Mind & Body

Nutritionist Jess Sepel’s 4 easy ways to avoid food anxiety during the silly season

For someone who has experienced a poor relationship with food and her body, nutritionist and founder of JSHealth Jess Sepel knows that this time of year can be anxiety-inducing. Here she shares her strategies to hopefully make it a little less so.

I absolutely understand the anxiety around food and social situations at this time of year.

The festive season often involves drinking more than we normally do at parties and events, eating foods we wouldn’t often eat, and having less control over our eating in general. I’ve felt all these pressures at times, especially when I had a poor relationship with food and my body.

I found this time of year incredibly stressful, but I have learned that it’s okay to be more relaxed around this time, it doesn’t mean you have to let all your healthy habits go, it just means letting yourself enjoy the festive season and doing the best you can!

Here are my top tips to maintain a healthy lifestyle at this time.

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Balance is key

When you go to parties or events, you’re absolutely allowed to try the desserts, treats and whatever else calls to you! Just make sure you’re also eating nutritious, whole foods at the same time – fill most of your plate with the healthier options, and then add your treats and indulgences into the mix afterwards!


Aim to eat a protein-rich snack before any events, so you’re not absolutely starving when you get there. Being really hungry can lead to overeating, so by ensuring your blood sugar levels are balanced with a snack beforehand, you’re more in control, and can make better choices! One of my go-to protein-rich snacks is a blueberry and hemp seed smoothie, which is bursting with antioxidants and fibre-rich fresh blueberries. Plus, hemp seeds are a great source of plant-based protein and essential fatty acids. If you don’t have any hand, they can be replaced with chia seeds.

Alternate your alcoholic drinks with a glass of water

For every alcoholic beverage you have at parties, follow it with a glass of water or soda water to rehydrate you. This will prevent a hangover the next day, and support your liver at the same time.

Sleep is key

Aim for 7-9 hours a night to ensure your body is re-energised, and cleansed ahead of your next event! All the socialising can be very draining and exhausting if you’re not getting enough sleep.

Jessica Sepel is a clinical nutritionist, best-selling author and founder of JSHealth. Find her on Instagram @jshealth.