While our holiday gatherings may be different this year, one thing that is likely a constant is our favorite food & drinks. We should absolutely enjoy celebrating the holidays to reflect back on the year’s events, in small socially distanced settings. Be careful though, as all of the yummy holiday comfort foods surround us, tempting us, and often result in unwanted weight gain.
Here are 5 mindful tips to help you navigate on what, and how you control the urges to overeat during calorie laden holiday feasts.
1. Am I hungry? Take a moment to assess what you are feeling and why you might be thinking about food. If the answer is yes, then assess your options. What are the healthiest and best foods available? How much will you need to eat to satisfy your hunger? When the answer is no, then redirect your attention to something not food related. Perhaps socialize with family and friends a little longer, or start the family sing-a-long.
2. Appreciate the holiday beauty that surrounds you. You can spend time appreciating the table setting, the ambiance, and the efforts made by your host to celebrate the season. Enjoy the colors and aromas that add so much delight to each holiday.
3. Don’t pre-load your fork! Your attention will be on the next bite and not on appreciating the bite you just took. Take time between bites, setting your utensil down and paying attention to the flavor and texture of the food. Truly taste the ingredients, make a mental record of the spices, the temperature, the combinations of each forkful.
4. Be Grateful. Take a silent moment or moments during the meal to express gratitude, appreciating where the food came from and for those who prepared it. Be grateful for the people you are enjoying this meal with, for their health, for your relationships.
5. Take your time. Pause to periodically check in on your level of hunger and fullness. If you are feeling full, stop eating so you don’t feel over-indulged afterwards. Enjoy the sense of being satisfied and not stuffed.
By Brad Crump, DC