Mindful Eating During the Holidays

Handsome young guy enjoying his mealIn anticipation of buffet style eating or a big sit down meal during the holidays, try your best to follow your normal meal routine including having breakfast. Trying to “save up” calories by not eating in excitement of overindulging causes spikes and drops in blood sugar. Instead, if the main holiday meal is in the early to late afternoon, try the following tips to avoid over-eating:

– Have a regular breakfast and small snack with protein, fat, fiber, and carbohydrates
– Try to remember when you’re at the main meal that there will always be leftovers!
– Eating smaller more frequent meals may be beneficial so try using a smaller plate during the main event, and then have another portion a few hours later.

To help stay balanced over the holiday season, try to practice mindful eating. Mindful eating helps you to enjoy your food and notice your hunger and fullness cues. To eat mindfully, try to be completely aware of all of your senses as you eat: how does the food smell, how does it feel in your mouth, what does it look like, and how does it taste? When practicing this technique, try to avoid good vs. bad food thinking. Recognize that all foods are “good foods” if you are eating a healthy and moderate portion. This means you can enjoy your favorite slice of pie or dessert too! If the way that you eat does end up taking a detour for a few days here and there, try not to spend too much time worrying – instead focus on the celebrations with family friends during this special time of year.

– Dietitian Jill