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Mindful eating through the holidays

Photo of holiday casseroles.
Blog

/ by Shorus Minella, RD, LD

The Cardio Cuisine series is written by Shorus Minella, a dietician at the UK Gill Heart & Vascular Institute.

Our biggest food holidays are crammed into the last few months of the year. From candy and cake to stuffing – and everything in-between – there’s so much rich food to enjoy. How can you stay on track with your healthy eating and still enjoy this delicious time of year? Practicing mindful eating will help. 

What is mindful eating?  

Mindful eating is being aware of the food you eat and how the food makes you feel.

How do you do it?

  1. Be in tune with how you feel. Ask yourself these questions: 
  • Am I hungry? 
  • How will I feel after I eat this?
  • Am I full or satisfied?
  1. Get rid of distractions. We tend to overeat when we are distracted. 
  • Turn off the TV.
  • If you are at a party, take the conversation away from the food. 
  1. Chew well and savor the taste of your food.
  • This will help you appreciate the taste of your food and also give your body time to recognize when you are full, preventing you from overeating. 

Other helpful tips

  • If you can’t avoid a high calorie meal day, try to plan for a little more exercise than usual that day.
  • Use a smaller plate at the holiday party.
  • Fill up on your fruits and vegetables. 
  • Don’t waste your calories on food you can have all year or foods you don’t like. 
  • Enjoy the holiday dishes you were looking forward to, but remember to practice moderation.

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