Mindful Eating: 3 Ways to Gift Yourself with Presence during the Holidays

What an amazingly fun-busy-joyful-crazy-exhausting-energizing time of the year!  This is often a time where people lament the abundance of food and fear the plethora of options at parties and on the holiday table. 

However, I choose to embrace this food-filled time of year with open arms and happy taste buds!  The variety of flavors, events and traditions can provide an opportunity for mindful eating that we don’t get at other times during the year. But how?

1) Listen to hunger and appetite cues – Appetite is our body’s desire for food, but hunger is our need for fuel.  Simply put, eat food you enjoy – if you don’t like it, it’s okay to leave it.  And remember that food tastes best when you are physically hungry.

2) Tune into satiety and fullness cues – Become aware of how you like to feel at the end of a meal.  When you know at the beginning of your meal that you’re aiming for content, it makes it easier to pick up on those signals as you’re eating.  Practice slowing down during this hurried season, tasting each bite and even closing your eyes to become that much more mindful.

3) Gift yourself with regular meals and snacks – Skipping, delaying, multitasking and grazing are all easier to do during this hectic time of the year.  Yet all of these patterns have been shown to increase intake while leaving us less satisfied, and often looking for even more food.  Eating 3 meals or snacks is the best way to avoid appetite-catch-up later in the day. 

By approaching food mindfully, curiously and without judgment, you’re one step closer to celebrating the holidays with joy!