Oh, the holidays! The time of year when it’s easy to feel hopeless about sticking to your nutrition plans. Between holiday parties, an increase in alcohol consumption, and holiday baking, learning how to eat mindfully during the holidays can seem impossible.
But don’t fret! Learning how to eat mindfully during the holidays is way simpler than you might think. And it doesn’t include skipping your favorite treats or traditions.
We’ve broken down the three best tools in our toolbox for eating mindfully during the holidays. And I bet you could start incorporating at least one of these today!
I mean, practice makes perfect, right?
Prioritize the Foods You Love
This first tip for how to eat mindfully during the holidays might seem counter-intuitive – after all, everyone knows that Thanksgiving is really all about the sides! Or is that just me?
But let’s take that a step further. By now you know to prioritize protein on your plate at most meals. But have you considered prioritizing what you love?
For example, I LOVE mashed potatoes and gravy. I also LOVE sweet potato casserole. But stuffing I could take or leave. So, this Thanksgiving, I will be prioritizing the mashed potatoes and sweet potato casserole and I might skip the stuffing and the cranberry sauce.
Little choices like this throughout the day can add up throughout the day and even the entire holiday weekend.
Another way to avoid overeating is to prioritize the foods you love by taking small servings of those foods first. There’s no need for a scarcity mindset on Thanksgiving or Christmas because people expect you to take seconds and have leftovers.
So, instead of loading up and feeling pressured to clean your plate. Instead, take small servings of all your favorites. Then, eat the food mindfully. Pay attention to how it smells, and the texture in your mouth. If the food has a sentimental component, take a moment and reflect on that while you enjoy it.
Then, if you’re still hungry, you can go back for seconds.
Don’t Forget About Alcohol
It is so easy to sit at the dinner table fretting over whether or not to have a second dessert while sipping on your third (or fourth) drink of the day.
Listen, there is nothing wrong with enjoying an alcoholic beverage or even beverages. But it’s important to consider the compounding effect those drinks have on your caloric intake throughout the holiday.
Studies have shown that alcohol impedes weight loss goals. You see, because alcohol is a toxin (ethanol) our bodies put all their energy into eliminating that toxin first (burning it as fuel) before returning to its regular metabolic state.
One drink won’t slow you down too much! So, feel free to enjoy a glass of wine with dinner and a mimosa during the parade if you want to! But keep in mind that you are putting your body’s “fuel-burning engine” on pause until it’s metabolized.
Remember, You’ll Get Back On Track
The last tip I’ll leave you with for how to eat mindfully during the holidays is this:
One, two, or even three days of eating a higher calorie intake will not send you backward.
Sure, you might bloat a little bit from the excess carbs, but as soon as you return to your normal fitness routine and nutrition habits, you’ll be back where you started before the break.
The only reason you won’t get back on track with your routine is if you choose not to. The power is in your hands.
So when you have the choice between making a memory with someone you love over a favorite cookie and hot cocoa or declining, I hope you’ll remember that food does more than fuel our bodies. It fuels our minds and our souls too.
So what do you think? Will this holiday season be plagued by stress, or will you embrace some of these new tools? I certainly hope something here has resonated enough for you to try. And if you do, let us know in the comments or drop us a line on Instagram @dancerswholift!