them go. These feelings do not identify who you are as a person.
Remove the “shoulds” from your thoughts and feelings; if these do surface, reframe them in a non-guilty way by finding something you did that was great!
Avoid any tendencies to punish yourself later with extra exercise or dietary restriction.
Silence your inner critic and congratulate yourself on a few small victories you may have accomplished today.
We are our own worst critics sometimes; the holidays during a pandemic is no time to be so hard on yourself. You are amazing, you are beautiful and you are strong. Don’t ever forget that.
I hope you have an amazing holiday!
If you're struggling to understand how to nourish your body while also living with thyroid disease, book a free call with our expert dietitian to see if working today is a good fit.