Savour the season: A healthier connection with food over the holidays

The holiday season is a wonderful time to enjoy your favourite dishes while celebrating with loved ones. It can also be a challenging time to navigate feelings of guilt along with well-meaning, yet often unwelcome comments from family and friends about diet and body image. Finding a balance between enjoying festive occasions and maintaining a healthy relationship with food is important to your health and well-being this holiday season.

Enjoy the celebration 

Cayla Olynyk, a Calgary Foothills Primary Care Network Registered Dietitian recommends enjoying holiday meals by slowing down and appreciating the connection food can bring with your loved ones. Allow yourself to enjoy the variety of flavours and appreciate the cultural and social significance of the holiday season without guilt.

Set boundaries 

Establish healthy boundaries with family and friends by communicating that conversations related to body and diet make you uncomfortable. Try to shift the conversation to a more positive topic like the latest book you’ve read or an upcoming vacation. 

Practice intuitive eating 

Listen to your hunger and fullness cues. Instead of following strict diet rules, focus on nourishing your body with foods that bring you joy and make you feel satisfied. Avoid an all-or-nothing approach, which can lead to binge eating or restrictive dieting.  

Be kind to yourself 

Olynyk stresses the importance of reminding ourselves that “a well-nourished and cared for body comes in many shapes and sizes.” Practice self-compassion by shifting your focus from perceived imperfections to appreciating what your body can do. Try to engage in activities that make your body feel healthy and strong. 

You’re not alone 

Primary Care Networks offer a variety of support including free workshops to support a healthy lifestyle. Visit for more information. 

Recommended for you


Previous Article Next Article
Back to News Page