19 Dec How to Remain Mindful This Holiday Season
The holiday season has begun! Along with festivities, presents, and decorations, the holiday season is often associated with food. As a result, it can be simple to lose track of regular, balanced meals and other healthy eating practices while indulging in celebratory feasts and nostalgic delights.
Here are my TOP tips on how you can celebrate mindfulness during the holidays (from a registered dietitian):
Slow Down and Savor Your Food
Focus on slowing down and enjoying your food. This means putting your fork down between bites and noticing all of the delicious flavors and ingredients! Additionally, it’s a good idea to put down any electronics while you eat.
Don’t Skip Meals
While you might think it’s smart to “save” calories by skipping meals in anticipation of a holiday meal, skipping breakfast or lunch could actually trigger mindless eating, overeating, and binge eating. Try to keep a regular eating schedule and continue with your normal breakfast or lunch before a large dinner meal.
Honor Your Hunger and Fullness Cues
Next time you get ready to eat and even while you’re eating try to utilize the hunger scale. The hunger scale is a rating from 0 to 10 of how hungry you truly are. 0 refers to the most hungry you could possibly be, while 10 is as full as you have ever been. Ideally, you want to fall into the 4-6 range!
If you find yourself feeling SUPER HUNGRY before each meal, maybe consider eating earlier or incorporating a snack in-between meals. If you’re not hungry at all before meals but still feel the need to eat, ask yourself why?
Make Mindful Food Choices
Holiday food choices that align with mindfulness should include enjoyment! Eating for nourishment and eating nutrient-dense foods are just as important as eating those foods you love just for the flavor, nostalgia, and tradition. Prioritize fruits, veggies, whole grains, healthy fats, and lean protein while also incorporating food items you truly enjoy and look forward to (being mindful of portion sizes of course).
Take Time For Yourself!
Even if it’s only 10 minutes per day. Walk, stretch, meditate, take a hot shower, journal, sit with a cup of tea or coffee, whatever makes you feel relaxed! Taking time for yourself will help you de-stress and not feel overwhelmed during the stressful holiday season. Less stress also means less mindless snacking.
Incorporate some (or all) of these mindfulness techniques to make this holiday season a little more merry and bright. And remember that mindfulness takes time, practice and patience!
|Maryann Walsh, MFN, RD, CDE
Registered Dietitian/ Consultant