Can you believe Thanksgiving is just around the corner and Christmas is only 5 Monday's away? We are more than ready for the lights, sounds of the season and of course...ALL THE FOOD. You absolutely deserve to treat yourself over the holidays, but there's a difference between gluttony and mindful indulgence. Here's 5 easy-to-implement tips to help you eat mindfully (and stay guilt-free).
Mindless eating anytime food is not the focus of your attention. Avoid eating in the car, while sitting in front of the TV/computer, or simply out of boredom - these scenarios will likely lead to overeating. When you eat without distraction, you're more likely to savor each bite and listen to your body's natural fullness cues.
Our tip: Be present in the moment. Put away your smart phone, work, or any other distraction and make an effort to only eat at the table.
Hunger and satiety are regulated by a portion of the brain called the hypothalamus. It takes approximately 20 minutes for your brain to register the chemicals your stomach releases when you eat, so you may not feel full immediately after your meal.
Our tip: Slow down your eating pace. Instead of rushing to get seconds, give your body a full 20 minutes to digest and see how you feel.
Sometimes we mistake thirst for hunger. Make sure you are staying properly hydrated throughout the day by aiming for approximately 16 cups (men) or 12 cups (women) of fluid intake daily. Typically, 20% of your fluid intake will come from the foods you eat (e.g. vegetables and fruit) and the rest will be from beverages. To avoid drinking your calories, stick with water when possible.
Our tip: Drink a glass of water 10-15 minutes before your meal so you don't walk into an all-you-can-eat situation on an empty stomach.
Many people make the mistake of not eating all day in anticipation of a high-calorie meal, with the reasoning being to "save room" for the big feast. This strategy often backfires because you're SO hungry by the time you finally sit down to eat, your mentality is basically #cantstopwontstop.
Our tip: If you know you're going to be indulging later in the day, try to snack on low-calorie, high-volume foods throughout the day. We reccommend cucumbers, celery, fruit and salads. You can also go for foods that are high on the satiety index (meaning they'll keep you full for longer). Examples of this include: oatmeal, eggs, beans and apples.
There's a time and place for everything. Don't let the need to track everything you're eating consume your mind and rob you of your time or memories with loved ones. Thanksgiving only comes once a year, so please, put down the food scale and enjoy Grandma's pumpkin pie. Part of eating mindfully is learning how to eyeball your food and portion control.
Our tip: Your hands are an excellent tool for estimating portion sizes, use the following guide to help you.
We hope these tips help you navigate the food scene with ease this holiday season.
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