3 resources to deal with diet talk during the holidays

A elegant table set for the holidays with red candles and greenery
How to avoid diet culture talk at your holiday table

Imagine sitting down at your holiday table.

Smelling all the yummy smells. Getting excited to try a new dish or plate up some old favorites that only hit the table once a year.

It's warm, comforting, cozy, safe.

Then, BAM! Somebody at the table drops the "I can't/shouldn't eat that because I'm doing..." Noom, Keto, Paleo, low-carb, no-sugar," on and on, until you're ready to poke your eye out with the fork instead of stabbing into a turkey leg dipped in cranberry sauce (made with REAL sugar)!

Isn't it amazing and appalling how diet culture manages to show up in even the safest places - like your holiday dinner table, church, school, medical office, inner circle of friends, the hair salon, etc.?

Don't worry, I've got you covered!

There's no need to walk into any holiday gathering without some anti-diet culture resources like...

The Intuitive Eater's Holiday Bill of Rights, originally published by Evelyn Tribole MS RDN back in 2014. Here are my interpretations of these classic statements.

  • You have the right to savor your meal without judgment from yourself or others. AND without discussion of calories eaten, if foods should or shouldn't be eaten on someone's diet plan, or without making a plan to earn or burn calories/foods.

  • You have the right to enjoy additional servings of any food without apology - this includes whipped cream, pie, and ALL carbs!

  • You have the right to honor your fullness and satisfaction, even if that means saying "no thank you" when offered more food or feeling sad that you've had enough but "the food just tastes SO good." Remember, you can always come back for seconds whenever you want or take leftovers to-go - AND eat those whenever you want.

  • You have the right to say "no thank you" even if the cook worked for hours on the meal or spent a lot of money on having the meal catered. It's not your responsibility to make someone happy by eating more than you're comfortable with. SEE leftovers to-go above.

  • You have the right to ask for seconds of any food without explanation. (NOTE: the theme here is NO comments on people's food choices! Ever!)

  • You have the right to wear clothing you feel comfortable in - that doesn't confine or bind your ability to enjoy the meal and time with people you care about. You have the right to dress according to your style, not to anyone else's preference.

  • You have the right to embrace family food traditions that are nourishing and ditch the ones that cause unnecessary stress or trigger negative emotional responses.

And my personal favorite and tradition since I was in my 20's...

  • You have the right to eat pumpkin pie for breakfast! (or any leftovers ;) )

TRUTH: I used to eat the filling out of the pumpkin pie and leave the crust - I'm not a fan of traditional pie crusts. My Mom would get SO frustrated with me.

But hey, I was just exercising my right to honor my hunger and satisfaction! Now I make pumpkin pie with a nutty granola crust. The crunchiness balances the smooth, creamy filling brilliantly!

While you're prepping for your holiday feasts or making your lists and checking them twice, don't miss these Savor Food and Body Podcast episodes with Leslie Schilling and Dr. Maggie Landes.

Leslie passionately shares how to navigate diet culture in safe places like Christianity and why intuitive eating is a divine gift of grace that you were born with. Listen to the show here.

Maggie (equally passionately) shares her professional medical opinion on why using BMI and weight as markers for health is the root of cause weight stigma at the doctor's office. You'll also get strategies on how to survive a visit with your doc without internalizing body shame or getting a list of use-less weight loss tips. Listen to the show here.

Don't forget to subscribe to the podcast so you never miss an episode! If you like what you hear, leave a rating and a comment. All of this will help other people find the show too!