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Seasonal Support: Help Your Patients Handle the Holidays

Guest Contributor: Nina Crowley, PhD, RDN, LD

The holidays are a tricky time for patients and providers alike. Not only are there more events and family commitments, but most of us are putting other people’s needs ahead of our own. It’s the season of giving, right?

If the actual holidays were really just about the food, then there would only be a couple of days to worry about. However, most people experience a shift in their thinking to “holiday mode,” where exercise routines get disrupted; preplanning falls to the wayside; and picking, nibbling, and overindulging increase.

Instead of wearing your holiday-time “food police” hat to criticize food choices or remind patients of basic food “rules” that they already know, give your patients the gift of listening to their fears, stresses, and worries surrounding the holidays. If they ask for advice, consider providing some behavioral tips that can keep them on track with their long-term goals.

Click here for a sample document of tips and strategies to provide your patients to help them through the holiday season.

Remind your patients that although there are steps they can take to be prepared, it is also important to be kind to themselves. If they have a slipup, relapse, or experience weight regain over the holidays, show empathy, and help them get reconnected to resources to get back on track in the new year.

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Nina Crowley, PhD, RDN, LD
Nina Crowley, PhD, RDN, LD is the Program Coordinator for the MUSC Health Metabolic & Bariatric Surgery Program in Charleston, South Carolina. Nina is passionate about the role of the practitioner in facilitating behavior change and uses her background in nutrition counseling and health psychology to inform her practice. Active in the ASMBS Carolinas State Chapter, the Integrated Health support group committee, and with the weight management dietetic practice group for dietitians, Nina is the proud recipient of the 2017 ASMBS LEAD Award for Excellence in Nutrition.

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