Mindful Eating Through the Holidays

In a normal year, stress, depression and a sedentary lifestyle can lead to weight gain. Unfortunately, this year’s events may make it more difficult to maintain health. During the holidays, high caloric foods and drinks are readily available, so how can we be mindful of our intake to prevent weight gain?

Here are five ways to stay focused:

Be mindful of snacking. When treats are easy to access, it can be tempting to grab one each time you pass the kitchen. Those calories can really add up! Try putting the goodies out of sight, and keep healthy fruits and nuts out instead.

Watch your portions. Try sticking to the plate method, which consists of filling half of your plate with non-starchy vegetables; a quarter of your plate with lean protein and a quarter of your plate with wholesome carbohydrates. This will ensure a well-balanced meal and fullness.

Limit liquid calories. Holiday drinks and alcohol can be high in calories and added sugar, which are referred to as “empty” calories that do not provide nutrition. They can easily make you gain weight if you overindulge.

Move every day! Staying active is so important for mental and physical health, and it can give you added energy. Get outside for a walk or find some online exercise videos to do in your home if going to a gym is not an option.

Weigh yourself once a week. This can help you notice any trends in weight gain.

Remember, there is no reason to avoid the holiday foods you love. Mindfulness involves being present in the moment, so pay attention to your behavior. This year has been difficult, so give yourself a break and do what you can to stay healthy in body and in mind.

Bridgette Bostic is the community nutrition educator in the Tevis Center for Wellness.

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