Mindful Eating for the Holidays
The holidays are filled with stress, high energy, and a lot of food—but did you know that the average American tends to gain around 2 pounds each holiday season? This can happen to anyone, especially those who tend to indulge a little more than others in the sweet treats that their family members make for them. So, how can you prevent overeating this holiday season and increasing your waistband?
Mindfulness is a way of maintaining active awareness about our feelings, sensations, emotions, and the space around us. Practicing mindfulness in all aspects of our lives can bring about some wonderful changes in the way we think and view the world, including an increase in compassion and reduced stress. When we practice mindfulness, we are able to pay attention to what is happening in the moment rather than focusing on the past or stressing about the future. This is a very valuable tool when eating! Studies have suggested that practicing mindful eating is a great way to decrease the amount of food consumed, as well as increase overall satisfaction after a meal.
How to Practice Mindful Eating
Step 1: Reflect on how you’re feeling.
Are you stressed, sad, or frustrated? These feelings can often mean overindulgence to make up for our emotional struggles. Go into your mealtimes with an awareness of how you are feeling.
Step 2: Sit down at the table.
Standing up while eating keeps your body alert to more than just your food, making you more likely to eat more than you need to.
Step 3: Turn off any distractions.
Our lives are full of distractions, including phones, TVs, and other electronic devices. Be sure to pull your attention away from these distractions and focus on the meal at hand.
Step 4: Eat from a plate.
When you pointedly scoop your food and arrange it on your plate, you are choosing how much you will eat. Do your best to avoid eating out of a bag or something similar, as this can often lead to overeating. This is also a distracted way of eating, meaning that you may continue eating even after you are full because there is still food in front of you.
Step 5: Give gratitude and thanks.
Think to yourself about where your food came from. Who prepared your meal? Who grew the vegetables in your meal so that you can be nourished? Think about the blessings you have been given that are all present in your meal.
Step 6: Chew.
We know you always chew your food but really concentrate on chewing for as long as possible. Think about all the flavors you are experiencing and enjoy them!
Step 7: Recognize overeating.
Be sure to stop yourself when you feel as though you are full. Mindful eating is most effective in practice when you can tell yourself when you are done and truly mean it.
Step 8: Give yourself moments of silence.
Children and guests often come with added noise, which can make meal time very loud and stressful. This Thanksgiving ask the children and guests at your table to enjoy a moment of silence with you. Consider a short, guided meditation: "Breathe out worry, breathe in peace" followed by a moment of silence. You and your guests will be centered and enjoy a mindful meal together.
Organic Food from Kaleidoscope Juice
The holidays are about connecting to those we love most—not just eating delicious food. Focus on what means the most to you this holiday season, and practice mindful eating habits to keep yourself feeling happy, healthy, and centered. Spend time with your family and think about what makes the holidays feel the most meaningful to you. You will end your year with strong positivity and love in your heart without the added weight from the food you ate.
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