Fertility Friendly Nutrition for the Holidays

by Margaret Eich, MS, RDN

It seems that the holidays start before Halloween and extend into the New Year. Once Halloween hits, it seems like the sweets and treats are everywhere, and it often doesn't subside until the New Year's resolutions hit. It can be a challenge to manage this time period, especially when you're trying to eat healthy to support fertility.

First of all, I recommend trying to take any guilt out of your food decisions and avoid putting too much pressure on yourself to have your eating be perfect. There really is no such thing as having perfect eating habits, so this isn't something to strive for. Unfortunately, many people tend to have a lot of guilt around the food choices we make. As much as we might think that we can use guilt as a way to propel us into healthier choices, often the opposite is true. Banishing the guilt doesn't mean giving ourselves a free pass to eat anything we want with abandon, but it's about being able to move on in a productive way when we make choices that we are less than happy with. Follow these tips to change the way you approach eating over the holidays:

1. Try to banish the "all or nothing" way of thinking. In other words, instead of feeling like your eating has to be perfect during this time period, be content with doing your best and enjoying some indulgences, which are a normal part of the holidays. When we feel guilty about overindulging, we often beat ourselves up and vow to be "perfect" the next day. This may lead to being overly restrictive. Eating restrictively usually leads back to overeating and overindulging, such that the cycle continues. Instead, be kind to yourself, move on, and return to your healthy eating habits and resist the urge to try to be "perfect" or too restrictive the next day.

2. Practice eating slowly and mindfully, especially when you're having treats. This allows us to savor the treats and our favorite foods. When we truly experience our food with all of our senses, we get more enjoyment and often need to eat less. Check out this post to learn more about mindful eating.

Want to learn more on this topic? I hope you will join me for my free webinar entitled "Fertility Friendly Nutrition for the Holidays," which will be on Thursday, November 14, 6-7 pm. I will cover strategies to eat healthy over the holiday season including nutrient dense foods to focus on, ways to keep your sugar intake in check, and strategies to manage your eating over the holidays.

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