Recently, we wrote an article for The Tribe Magazine called 6 Tips to Keep the Holidays from Sabotaging your Healthy Habits, which everyone loved! So we thought we should expand on the concept of mindful eating as the holidays continue and we are faced with food and drink we wouldn’t normally keep in our kitchen! The following practices are things that can help you throughout the entire year, holidays included.
Here are 4 tips to become a more mindful eater and really listen to your body cues:
- Listen to what your body is craving. Now be careful when you read that, we didn’t say eat what your body is craving, we said listen to what your body is craving. When you crave carbs (sugar, potatoes, cereal, bread), it’s likely your body is tired. It’s your cue to get more sleep, not to indulge in carbs. If you’re craving meat, you might be low on iron or fat. Getting iron from non-meat sources is definitely okay, but be sure to pair it with a healthy fat (ex. avocados). If you're craving fat, you’re body is trying to get back into balance from having too much sugar. Why else do you crave a giant burrito (fat) after a night of drinking (alcohol=sugar)? Feeling insatiable? You keep eating and eating and never feel full. You might be dehydrated!
- Eat when you’re hungry and don’t eat when you’re not. Don’t feel obligated to eat at a social gathering if you’re not hungry, but if you are make sure to find something! Waiting too long to eat, only makes us binge later on unhealthy carb-loaded foods. If you’re not excited about your holiday party food choices, nibble on a few things that look appealing until you’re not hungry anymore and you can wait until you've got more options. If you’re ever starving, you've waited too long to eat and are more likely to overeat than if you had just eaten when you started to feel hungry.
Only eat things that taste delicious to you. If you’re at a holiday party or a potluck only put food on your plate that sounds good to you, that you body is craving. Now here is the key: only eat it if you’re hungry, savor the food you eat, and only finish the food if it tastes absolutely delicious to you. Take a mini bite, if it’s not amazing, not what you’re craving, pass on to the next option! It’s easy to put things on our plate and just finish all the food regardless of how it tastes.
Notice when you’re eating with your emotions. Everyone is different but for some of us we eat more or eat without thinking when we're sad, angry, disappointed, or anxious. When you’ve got uncontrollable hunger or can’t get your hand out of the bag or box. Take a moment to step back and ask yourself if you’re really hungry or if there is something bothering you. If there is instead of continuing to eat, write down what you’re feeling, every single emotion that pops up. Not only will you stop eating, but you’ll be able to release whatever emotions you’re feeling.
Alright, so now it’s time to start practicing. Listen to your hunger, let it tell you when and what to eat, not your emotions! As you start paying more attention it becomes easier and easier to listen to your body. Don’t hesitate to reach out to us if you have any questions!