Mindful Eating This Holiday Season

The holiday season is a time when there are food temptations galore. This Christmas, do you want to stay healthy, avoid excess weight gain, and feel energised?

Here are 12 tips to eat mindfully this holiday season:

1. Eat before attending a party. If you arrive hungry you will be more likely to overindulge on the spread of snacks, party food and treats that are likely to be out. If you eat a healthy, high-protein snack before leaving, such as rice cakes with peanut butter or veggies and hummus, you'll be less likely to overeat

2. Only visit the buffet or food table once! Try not to go back for seconds to control the amount that you consume.

3. Don't stand too close to the food - You are more likely to graze if the food is easy to access.

4. Don’t skip meals with the idea that you are saving calories for later. This often leads to overeating when you do allow yourself to eat.

5. Aim to have a colourful plate. Avoid filling up on beige food which tends to be processed and deep fried

6. Limit the amount of dips and sauces you add to your plate. These can be loaded with calories

7. Try to eat off smaller plates to reduce your consumption

8. Consume mostly nutrient-dense foods. Aim to fill half of your plate with vegetables (bonus points for a rainbow of colours!), then a handful size protein and another handful size complex carbohydrate.

9. Stay hydrated by drinking water! Alternate alcoholic drinks with a glass of water and also have a glass of water before each meal.

10. Take only the foods you really want to eat. If you aren’t enjoying a particular food, don’t feel the need to finish it.

11. Eat mindfully and pay attention to your stomach. Digestion starts in the mouth, so chew, taste and take your time to savour what you are eating

12. Be kind to yourself and be realistic. If you overindulge, don’t allow yourself to feel guilty or to use it as a reason to sabotage your healthy choices in the following days.

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