How to Survive the Holidays Without Blowing a Diet
By Sandy Schroeder
Most of us know what a challenge it is to make it through the holiday season without sabotaging a diet. It starts with Halloween and rolls right into the New Year. Bags of candy, office donuts, the Thanksgiving turkey, festive holiday parties and countless buffets all make eating an ongoing temptation.
Wherever we are with diets, weight, or sugar restrictions, most of us can use some help. Harvard Health says we might borrow some of the mindfulness practices to keep eating in check. Mindfulness means staying aware and acting in the moment. When we apply that process to food, a lot of good things can happen. Instead of eating without thinking or loading up on comfort foods when we are stressed, we might just enjoy our food.
Here are some mindful tips to survive the holidays. Some may fit perfectly. Others may not work for you. See what you think.
Ditch the electronics - When you eat while you watch TV or use your computer, phone or tablet, the food often gets lost in the process. Itâ€™s easy to eat way too much and not really taste any of it. Step away and take a few minutes to just enjoy your meal.
Decide where you are - Before you eat think about whatâ€™s happening. Are you bored, sad, too busy or stressed? Are you really hungry? Sorting everything out lets you choose if, when and what you want to eat.
Deal in individual portions - The minute you grab a bag of chips or cookies or reach into a box of crackers you may be well on your way to eating too much.
Chew each bite 30 times - When I remember to do this, I eat less and enjoy the food more. You may not make it to 30 but just the act of chewing and eating more slowly lets you appreciate the flavor and texture of the food and gives your stomach time to signal you are full. It also improves digestion as the food is partially digested when it reaches the stomach.
Stop and sit down - Eating on the run happens all too often as we race off to work or rush through the day. You may have no idea how much you are eating or even feel as if you ate.
Put down your fork between bites - Itâ€™s all too easy to pick up your fork and plunge right into a meal without stopping until you are finished. When you pause between bites, and talk with others at the table, meals just taste better.
Eating mindfully may be one more way to keep the calories in check over the holidays and enjoy them more.
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