Eating For Happiness: A Holiday Survival Guide

For the holidays, we're revisiting some of our favorite festive articles from the Beautylish archive. Enjoy!

There aren’t many things more depressing than restraining yourself from indulgence—especially on food during the holidays. Portioning your plate at a holiday dinner or only allowing yourself 100 calories from the party snack buffet is like rationing out 5 ornaments for your entire tree. Only knowing 3 lines from jinglebells does not a carol make.

There’s a serious divide at the holiday dinner table between those who shamelessly help themselves to seconds and thirds, and those whose plates resemble a visual of a diet article in Cosmo.

Where is the middle ground in holiday eating? 6 cookies before dinner won’t do your body much good, but a “no cookies” rule keeps us locked in a mindset that does nothing for our mental well being.

There are two issues with common holiday eating tips—they are geared toward weight loss and they are geared toward women. But this overrides another two factors, which may be the most important two factors of eating: nutrition and happiness.

The thing is, everybody requires a different nutrition plan, because health knows no size or gender. Get it? Mentally and physically, we are all different, so how can we all be expected to follow the same holiday diet advice, year after year after year?

This season, ditch the diet tips and listen to your body. If brie on crackers agrees with you, treat yourself. If you’re still hungry after clearing your plate, snag a little more roast (you won’t have another chance at it again for 12 months).

On the flip side, if potatoes au gratin tends to upset your stomach, go easy on it. If chocolate makes you break out, steer clear of the peppermint bark. It’s not a celebration if you’re suffering.

Basically, make relaxing and celebrating your main goals. If you must, save the cleanses, detox diets, and substitutions for all those non-holidays (trust us, there’s plenty of those). In the end, how can we be healthy when we’re not happy? Treating yourself is a beautiful thing. Now go enjoy.