Should Diets Be On The Table This Christmas?

The holidays are a time of food and family, but when diet culture seeps in, it can ruin the Holiday season.


Anna Grace Likes

Most fad diets are simply unsustainable trends which hurt a person more than helping them in the long run.

During the stretch of fun family holidays from Thanksgiving to Christmas, food is shared just as much as family stories. From turkey and stuffing to homemade Christmas cookies, the food consumed in November and December is always delicious. But instead of enjoying these holiday foods as just food, magazines and articles everywhere try to push ideas such as “20 Tips to Avoid Weight Gain During the Holidays” from Healthline. Diet culture has infused itself fully into even holidays, making it hard to relax and take time with family and friends.

The mindset where a person will only let themself eat if a new fad diet is in the near future is harmful to both the mind and body. “It’s no wonder the holidays feel like a food free for all – if you’re thinking ‘I’ll just start over on January 1st’, your body senses that restriction and deprivation are around the corner. This influences how you feel and behave around food,” said Alissa Ramsey, nutrition therapist, in an interview with Food Network. Being on food for a time in order to force the body to cut back on food in the future is not a healthy mindset, and it is this thought process which eventually leads to disordered eating.

When surrounded by the foods and people’s one loves most during the holidays, most real dieticians and nutritionists would agree on the fact that it is completely alright to eat the foods you want to during the holidays in moderation instead of either not eating anything or binging then cutting back later. Diets such as the keto diet or other weight loss programs are not sustainable, and if it is not sustainable, it truly is not healthy in the long run. 

“The restriction mentality that is key to virtually all fad diets causes feelings of anxiety, guilt, and failure for women who fall off the diet or eat the ‘wrong’ thing,” said Laine Lum, dietician at the OHSU Center for Women’s Health. Fad diets are harmful emotionally as well as physically. This emotional toll causes completely undue stress for one’s body and mind, and nobody should have to feel guilt for ‘cheating’ a diet that is already completely unsustainable. 

With Christmas coming up and Thanksgiving already past, it can be easy for someone to restrict their eating now or in the coming season of New Years. But comfort foods can be as important to the holiday season as time with family, and there is no reason to stop eating those delicious rolls this season for a diet that will probably fall off in a month anyway. Moderation is key in true healthy eating, and enjoying the Christmas and Thanksgiving season is more important than any fad diet. The most important part of the season is spending time with the friends and family one loves, and if restricted eating and inconsistent diets get in the way of that, then they take away from the true meaning of the season.