Halloween has come and gone. November is here and the holiday decorations are starting to pop up. I don’t know when the official start of the holiday season is but it’s starting to look like it is here. This time of year is wonderful, fun, stressful, busy and…. full of food!
Pretty soon your social media feeds will start filling up with advice on how to handle food at all of the upcoming holiday events that will soon take over your calendar. You’ll see things like “eat a healthy snack before you go to a party” or “don’t eat all day to save your calories.” This advice is perhaps well meaning but may not be all that helpful. It may actually set you up for feelings of failure or cheating or guilt when you finish at the holiday event.
The holiday season is great place to utilize mindful eating strategies. Here are a few you can try out.
- Eat what you really love. You don’t have to try everything in front of you at a holiday party so skip what you don’t want. Savor the flavor for the first few bites and then ask yourself if you really want to keep eating that food because it’s that amazing or is there something else wonderful to try.
- Practice self-care. Focus on holiday activities that you love and keep doing the everyday activities that you enjoy. Be patient with yourself during the holiday season. Be mindful of your emotions and take care of yourself.
- Trust your body. Pay attention to your body’s signals. Use your signals of being hungry and being full to guide you through the holiday party food. That advice about eating something before you go to the party may only set you up to be overfull when you leave the party. It’s always best to listen to your hunger and honor your hunger no matter what time of year it may be.
- Always remember, it’s just one day. One day will not make or break your health. Your health is determined by a pattern of healthy activities. The season of holiday eating won’t last forever so be mindful of returning to eating habits and exercise routines that make you feel good when you’re not celebrating the holiday season with friends and family.