Mindful Eating Over the Holidays
The Holidays are here, and along with this wonderful season come parties, family gatherings, delicious food and irresistible goodies.
A healthy lifestyle includes a balanced diet, physical activity and good mental health. During the holidays, there are ways that you can plan ahead to help prepare yourself for those holiday mealtimes.
- Plan your meals. If you know you are going to a dinner party, make sure you eat breakfast and lunch. Sometimes people think that by skipping meals they will be able to eat more at the party, but what they are forgetting is that by skipping meals and only eating at dinner, people put themselves in a position where their bodies will want to eat whatever is in their path. At times likes these, it is very difficult to be mindful of what and how much a person is eating, and difficult to make good food choices.
- Along with #1, if you know you are probably going to make less healthy choices at dinner, plan to eat better food choices at breakfast and lunch, ensuring your meals consists of vegetables, fruit, protein, and healthy fats like avocado, olive oil, butter and coconut oil. If you choose to eat grains, choose whole grains (they have more fibre) – and limit your portions.
- Eat mindfully. Mindfulness means being aware of what food you put on your plate, and what you put into your mouth. It’s so easy to eat food without realizing we are even eating it. Eat slowly; savour the flavour and texture of the food. Enjoy it! If you are still hungry after the first plate, wait 20 minutes to give your body time to decide if you are satisfied or not. If not, then go back for seconds. During dessert, choose the one or two options that you want the most and Enjoy Every Bite! It is better to eat the dessert you really want, instead of trying to make up for it by eating 3 or 4 or 5 other desserts in an effort to satisfy your desires.
Note: The human eye can be easily deceived! The size of the plates used affect how much food is eaten without us even realizing it. When we use large dinner plates, we tend to fill them. This can lead us to eat 20% more food than we need, or than we intended. When possible use smaller dishes for dinners, potlucks, and h’orderves. This also allows us to control the portion sizes of our foods.
- To best enjoy the holiday seasons, we should also consider our physical and mental health. Plan physical activity into your holiday; a few examples include: a snow ball fight with the kids, ice skating, going for a walk, yoga, etc. Take time for yourself - schedule time to relax, reflect, and/or meditate. An easy way to do this might be to take 10 slow, deep breaths or maybe take a bubble bath. Personal time and physical activity will help balance the craziness with relaxation/down-time.
During the holiday season we are going to be surrounded by lots of goodies. Don’t be afraid to eat; eat mindfully – be aware of what you are eating, when you are eating, and where; and ENJOY every bite. Have a fun, enjoyable, relaxing holiday.
If you have any questions or comments, please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Wishing you the best of health,