The Intuitive Eater's Holiday Bill of Rights

22 December 2020 | Written by Xenia Ayiotis

As we approach Christmas and the festivities with all the talk and focus on food, here are your rights to let go of guilt, to enjoy and be at peace with food, eating and your body.

Evelyn Tribole, co-author of Intuitive Eating, has kindly allowed me to share this with you…

Consider your Intuitive Eating Bill of Rights, as we enter the holiday season, to help you foster inner peace with food, mind and body.

  1. You have the right to savor your meal, without cajoling or judgment, and without discussion of calories eaten or the amount of exercise needed to burn off said calories.
  2. You have the right to enjoy second servings without apology.
  3. You have the right to honor your fullness, even if that means saying “no thank you” to dessert or a second helping of food.
  4. It is not your responsibility to make someone happy by overeating, even if it took hours to prepare a specialty holiday dish.
  5. You have the right to say, “No thank you,” without explanation, when offered more food.
  6. You have the right to stick to your original answer of “no”, even if you are asked multiple times. Just calmly and politely repeat “No, thank you, really.”
  7. You have the right to eat pumpkin pie for breakfast.
  8. You have the right to feel less than “cheerful” no matter what others are saying about the ‘true spirit’ of the holiday season. You have the right to honor your true feelings and respond to them with compassion.” – Rebecca Galla
  9. “Not right now thanks but maybe later” works really well to appease the pushy host/hostess. If there isn’t a “later” then remind yourself that there is tomorrow and you won’t perish today.” – Tracy Stoker
  10. “You have a right to notice how your body responds to different foods and to eat foods that look good, taste good and make you FEEL GOOD.” – Latoya J. Williams
  11. “You have the right to share your inner peace with food, without judgement! Others may just even be jealous!” – Kathryn Fink
  12. “You have the right to enjoy your food immensely even if a loved one with food challenges is present.” – Becky Henry
  13. “You have the right not to participate in diet/weight talk.” – Judith Matz
  14. “You have the right to eat others’ forbidden foods without feeling guilty.”– Jaime Fenton
  15. “You have the right to say a graceful “Thank you” when someone compliments you without denying their comment or putting yourself down.” – Sumner Brooks, MPH, RD, CSSD
  16. And Elyse Resch, co-author of Intuitive Eating offers this gem: “You have the right to feel the painful feelings that may come up at holiday time and to ask for support from someone safe.”
  17. As Evelyn Tribole says: “Remember, no one, except for you, knows how you feel, both emotionally and physically. Only you can be the expert of your body, which requires inner attunement, rather than the external, well-meaning, suggestions from family.”

Used with permission. Copyright © 2010 by Evelyn Tribole, MS, RD Published at

Xen and the Art of Mindful Eating’s additions:

  1. “You have the right to eat others’ forbidden foods without feeling the need to justify your choices.” – Xenia Ayiotis
  2. “You have the right to gently remove yourself from a place or space if the conversation is triggering.” – Xenia Ayiotis
  3. “You have the right to eat whatever you want, however much you want, whenever you want without explanation.” – Xenia Ayiotis

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