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How to eat healthy during the Holidays

14 Strategies to have your cake & eat it too

Holidays are a time of celebration & family.

But for some of us, it also feels like a time full of temptations and social pressure.

Restricting ourselves from food in order to avoid falling off the wagon & giving into cravings….

Luckily, we have 14 strategies to help you navigate the Holidays while staying on-goal & still enjoying treats mindfully.

Holiday food can be normal food too!


At Ari Coach, we teach healthy eating habits, instead of diets. That means, your eating habits need to allow for the lifestyle you want.

Imagine a life without having any holiday treats… Sad right?!

Instead of thinking holiday treats are all bad, off-limits foods – consider shifting to the mindset that holiday food is NORMAL food too.

How to handle emotional eating around the Holidays


For foods that affect you emotionally (or where you find it hard to control yourself around), consider sorting them into:

To understand your boundaries & ways to deal with them without testing your willpower all the time.

Red foods

Red is for foods where you feel like:

  • You will finish the entire package in 1 sitting
  • Will trigger cravings to go out and eat more of this.
  • Unleashes your inner ravenous beast
  • Makes you feel out of control.

Strategies for dealing with Red foods

  1. Save it for after you eat a full satisfying meal first, then chew each bite 20-30 times, savoring it mindfully. “I’d love to have some after I finish my meal first.”
  2. Choose to mindfully eat a smaller portion instead of the larger size. “I only want this much”
  3. Remove it from your environment, or avoid hanging out next to the food.“I appreciate the gesture, but no thank you. ✋ (Smile & shake your head if they press more, you’re not obligated to answer)”

Yellow foods

Yellow is for foods where you feel like:

  • You might have more cravings after
  • You are encouraged to eat more off-goal foods
  • Not sure if you can eat mindfully

Strategies for dealing with Yellow foods

Use Red food strategies, or these to deal with Yellow foods:

  1. Give yourself permission to enjoy it mindfully (see Eat Mindfully Lesson). “I am enjoying this mindfully”
  2. Take smaller bites and chew it 20-30 times. “I want to enjoy this flavor longer”
  3. Take sips of water between bites “I want to enjoy this slowly”
  4. Check in with yourself – ask yourself, “Do I really want to eat this right now?”If yes, pause and use any of the 6 strategies above.

Green foods

Green foods make you feel like:

  • You can eat this responsibly
  • No cravings after
  • You can stop any time when you are full

Give yourself permission to enjoy it mindfully

Remember, Holidays are about the people & not just the food!

In summary

  1. Be well-fed & prepared by eating a satisfying meal or snack beforehand
  2. Have healthy snacks on hand to help you navigate around Red/Yellow foods
  3. Plan to eat more on-goal and let yourself enjoy a few off-goal meals responsibly. That way we can avoid obsessing over restricting foods.
  4. Eat mindfully by savoring each bite
    – observe how the food looks
    – are you tasting everything?
    – are you tuning into the textures?
  5. Socialize separately from eating (it’s easier to talk without food in your mouth 😉 )
  6. Need more help? Talk to a Coach (for PRO members)

If you try these, tag us @aricoachapp !

Ready to ditch dieting?

Learn to nourish & fuel your body with Ari Coach - the #1 Mindful Meal Planner app for busy people!

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