Holidays are synonymous with good food and lots of it! At this time of year, we gather with loved ones to celebrate and create new memories oftentimes around the dinner table. During the holidays, it can be difficult to remain mindful while eating and many people find that they gain weight after indulging a little too much. Low temperatures and bad weather can make it difficult to remain active during winter. An excess of holiday treats combined with inactivity can result in unwanted pounds appearing on the scale. Do not fear! There are tips you can keep in mind during the holiday season to eat mindfully and remain active.
- DON’T arrive with an empty stomach. Eating a nutritious snack before heading out to holiday gatherings can supply you with the willpower to resist over snacking. Still feeling hungry? Drink a glass of water before consuming any more snacks.
- DON’T focus on the food. Often times, food takes center stage during holiday parties. You can avoid this trap by engaging in conversation with friends and family and by mingling in an area away from where the food is being served.
- DO be selective when eating dessert. Limit sweet treats to very small portions; only take little amounts to ensure your aren’t over filling your plate. Save your dessert for last, studies show that temptation can be reduced if you save your favorite treat for last.
- DO sit down to eat. During holiday parties it can be tempting to stand and socialize while snacking on appetizers – this can make it easy to unknowingly overeat. Sitting down to eat can help you slow down and remain mindful about portion sizes. Try eating with your non-dominant hand for an extra challenge!
- Create a mindful distraction. Keep several peppermints in your pocket to use as a distraction. Pop one in your mouth if you’re feeling hungry after a meal or are contemplating a second serving. It is possible to ‘feel’ hungry even after finishing a meal; eating a peppermint can buy your brain and stomach some time to feel satiated.
- Take a walk! Taking a break from holiday celebrations to go on a walk can help curb your appetite and even burn a few calories. Walks can be used as a mindful distraction if you’re tempted to overeat. Ultimately, going on a walk can reduce holiday stress and make it easier to avoid eating too much. Incorporating stretching into your daily activities can also reduce stress and improve range of motion in stiff, wintery joints.