The Christmas holiday is fast approaching and with it comes holiday parties, families gatherings and those endless shopping trips to find just the right gift for everyone on your shopping list. The one great thing about Christmas is that tables abound with all types of tempting food. Considering the stress of the holidays and all the food at our disposal is it any wonder that so many of us binge eat during the Christmas season? Perhaps this Christmas, it is time to eat a bit more mindfully and really consider what we are putting in our mouths and stomachs and how often.
What It Means to Eat Mindfully
Eating mindfully means using your full attention when eating to understand what your body is telling you about your cravings and physical cues about hunger and non-hunger triggers that cause you to binge eat. To eat mindfully you should:
Eat slowly and without distractions
Use all your senses to better enjoy the food including sight, taste, smell, texture and the feel of your food on your tongue.
Listen to your body's cues and eat only until you feel full.
Stopping to take notice about how everything you eat makes you feel
Paying attention to the triggers that make you overeat or binge on food.
How To Eat Mindfully During the Holidays
There are some simple tips to make it easier to eat mindfully during the holidays. Here are some tips that can help you.
Find ways to calm yourself. The stress and the excitement of Christmas often leads to binge eating as we find ourselves picking at various foods we are preparing or at a party. Instead of turning to food find other ways of calming yourself such as drinking a cup of tea, looking at the Christmas lights outside the window, or really listening to Christmas music.
Only Eat when you sitting down. All too often at parties and such we tend to pick at a plate of food while we standing up either because there are not enough seats available or because there is a long buffet line. Make up your mind that you aren't going to take a bite of food until you are comfortably seated and you'll find that you eat less and enjoy the food more.
Eat small portions of the special foods you love and leave the filler foods like mashed potatoes or rolls that you can eat any time for other occasions. That way you won't feel as though you need to stuff yourself in order to enjoy your favorite foods.
Know When To Stop
Mindful eating isn't just eating what your like when you feel hungry. It is also knowing when to stop eating. The minute you feel full and satisfied put the fork down and quit eating. You can always eat leftovers tomorrow instead of over eating today.
Instead of filling your Christmas table with those high calorie sugary and starchy treats, try laying out some better options such as fruits and vegetables and other healthy foods. Keep those treats to one or two special ones instead of stocking up on all of your favorite treats. You won't miss them if they aren't there in the first place.
Eating mindfully for the holidays isn't about denying yourself or sticking to diet, it is about paying attention to what your eat and savoring every mouthful and stopping when you feel full and satisfied.