As the winter weather sets in and the holidays draw closer, we often start thinking about family gatherings and all of our favorite holiday foods. Most of these dishes aren’t the healthiest options, but we don’t have to eat ourselves into food comas. Nor must we deprive ourselves from our favorite comfort dishes. Instead, we should seek balance by practicing mindful eating habits.
Mindful eating involves you using all of your senses to fully enjoy and experience foods. It gives you a better understanding about how you really feel about different foods. You pay attention to things like hunger and satiation, which leads to you to better decision-making in regards to food and when to start and stop eating.
By better understanding what you like and dislike, it makes it easier to choose only the foods you truly enjoy and disregarding others. This will ultimately lead to increased satisfaction. Here are more mindful eating tips to help you navigate through the holidays.
A little hunger can make food taste better, which lends to our overall satisfaction. However, being too hungry can backfire. You may end up eating too fast, causing you to not fully enjoy the food, and you are likely to overeat as well. Not only applicable to the holidays, but when you are dieting and decide to skip lunch for a more indulgent dinner, you are hindering your progress.
The holidays are meant to be a joyous time, but they can also be very stressful for various reasons. You may be more vulnerable to emotional triggers that can cause you to overeat, undereat, or mindlessly eat. None are good for you, so make it a point to stay nourished by scheduling your snacks and meals and stick to it.
Because the holidays are so hectic, self-care may not be at the top of your list. However, regardless of the holidays, you should always make self-care a priority. Be aware of your emotional coping mechanisms – if food is one of them, you may need to find solace elsewhere. Make time for you, and engage in something that brings you peace, whether that is physical activity, sleep, or simply some quiet time.
If you know you have a tendency to overeat at holiday parties, try a little mental preparation. Imagine yourself at the event, choosing only the foods that taste good and make you feel good. Envision yourself eating mindfully, savoring each bite, and feeling satisfied.
This practice can also help you deal with food pushers, which can be an obstacle in itself. Imagine yourself politely, but firmly, declining food you don’t want. Their intentions may be good, but you have the right to say no.
Reduce Mindless Triggers
Most of us struggle with mindless eating, which is exactly what mindful eating is designed to combat. Mindless eating is often triggered by visual food cues, so it is beneficial to keep food out of your line of sight.
When you are at parties, try to sit or stand where extra food isn’t constantly in view. At home, serve food from the kitchen or a sideboard, not the dining table, and refrain from leaving bowls of candy or plates of cookies in sight.
Practice mindful eating with us at the Brick Your Neighborhood Deli! Visit us weekdays from 10:30am-7:30pm and Saturdays from 10:30am-4:30pm. Enjoy our yummy sandwiches and salads in our dining room or on our patio.