Tips for Holidays with PCOS
It is almost the holidays again and if you’re like me you are probably getting excited for all the festivities. I absolutely love the holiday music, seeing family and taking part in some winter fun! (not much of a skier, but I do love to ice skate).
Anyways, people also correlate this time of year with food and indulging in some dishes that only come around once a year. And since you have to wait until next year to have it, it’s easy to overeat and then regret the decision a few minutes later.
If you’re struggling with PCOS, the holidays might create even more anxiety. You fear that sugar cookie….don’t know what the heck you’ll eat Christmas eve. Then ultimately binge and find yourself in a dark hole.
I don’t say this to paint a negative picture.
I say this, because I understand. Women with PCOS can have very complicated relationships with food. The holidays can often exacerbate this.
The holidays don’t have to mean deprivation, anxiety and weight gain.
Here are some tips to help you enjoy this upcoming holiday season and manage your PCOS!
Holiday Eating Tips for PCOS
Tip 1: Stick to a routine
It can be very challenging to stick to a routine during the holiday season. Parties on the weekend, shopping in the evenings after work and coordinating travel plans with relatives coming into town. It’s certainly easy to get off track and slip from your movement and health routine.
Do the best you can to stick to your routine. There is only so much time in the day, but set aside at least 15-30 minutes for self care and prioritize healthy meals and eat vegetables daily!
Tip 2: Listen to your body
When you are attending a holiday dinner, truly listen to your body. When you tune into your hunger and fullness cues, it can be easier to slow down and not overeat. Turn this meal into an experience. Let’s practice.
– As you sit down, take a few deep breaths. Breathing can help to stimulate proper digestion and calm the nervous system.
– Give thanks and gratitude for the beautiful meal that has been prepared for you.
– Take a few sips of water.
– With your fork, take a small bite of food. Chew slowly, fully breaking down the food. Think about the flavor, the texture in your mouth and how this food is serving and healing your body.
– Rest your fork down, converse with someone else around the table.
-Eat slowly and repeat this process for 15-20 minutes.
-Tune in to your fullness cues. Are you still hungry? Are you satisfied? Keep in mind, that you will want to finish your meal when you are 80% full, as opposed to actually feeling full. If you are still hungry, you can always go back for more!
-We often overeat and underestimate the power of just slowing down. You don’t necessarily need to make major changes in your meal during the holidays, just slow down. This can definitely help you to eat less and more balanced meals.
Tip 3: Movement
Move your body. With the winter months, it can be easier to sit inside and munch on the extra holiday sweets as opposed to getting in some movement.
This does not mean you have to do an intense workout multiple times a week. Try something as simple as walking. Especially after holiday dinners. Get the whole family to join in on a walk. Make it a new, fun tradition!
Tip 4: Be Prepared
The absolute worse is when you show up somewhere ravenous. Trust me, it is so easy to overeat when you are starving. I’ve been there!
Be prepared and have a snack before you show up. It’s culturally accepted to starve yourself all day until a holiday meal so that you can eat more. Instead, try to stick to a regular eating routine.
Eat a snack with protein or healthy fat. This will stabilize blood sugar, curve cravings and save you from overeating.
I personally like to pair nut butter with celery sticks, munch on macadamia nuts, eat ½ avocado or even a hard boiled egg.
Working with a Dietitian this time of year can be crucial for your health. It sets the stage for the next season of life and ultimately gives you tools to managing PCOS for life.
Happy Holidays! Wishing you all a healthy and healing holiday season.