As we gear up to dive headfirst into the cheerful holiday season, it’s also time to embrace a mindful approach towards eating.
It’s very easy to get swept away by the deliciousness of festive treats and end up overeating, which can lead to discomfort and guilt.
But worry not! This post will enlighten you with nine practical tips for mindful eating during the holidays.
Let’s get started.
What is Mindful Eating?
Mindful eating, quite simply, is the practice of being fully present while we eat.
It involves savouring each bite, recognising our body’s hunger and satiety cues, and appreciating the nutritional value of what we eat.
Apart from preventing overeating, mindful eating also enhances our overall relationship with food.
Why is Mindful Eating Essential During the Holidays?
The holiday season in India, filled with celebrations and merriment, is also notorious for the array of delectable foods that come along.
Amidst all the indulgence, mindful eating tends to take a backseat.
The aftermath often includes discomfort and a sense of guilt, coupled with a potential impact on our physical and mental health. Therefore, mindful eating is not just a fad—it’s a necessity.
9 Tips for Mindful Eating During the Holidays
Now, let’s delve into the nine practical tips to help you practise mindful eating during the holidays.
Tip 1: Pay Attention to Hunger and Fullness Cues
Our bodies are very good at telling us when they need food and when they’ve had enough.
Try to eat only when you’re genuinely hungry and stop when you’re comfortably full.
Avoid the temptation to go for seconds immediately—give your body time to process.
Tip 2: Practice Portion Control
Use a smaller plate to serve yourself, which can trick your brain into thinking you’re eating more than you actually are.
Avoid going back for seconds immediately, allowing your body time to register fullness.
Tip 3: Savour Your Food
Eat slowly, savouring every bite. Enjoy the taste, texture, and aroma of the food.
This will not only help you appreciate your meal but also make you less likely to overeat.
Tip 4: Eat Without Distractions
Switch off your mobile phone and put your phone away while eating.
Concentrate on your food, enjoy the conversation with family or friends, and make your mealtime a joyful and mindful experience.
Tip 5: Choose Quality Over Quantity
Always opt for high-quality foods that nourish your body instead of mindlessly munching on large quantities of unhealthy snacks.
A piece of mithai made with pure ghee is better than a large bag of fried snacks.
Tip 6: Prioritize Fruits, Veggies, and Whole Foods
Include more fruits, vegetables, and whole foods in your holiday meals.
They are packed with vital nutrients and fibre that keep you satiated for longer, thereby preventing overeating.
Tip 7: Stay Hydrated
Ensure you’re well-hydrated throughout the day. We often mistake thirst for hunger, leading to unnecessary eating. Drinking enough water will help maintain a balance.
Tip 8: Limit Alcohol Consumption
It’s easy to lose track of the amount of alcohol you consume during holiday festivities.
Remember, alcohol can add substantial calories and lower your inhibitions, leading to overeating.
Tip 9: Practice Self-Compassion
If you do indulge a little more than planned, don’t beat yourself up.
Accept it as a part of the holiday experience, and make sure to return to your mindful eating practices at the next meal.