Mindful Eating During the Holidays

With all the decadent treats and delicious foods abundantly available during the holiday season, it’s very easy to get off track and pack on some hefty pounds. Baked goods, snacks, candies, chocolates, appetizers and more are everywhere. We tend to use the holidays as an excuse to gorge, with the intent of taking off the extra weight in January. You know, when we make all those lofty resolutions that are impossible to realize. But, there are a few things we can do to stay on track and eat a healthy diet during the festive weeks ahead.

Stay Mindful. Start your mornings with awareness and mindfulness. Nurture your body by meditating, stretching, going for a run, or doing yoga or qigong. They will help you stay calm, encourage an aware mind and you’ll feel better. These conscious actions will also help you make better decisions and food choices.

holiday food

Hydrate. Drinking enough water daily is essential. Water flushes out toxins, provides energy, improves brain function, assists in digestion, improves skin health and complexion, promotes regular bowel movements, helps regulate body temperature, prevents bad breaths and promotes healthy weight loss and weight management to name just a few benefits. Another big factor is that water plays a big role in regulating your appetite, so drink up.

Are You Really Hungry? Reflect on how you feel after eating a meal. Are you satisfied and content with the volume of food you ate? Or did you overstuff and feel lousy with a stomach ache, heartburn and drowsiness? After you finish one plate of food, check in with your hunger. Overeating can lead to a sleepy coma, but eating in moderation means enjoying the holiday season to the fullest with your family and friends.

Make Better Choices. Filling your body with high-quality proteins and non-starchy carbs means you’ll be pumped full of nutrients and minerals that your body needs to function optimally, so you won’t feel the need to overindulge in sugary foods. You can’t go wrong with the variety of fruits and vegetables available during the winter months. Leafy greens are super rich in fiber and phytonutrients and you can eat to your heart’s content. If you’re full of healthy foods, you’ll have less room for foods that raise your blood sugar and make you grumpy.

Eat Slow, Chew Well. Have you ever noticed someone who raced through their meal? Their stomach hasn’t had a chance to adjust to the volume of food, so they keep eating. Take small bites and chew slowly. This will have a significant impact on the amount of food you consume. Take the time to enjoy and appreciate the smell, texture and flavor of your food. You’ll be amazed at how much less food you eat when you’re aware of every bite.

If you follow some of these tips, you may find that you eat far less and feel so much better. The holiday season is not so much about the food, but about enjoying time with your family and friends and creating new memories.