Guide to Mindful Eating for the Holidays

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From Thanksgiving to New Years the holidays resolve around food.
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From Thanksgiving until New Year’s Day, so many of our seasonal festivities revolve around food. With so many holiday activities in a 45 day period, this begs the perennial question of how to combine eating healthy with enjoying the holidays.

We’ve got you covered with five simple tips to mindful eating for the holidays:

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We all know what happens when we grocery shop while hungry. Inevitably we wind up caving to temptation and coming home with all sorts of extra (often unhealthy) foods which we had no intention of purchasing.

The same thing happens when we are running around all day during the holiday season, forgetting to eat and then head out to a dinner party. Unless we have incredibly impressive willpower, we are liable to end up stuffing our faces with all of the most fattenings of delectable hors-d’oeuvres and desserts.

Next time, pre-eat. Before the party, have a high protein high fiber snack to stabilize those cravings. Pair the snack with a tall glass of ice water to maximize your pre-party hydration levels. Follow through with this step, and it will take the ravenous edge off so that we can make the best choices possible.

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Saying no to that slice of pecan pie during Thanksgiving dinner only to go home and binge eat a quart of cheap, boring ice cream is pointless. If you want to enjoy that pie, go ahead and enjoy it in moderation. Instead of quickly inhaling a large slice, take a smaller piece and savor it. Take the time to appreciate the flavors and the textures.

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At some events, the sheer amount of food is astronomical. You know you can’t possibly try even a little bit of everything. How do you choose? One way to avoid holiday overeating is to ask yourself whether a particular food is a specialty food or just a filler food.

If you look forward to eating Thanksgiving stuffing all year, take a helping of that stuffing but consider passing on the generic bread rolls. Enjoy the green bean casserole and skip the olives.

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At some social gatherings, we know the food will be amazing, and we are likely to end up eating way too much of it. Sometimes it is okay to accept this and to plan for it. It’s all about balancing that particular meal out, so it doesn’t throw off our whole health routine.

The day of a large dinner meal, start your day with a small healthy breakfast and enjoy a couple of low-calorie nutritious snacks throughout the afternoon. Do the same thing the following day. By doing this, along with some additional exercise will help balance the large meal and maintain your overall health. For some ideas on what snacks to eat, try these superfoods.

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Between holiday shopping, writing and sending out cards, decorating, and going to all the fun winter events, it can be easy to lose track of our usual healthy eating routines. Set yourself up for success by buying and preparing healthy meals and snacks, so they are staged in the fridge ready to go.

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