TIPS on eating mindfully before and during the holidays
Christmas is in 1 week. New Year’s Day is in 2 weeks.
What are you doing from now until then?
In order to set yourself up for success, here are a couple questions you will want to ask yourself:
What are you doing from now until the holidays?
Are you continuing to build unhealthy habits that you’re going to have to work even harder to change in 2 weeks?
What do you want your outcome to be?
Do you want to feel overstuffed, bloated, lethargic?
Or do you want to enjoy the food without those awful feelings but more importantly, do you want to enjoy the company?
Thanks to Pinterest for this beautiful image displaying what happens to much of the population during the winter holidays. According to a study published in the New England Journal of Medicine, we don’t gain as much actual weight as we think we do over the holiday’s.(1) My take on this study as well as my own observations and personal experience, is that we put too much emphasis on the food and engorging ourselves with high carb, high fat foods. An increase in calories, particularly at a few select meals and days is a major contributor to weight gain and bloating over the holidays.
If your goal is to be healthier and live an overall healthier lifestyle, there are a few things you can do, and you can start now! Because….why wait?
TIPS to start developing those healthy habits before the holidays —
Create a plan ahead of time
Hydrate hydrate hydrate (no sugary beverages)
Eat slowly and mindfully (don’t aimlessly put food in your mouth)
Listen to hunger & satiety feelings
As I eluded to in last week’s post, we get 95% of our taste satisfaction (pleasure) within the first 3 bites, which should help you with number’s 3 & 4 above. According to an article in the Journal of Behavioral Medicine, being more mindful and intentional with what we eat has a positive effect on our health, weight and overall wellbeing.(2) Being mindful and intentional with what you eat, when you eat, how you eat increases your overall control. Which means, you are conscious in the process of eating. You have decided what you are going to eat ahead of time, you have decided the portion sizes you are going to eat, and you have decided the times you are going to eat throughout the day.
We recommend small portions every 2-3 hours that are high in fiber and protein (those help you feel full and keep you full for that period of time).
All that is left is how you eat when you’re eating — small bites and slowly. It takes 15 minutes for your body to process that food has entered the mouth & stomach, so if you scarf down a massive portion in 5 minutes, your body wont tell you that you are full yet until about 15 minutes and at that time, it’s too late!
Been there, done that?
Especially if the food tastes really good....
The best thing you can do is start working on your eating habits now - don’t wait until the New Year to “really go after it”. You can increase your focus at that time, but it’s better to go through the Holiday’s this year mindfully and intentionally.
Check out next week’s blog for tips on hydrating and cueing into your body’s hunger and satiety signals!
There's no better time than the present.