Cookies and pies, mashed potatoes and marshmallows, eggnog and mulled wine…the holidays are a season for festive eating. We’ve been good all year, but the last 8 weeks of the year are the hardest ones to get through and still maintain 10 months of healthy eating habits. We can still enjoy all of the season’s eatings and keep up with our healthy lifestyle by making a few good choices along the way to keep us on track. Check out this list of ways to avoid sabotage over the holidays:
1. Practice mindful eating: Eat breakfast. Have a snack. Stay hydrated. Chew your food.
All too often, when we know a big smorgasbord awaits us at a family gathering, we will skip eating beforehand so we have “more room” for the delicious comfort food that will be served. This mindset actually sets us up for sabotage. Eat breakfast and be sure to have a healthy snack before heading to an office party or family gathering. A sensible breakfast will help wake up your metabolism and a healthy snack (think high fiber veggies) will help curb your enthusiasm when it comes to the inevitable holiday feast.
Stay hydrated. Have a glass of water with your glass of wine – so often we get to chatting at parties and naturally feel parched. Rather than grabbing another glass (or sipping too quickly), have a glass of water handy to help wet your whistle. And drinking a glass of water before your meal may prevent overeating.
Mother’s everywhere reminded us as children to chew our food slowly. Eating too quickly can lead to bloating (you’ve sucked down too much air in a rush to eat), and when we get into holiday conversations with family and friends, it’s easy to eat and talk, then suddenly find an empty plate in front of us. Feeling unsatisfied, because we weren’t mindful with our eating, may lead to that second or third trip to the buffet. So, slow down, take smaller bites and really chew your food. When beloved family and friends have put such effort into the menu we should show our respect and enjoyment by mindfully eating – and enjoying – all of this good food.