The Truth About PCOS and Holiday Eating
The holiday season is a time of celebration, family, and food. Many teens, especially those with PCOS, may start to worry about holiday eating habits and putting on extra pounds. But please don’t let these worries distract you from enjoying the holidays with your family and friends. The truth is you can enjoy the holidays AND the food!
In anticipation of a big meal or holiday celebration, try your best to follow your normal meal pattern, including having breakfast. This may mean making changes to the time of day you have your meals and snacks but arriving at the feast already famished may lead to overeating. Trying to “save up” calories by not eating in anticipation of a big meal can cause spikes and drops in blood sugar. Instead, if the main holiday meal is in the early-late afternoon, have a regular breakfast and small snack with protein, fat, fiber, and carbohydrates. Regular, balanced meals and snacks will help you to keep your blood sugar in check leaving you energized and relaxed throughout the day. Also, try to remember when you’re at the main meal that there will always be leftovers! Because smaller more frequent meals are beneficial to teens with PCOS, it might make sense to have a smaller than normal plate during the main event, and then another plate a few hours later.
To help stay balanced over the holiday season, try to practice mindful eating. Mindful eating helps you to enjoy your food and notice your hunger and fullness cues. To eat mindfully, try to be completely aware of all of your senses as you eat: how does the food smell, how does it feel in your mouth, what does it look like, and how does it feel to touch? When practicing this technique, try to avoid good vs. bad food thinking. Recognize that all foods are good foods if you are eating a healthy, moderate portion – this means your favorite slice of pie or dessert too!
So the truth is that focusing on enjoying the holidays with your family and friends without worrying too much about the food can help avoid that dreaded holiday-induced weight gain. Be mindful and try to follow your regular eating patterns and habits. If the way that you eat does end up taking a detour for a few days here and there, please don’t spend too much time worrying – instead focus on the celebrations with family and friends during this special time of year.