Historically I’ve done a pre-emptive holiday eating post. Here are a couple:
Karen did a series on Paleo Thanksgiving starting with:
The topic for today is eating for the Holidays guilt free. Now the main point here is not how to eat perfectly clean during the holidays, but more to eat guilt free, even if your diet goes astray during this time of year. Firstly nutrition is a lifestyle. Focusing on eating right is something you are, not something you do for a short period in life. If you do this for the rest of the year, then minor shifts in your diet during the holidays are not going to be accompanied by significant health consequences. Eat well throughout the year and you can be a bit more lenient with yourself during the holidays. Do I eat strictly paleo during the holidays. Nope. I really like eggnog. Milk and a lot of sugar. Not a normal part of my diet, but I’ll have a glass at Christmas dinner. I’m also not going to beat myself up about it afterwards.
Guilt free eating is a mindset as much as eating well is. There are consequences to your eating decisions, both positive and negative. If you make the right nutritional choices the positives will far outweigh the negative. That is really all there is to it. Your nutritional decisions, for the most part, affect you. There’s no reason to feel guilty about poor eating choices, because they are not harming anyone else. The exception would be a parent or caretaker with significant diet related health issues still choosing to eat poorly. Then, yes, you should feel guilty about removing your ability to care for these folks simply because you want to eat crap, but that’s a topic for another time. When you choose a doughnut instead of broccoli it is a choice you are making. There are ramifications to either choice, but it still comes back to that. When you choose the doughnut you are making the choice that the short term pleasure outweighs the longer term impact of that choice. There is no moral call on which decision is better or worse, it is simply you making a choice one way or the other. There is nothing to be guilty about. Make the choice, but just understand what the impact of that choice is.
Over a longer period of time these choices will clearly show in your health and fitness, so your baseline response to these choices is critical. What is less critical is what choice you make on rare specific occasions. Some people justify the choice by making almost anything a special occasion, but if it is truly an uncommon occurrence then you can chose to indulge a little, be it through eating more volume than you normally would (this is where I tend to go) or by eating things you would normally exclude. It all comes down to balancing the consequences with any positives the decision may make.
Make your choices. Understand what those choices really mean. Then enjoy the results of your choices. There is no guilt. Just decisions.