By Melissa Buscetta, RD, CDN
our kids leftover Halloween candy, marathon Thanksgiving meals, and holiday work parties can leave you feeling overwhelmed with managing your weight during the holiday season. Here are some tips to create a more mindful holiday eating experience:
- Before you being eating, take a moment to reflect upon how you feel. Are you rushed? Stressed? Sad? Bored? Hungry? What are your wants and what are your needs? Differentiate between the two. After you have taken this moment to reflect, then you can choose if you want to eat, what you want to eat, and how you want to eat.
- Sit down. Don’t eat on the go. Have a seat. You’re less likely to appreciate your food when you are multi-tasking. It’s also difficult to keep track of how much you are eating when you snack on the go.
- Pick the smaller plate. This is particularly important during the holiday season and during those long Thanksgiving meals. You might crave less if you see less. Smaller plates will help you with portion control.
- Give gratitude. This is very appropriate concept to practice around the holiday season. Before you start to eat, pause and take a moment to acknowledge the labor that went into providing your food of choice. Be thankful for the farmers, the animals, the chefs, and the other people who are sharing in your company.
- Plan time for exercise. It will help relieve holiday stress and prevent weight gain.
- Once the Holiday weekend is over, start your Monday off with a healthy breakfast, a warm cup of herbal tea, and end your day with sugar free hot cocoa.
- If you plan to enjoy a cocktail, opt for wine or light beer rather than sweet mixed drinks. Drink in moderation, and alternate with water or seltzer if consuming more than one alcoholic beverage.
- Be wary of sugar! Rich, sugary foods have a nasty habit of making us crave even more rich and sugary foods!
Adapted from: Armand, Wynne (November 24, 2015) 10 tips for mindful eating-just in time for the holidays. Retrieved from https://www.health.harvard.edu/blog/10-tips-for-mindful-eating-just-in-time-for-the-holidays-201511248698
Melissa Buscetta is a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist who is currently working with Bariatric and Medical Weight Management patients. She is very enthusiastic about teaching others how to live a healthier life before and after bariatric surgery.