The holidays are the perfect time to practice (or start to practice) mindful eating. Simply put, mindful eating is paying attention – to flavors, textures, and the thoughts and feelings that they elicit.
It is often easier to mindfully eat foods that we deem special or indulgent than it is our everyday food choices. So, Thanksgiving is a perfect day to allow yourself to enjoy ALL of your favorites while embracing the mindful approach to eating. Here are a few tips for fully enjoying mealtime this Thanksgiving and holiday season.
- Do not skip meals before or after a big holiday get together. You don’t have to eat a lot, but don’t starve yourself to prepare or compensate for a large holiday feast.
- Pick your favorite foods! Make yourself a plate and allow yourself to enjoy the smells, flavors and textures.
- Only eat want you want. If you do not want salad, rolls, or green bean casserole, but would love some extra stuffing – go for it! Don’t eat something just because you think you should, and don’t finish something you don’t like just because it’s on your plate.
- Remember: There will be leftovers, and the holidays are just getting started. Don’t go into the feast planning to gorge yourself and restrict tomorrow. If you plan on allowing yourself to enjoy leftovers, it is often easier to stop when you are full and avoid overindulging.
- Go for a walk. Balancing food with activities can help keep eating in proportion, and can make for an extra fun holiday! Throw on your coat and rally the fam for a game of touch football in the yard, or just go for a stroll around the neighborhood.
By Parkhurst Dining Dietitian Alicia Koloski