The holidays are here, and it’s time for some good old-fashioned holiday eating. You know what I mean – all the yummy treats that you can indulge in without feeling guilty because it’s just once a year! But there is one problem – weight gain. If your goal this season is to enjoy some of those tasty treats while minimizing extra pounds, then keep reading to find out how with these top 11 healthy holiday-eating tips!

The importance of mindful eating.

A foundation of mindfulness going into the holidays creates a sense of control and leads to success. You can’t avoid all holiday treats this season, but if you are aware eating them then half the battle is won!

If your goal is not just weight loss during these upcoming months, but also long-term feeling great in your body, then read on.

How mindfulness impacts your healthy holiday-eating.

When you eat, your food goes to two different places in the body: one is where it’s broken down for energy or fat storage; the other part is used to build cells, bones and everything else in the body. The first place is temporary; you burn through it quickly (like kindling) to keep your fire going (metabolism). But building up new cells takes longer (wood), like a much bigger fireplace that can create heat for hours after eating.

Eating mindfully for the holidays means being aware of what your body needs but also wants. Your body is always asking for certain things, and if you’re not giving it what it needs then guess what? You’ll start craving stuff that might not serve you. Or, eating more that what your body even needs just because it’s available and it’s only once a year.

Using mindfulness to fuel your healthy holiday-eating.

Being aware of how food impacts your body can be a helpful tool in understanding why you crave the foods that you do. For example: did you know that refined carbs are the most addictive of all foods? This means that your body craves them, but it is because they don’t offer much in terms of nutrients and energy.

So how do we use mindfulness to fuel our healthy eating during this festive time?

First of all, if your goal is to be healthy and feel good in your body, then focus on that during the holidays. Make sure you are taking part in all of the fun activities including eating delicious food! But make sure you are mindful when doing so by not mindlessly over-eating because it’s “just once a year.”

Second, be aware of why you are eating. If you’re not hungry but still want to taste something, ask yourself if it’s worth the calories or what that food is offering your body? Is it fuel or empty calories?

Mindfulness is about awareness.

Lastly, are you aware of how your food choices make you feel? Sure, the tasty treats are delicious, but do they sap your energy? Do you find your mood affected by food or drink choices? Are you eating past satiation and uncomfortable in your own body? If so, you are empowered to make choices that make your body feel good.

If this sounds like a lot of work…it can be! But with practice mindfulness becomes easier and gets you closer to your goals. Let’s now dive into the top 11 tips for healthy holiday eating.

Top 11 Tips for healthy holiday-eating.

  1. Don’t skip meals. This actually sets you up for failure.
  2. If you’re going to a party, skip the high-calorie appetizers like potato chips and cheese puffs, but don’t deprive yourself – just make sure to eat small portions of them!
  3. Forget about the guilt. Enjoy the food and festivities! Staying mindful means you can eat while enjoying company.
  4. Find a fun activity to do while you’re waiting for the big meal, such as playing with your kids or organizing gingerbread houses!
  5. Be mindful of alcoholic beverages – liquid calories are tasty but they do add up and may not feel as satisfying as other options.
  6. For dessert, choose fruit or light sweet options like sorbet. If you want the richer desserts, go for it, just stay mindful of portions and if you’re even hungry.
  7. If you’re going to indulge in some holiday treats, try small portions of the things that look enticing to you.
  8. Planning ahead is key – write any special plans on your family calendar so that there aren’t any surprises.
  9. Enjoy people and connections. That is what it’s all about anyway, right?
  10. If you know there are going to be lots of temptations at the office holiday party, stay in tune with your own hunger or fullness! You can still enjoy the treats without over filling yourself.
  11. Drink lots of water. This will keep you feeling full and help flush out the toxins from your body as well as balance your hunger hormones.

Hopefully you feel prepared and willing. Now you are equipped to engage in mindfulness and use these top 11 healthy holiday-eating tips to create a fun and successful holiday season.

You don’t have to run to the gym on January 1st only to fade away on March 30th. Using these tips and learning mindfulness shifts your relationship with food, not only for the holidays but every day. Keep learning and shifting your mindset so that you can experience healthy sustainable weight loss. You deserve to feel confident and comfortable in your body!

Lesley Goth, PsyD is a sustainable weight loss coach. Lesley has created an online program where she helps women learn mindfulness and clear out the underlying emotional issues that have kept them stuck. For more information, you can contact Lesley here. To register for Lesley’s free masterclass and start your weight loss journey today, click here.