How To Set Boundaries During the Holidays

Ah, the holiday season! A festive and fun time for gatherings, cherished traditions and abundance of yummy treats, drinks and hearty meals.

If you love the holidays but also want to maintain a healthy lifestyle and habits, this time of year can prove challenging when faced with “food pushers”: well-meaning friends and family insisting you indulge in all the holiday delights crossing your path. While their intentions may be good, the impact on your health goals can be less than desirable.

…How do you tell Aunt Sally you cannot eat another piece of her prized pumpkin pie?

…How do you turn down generations of traditions without being banished from future family gatherings?

…How do you tell friends you don’t want (another) Christmas Ale?

In today’s blog, you are learning our 6 simple strategies for setting boundaries and dealing with food pushers so that you can maintain healthy habits while still enjoying all the holiday festivities!

Setting boundaries can feel tricky and at times, uncomfortable. You don’t want to hurt feelings or insult those you love who have spent countless hours preparing cherished traditions! That is why I am giving you 6 simple strategies for setting boundaries this holiday season, so you are not sacrificing your goals and habits for the sake of pleasing others.

#1. Communicate your goals: Before the festivities kick off, communicate your health and fitness goals to friends and family. Let them know you are making a conscious effort to prioritize your well-being and may need their support in resisting tempting treats. Be vocal!

#2. Be firm but polite: When faced with a food pusher, it is crucial to be firm in your decision when serious about your health and wellness goals. You can absolutely decline items without being confrontational. A simple, “Thank you, but I’m trying to make healthier choices right now” can convey your message without causing unnecessary tension.

#3. Offer alternatives: If possible, suggest alternative options that align with your health goals. For example, if someone insists on dessert, you might say, “I appreciate the offer of cake, but I’d love a cup of herbal tea instead.”.

#4. Practice assertiveness: It’s okay to say “no”; you have the right to make choices that align with your well-being. Practice assertiveness by confidently declining without feeling the need to offer elaborate explanations.

#5. Bring your own dish: If you’re attending a gathering, consider bringing a healthy dish you enjoy. This ensures nutritious options are available and allows you to contribute to the festivities in a positive way.

#6. Focus on socializing: Shift the focus from food to socializing by engaging in conversations, participating in games and enjoying the company of friends and family. When the emphasis is on connections rather than indulgence, it becomes easier to navigate food-centric gatherings.

Now that you know how to set boundaries, how exactly do you go about voicing them? Here are 5 prompts to practice so that you are prepared and ready this holiday season:

“Thank you so much for offering, but I’ve already planned out my meals today to stay on track with my health goals.”

“I really appreciate your thoughtfulness, but I’m trying to make more mindful choices right now.”

“Your (insert dish) looks absolutely delicious, but I’m currently focusing on nourishing my body with specific foods that help me feel my best. I hope you understand.”

“I am trying to be mindful of what I eat, and I’ve already got my healthy options with me. I appreciate the offer though.”

“I am working on maintaining a well-balanced diet, and I’ve already prepared something that aligns with my health goals. Thank you for offering!”

Remember, it’s all about expressing gratitude while emphasizing your commitment to your health without making yourself or others feel uncomfortable. Don’t be afraid to speak up because you are in full control of your behaviors and shouldn’t feel guilty for making your health a priority.

Note: these 5 prompts are to guide you when turning down unwanted items but be sure to take time and enjoy the items you truly want this holiday season. Health and wellness goals all come down to consistency, patience, and moderation. When enjoying these items, eat mindfully: chew slowly and thoroughly, place utensils down between bites and eat without distraction. By doing so, you become more in tune with your fullness cues and eat portions that are appropriate for your needs without overeating. 

If you need help or have questions about how to maintain your healthy habits and lifestyle this holiday season, book your FREE intro session now so you can get a personalized strategy and know exactly what to do!


Stay Fueled


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