Eating Disorders and the Holiday Feast

holiday traditions gingerbread men

Special holiday meals can be cultural or religious celebrations and often involve extended family or friends.


Expert Guidance on Navigating the Holidays: Forget About the “Clean Plate Club”

Thanks to The Lakeshore West Michigan for their informed interview with Sanford Comprehensive Treatment for Eating Disorder’s Gail Hall, LMSW, DCSW, CEDS-S. During the holidays, those recovering from an eating disorder may find family meals stressful—likewise, the holiday traditions around food. Gail Hall sits down with Lakeshore’s Shandra Martinez to talk about her insights on how to manage triggers and unhealthy eating behaviors and how to spot signs of an eating disorder.


Topics Covered Are:

  • Psychology of food and holiday traditions
  • Family gatherings and regrets
  • Coping mechanisms for those who fear relapse
  • Long-term plans for healthy habits
  • The signs of an eating disorder


“Eating behavior is not the problem; the psychological regrets are the problem. Consuming food is supposed to be pleasurable, so fill your plate and enjoy the holiday traditions.  At the same time, it is also perfectly acceptable to pass on items because you don’t like them (including your aunt’s famous creamed spinach), say no to additional helpings that Grandma wants you to consume, or save room for dessert. You are the only one who can decide when you are full.” Gail Hall, LMSW, DCSW, CEDS-S


Holiday Feast & Eating Disorder Recovery

Click the link below for the full article:

holiday stress eating disorders

Gail Hall answers your holiday questions.

For More on Sanford Comprehensive Treatment for Eating Disorders:

Do not be afraid to reach out. At Sanford CTED, we transform lives and offer hope to those with eating disorders. 

Eating Disorder Programs

  • Residential
  • Partial Hospitalization (Day Programs, PHP)
  • Intensive Outpatient (IOP)
  • Outpatient Groups
  • Outpatient Psychiatry
  • In-Person and Telehealth Programs
  • Experiential and Exposure Therapy

What We Treat

  • Anorexia Nervosa
  • Avoidant Restrictive Food and Intake Disorder (ARFID) – we are currently treating ARFID on an outpatient basis.
  • Bulimia Nervosa
  • Binge Eating Disorder
  • Other Specified Feeding and Eating Disorders (OSFED)

Our Team

  • On-site Psychiatrist, Internists, Physician Assistants, Nurse Practitioners, Registered Nurses
  • Executive Director, Doctor of Clinical Nutrition
  • Psychotherapists with specialized training in treating eating disorders
  • Registered Dietitians/Clinical Nutrition Specialists
  • Certified Recreation Therapists
  • Recovery Support Specialists


eating disorders 844 what we treat





Sanford Behavioral Health is licensed and accredited as an addiction, eating disorder, and co-occurring mental health treatment facility, serving all of Michigan and beyond. Each of Sanford’s facilities in Greater Grand Rapids is carefully and diligently crafted to create a welcoming and comforting environment. Sanford is led by a psychiatrist-led team of medical, clinical, and support personnel providing medication-assisted, evidenced-based treatment to residential, outpatient, and telehealth patients. For more information, visit