Mindful Eating At Christmas

7 Tips for Mindful Eating at Christmas

Dec 1, 2020

Christmas is almost upon us, that magical time of the year where a festive spirit fills the air but it can also be stressful period when it comes to health goals often ending up in regaining the weight you’ve worked so hard to lose of maintain.

Make sure you’ve got yourself covered and practice mindful eating with these simple tips to leave you satisfied yet not stuffed this yuletide:

Christmas buffet

7 Tips For Mindful Eating

  1. Eat 3 meals a day
    Don’t skip breakfast. The biggest mistake to make is ‘bank calories’ for a sumptuous evening meal by not eating earlier in the day. Not only does it help to regulate your metabolism but you won’t be so hungry in the evenings which can lead to overeating.
  2. Choose the foods that you like 
    Make sure that whatever you’re eating, you enjoy. If potatoes are just filler food or you don’t relish relish, then don’t eat them. This will help you to enjoy your foods a lot more and make it easier to stop eating once satisfied.
  3. Use all of your senses 
    Choose the most appealing foods to look at and notice the way they smell. Really savour each bite of the food. Hold it on your tongue for a moment and notice the flavours, is it sweet, or peppery? Feel the textures and how it crunches in your mouth. Not only will this help to slow down your eating, but will also help you to enjoy your food a lot more.
  4. Recognise Head Hunger vs True Hunger 
    Check in with yourself and notice how you feel when you are hungry. How does feeling ‘slightly hungry’ differ from ‘starving’. A good way to differentiate is Head Hunger comes on in an instant ie ‘I’ve just finished a report, I’m going to see what’s in the cupboard’ or ‘that was a stressful day, I’ll treat myself to something sweet to eat’ where as true hunger builds up over a period of time starting off with those little twinges in your stomach. Ask yourself, am I hungry or am I bored/stressed/tired?
  5. Keep a healthy mindset 
    Treat yourself as you would treat others. With compassion, kindness, resilience and courage. Remember you can still be a bit lenient on your eating without bingeing on all the snacks. Remove guilt around food and give yourself permission to eat ALL foods just in moderation. Give yourself a break and know that if you do stumble you are still moving forwards
  6. Recognise the ways you sabotage yourself 
    It’s that little unhelpful part of you that thinks it’s doing it’s best job but is really sabotaging. You probably know all of your cues and triggers but get caught out by them. Prepare, acknowledge and challenge them. Question “Am I really hungry or am I bored, sad, stressed or guilty?. Instead of thinking “I have no willpower, I can’t do it” say “I realise I’m over eating” or instead of “I’ve ruined it all, I may as well go hard out” try “Just because I’ve had a crappy morning doesn’t mean I can’t have an amazing afternoon. Remember, you can’t turn back the clock on what has happened, so you may as well acknowledge it and move on.
  7. Plan for your triggers 
    Putting a plan in place means you are less likely to reach for food at times heightened times of emotion throughout the coming weeks. If you are stressed, what could you do instead? Maybe a walk or some other activity. If you are feeling down, do you have a friend you can call or perhaps watch a feel-good movie? Knowing the alternatives to food in advance means that you are prepared should these triggers occur.
Richard Kellow

Richard Kellow

Richard is a certified clinical hypnotherapist and Virtual Gastric Band Practitioner based in Rotorua in the gorgeous Bay of Plenty. With his personal experience and training from the UK, US, and New Zealand, Richard is a living testament to the power of hypnosis.

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