The holidays don’t have to derail your health goals—just ask Whole30® founder Melissa Hartwig Urban. Today, she’s sharing her top tips for navigating any food scenario, with a special seasonal twist. (We’re looking at you, office parties, family potlucks, and New Year’s Eve buffets.) Be sure to watch the video for even more suggestions.
Tip 1: Ditch the diet
Get started on the right foot by adopting a modern mindset. “Whole30® is different than a diet because we’re not restricting calories, and we’re not relying on sheer willpower,” Hartwig Urban shares. “We’re actually changing—physiologically and psychologically—your emotional relationship with food, and your habits.”
Tip 2: Flip the script
For many, the holidays feel like a free-for-all when it comes to food, but Hartwig Urban urges you to exercise caution. In her experience, January won’t save you. “You end up losing out on a lot of the joy that the holidays can bring because you don’t feel your best. The holidays are a great time to ask yourself: Is it worth it? Do I want the candy at my office that isn’t very special? Probably not worth it. But your mom’s chocolate chip cookies she makes once a year? Those probably are.”
Tip 3: Navigate family pressure
If you encounter family pressure to eat certain foods around the holidays, Hartwig Urban recommends having a conversation ahead of time. “We often show up in social situations thinking we’ll just navigate it when we get there, but if we had talked about it earlier, it could negate a lot of these issues.” Also, remember that you don’t owe anyone an explanation for holding your personal boundaries. “If you’re pressed after declining a dish, you can say you’re not in the mood right now, or you’ll take it home and eat it.”