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How To Navigate the Holidays with Mindful Eating: Tips from a Dietitian

With the holidays fast approaching, you may be getting excited about the celebrations, time spent with loved ones, and plenty of food to go around.

And one thing that many holidays and cultural gatherings have in common is this - you know food is going to be involved!

With this can come a mix of emotions surrounding meals and what food is going to be eaten, especially for those concerned about sticking to nutrition-related health goals. However, for many, tuning into a more mindful approach to interactions involving food and letting go of total restriction and perfection around eating can help remove the stress of holiday eating.

Do you feel like you can only say yes to certain foods? Do you tell yourself that you can’t have seconds? Or maybe you tend to eat mindlessly and past the feeling of comfort?

These feelings can be resolved by tuning into your body and practicing more mindful eating. Mindful eating can be a great way to intentionally celebrate the holiday season while still feeling like your best self.

In today’s article, I will be sharing a few tangible tips and advice for navigating the holiday season using mindful eating.

So, let’s get started!

What is Mindful Eating?

You may have heard the term “mindful eating”, but what does this really mean?

Mindful eating is the act of using all of your emotional and physical senses to experience and enjoy the food you are eating. It encourages you to have a conscious awareness about what you are putting into your body.

Mindful eating is not about the calories, fat, or grams of carbs in the food you eat. Instead, it puts a focus on being fully present and expressing gratitude during your meals.

You may be wondering, what is the benefit of eating more mindfully during the holidays?

Incorporating mindful eating practices into your routine around the holidays can help you feel more present, improve your mood, and experience, and make you less likely to feed into disordered eating habits and thoughts.

These thoughts and habits may creep up on you, especially around the holidays. This can look like starting to count calories, restricting your meals, and saying no to foods you want to eat out of fear of weight gain.

Instead, I encourage more intentional eating as the holidays approach us. Keep reading to learn four ways to navigate mindful eating this holiday season!

1. Allow Yourself to Enjoy All Foods

When eating mindfully, you must first start by allowing yourself to eat whatever you want without feeling guilty. There are no “good” or “bad” foods. All foods can fit into a balanced and healthy diet!