Mindfulness is a great way to open up and be aware of exactly what’s happening around you. This can be extremely helpful during the holidays as emotions, stress, or guilt surrounding food may be high. Mindfulness has been shown to improve your relationship with food, decrease food binges and overeating, and reduce stress and anxiety in the holiday season. We’re here to talk all about mindfulness at Thanksgiving this year, including how to practice mindfulness, how mindfulness can benefit you, and first steps to get started.
Benefits of mindfulness
There are many benefits of mindfulness, especially during the holiday season. While the holidays are a great time of year, they can often times leave us feeling more stressed, sad, and anxious than ever. We’re also surrounded with more food than usual. This can leave us feeling guilty, shameful, or anxious. Incorporating mindfulness tactics that we’ll discuss next can help to reduce all of these feelings.
Implementation of mindfulness
Slow down when eating! Many of us are naturally fast eaters. Fast eating looks like fast fork movement, little breathing or chewing in between bites, and finishing our meal before others. When we eat fast, we don’t pay attention to our food. We don’t think about how it tastes in our mouth and how much we’re eating. We’re also not in tune with how hungry, full, or satisfied we are.
Use the wine tasting method
The “wine tasting method” is one of our favorite ways to eat food! If you’ve ever been to a wine tasting, you’ll understand what we mean here. The wine tasting method is when you look at your food before you eat it. You examine the colors and appearance of it. Then, you smell the food. You let the flavors hit your nose and take in the smells with anticipation of what it will taste like. Then, you finally taste it. If you notice here, it’s a slow and intentional process to enjoy your food more thoroughly. In doing so, you’ll be more in tune with your hunger and fullness cues. You’re also more likely to not overeat. Thanksgiving is filled with flavors and colors – take it all in!
Eat using a plate
The holidays are filled with appetizers and parties. We’re not saying to ditch the charcuterie board but instead, eat from a plate! By eating on a plate instead of directly from the island counter, you’re more likely to be in tune with what and how much you’re eating. You’ll likely eat less and stop eating when you’re satisfied.
Take a step back
In the busy moments of the holidays, we’re usually running around with work, parties, and cooking. It can seem difficult to take a step back and slow down, however, sometimes this is crucial! Taking a step back can help you to be more intentional with your goals. It can help you to reflect and determine if you’re being mindful or not when it comes to your eating.
Let go of past behaviors that don’t serve you
Holidays come with traditions and memories, some of which may bring on a negative feeling. It’s easy to fall into familiar patterns when it comes to the holiday season. Rather than continuing with negative behaviors and thoughts and feeling stuck, switch your mindset, be more positive, and move on from the past. This can help you to better navigate your emotions which as we know, has an impact on your eating habits! We’ll discuss coping with emotions outside of food next.
Find other ways to cope with emotions outside of food
As a mindful eater, it’s crucial to find other ways to cope with your emotions outside of food. Using food to cope with emotions can exacerbate those feelings. Those who emotionally eat can also lead you to binging or overeating.
No matter what mindfulness techniques you think will be most useful for you this Thanksgiving, give at least one a try! We promise it’ll be helpful for your physical, mental, and emotional health and leave you feeling good inside and out. Before we tackle mindfulness of eating, we recommend taking the following step first.
The first step to get started with mindfulness is to reflect on your “why.” Reflecting on your “why” can be one of the most impactful things that you do! Self-reflection like this can bring perspective into our life. It also makes us more purposeful and intentional when it comes to our health goals. What is our “why?” Why are you wanting to lose weight. Why does weight loss matter to you? Why is healthy eating important? Being in tune with your why can help to keep you on track with your health goals.
Still feeling overwhelmed?
We get it. Nutrition and healthy eating can be so overwhelming. That’s why we’re here – to make healthy eating simple and less stressful. Have questions about our menu or want to chat? We’re here for you. Contact us now.