The holiday season is upon us and with it brings celebration, social gatherings, and - of course - food, glorious food. Mindful eating is an approach that focuses on being fully present in the moment, helping you to better judge fullness, decrease mindless eating, and make more intentional food choices.
Here are a few tips to help you navigate mindful eating through the season.
Eat Sitting Down When Possible
It can be so easy to munch on snacks and appetizers without thinking while talking to friends and family. The act of sitting down reminds your brain that you are eating and allows you to be more in tune with hunger and fullness cues.
Wait Before Getting More
After finishing your first plate, give yourself a few minutes to check in with your fullness. Are you satiated? Would more food make you feel uncomfortably full?
Savor Each Bite
What do you notice about the food you are eating? Is it sweet, salty, crunchy? How does it smell? Aim to focus on the taste and texture of each mouthful.
Harris C. Mindful eating: studies show this concept can help clients lose weight and better manage chronic disease. Today’s Dietitian. 2013;15:42.
Laitinen J, Ek E, Sovio U. Stress-related eating and drinking behavior and body mass index and predictors of this behavior. Prev Med. 2002;34:29-39.
Mathieu J. What should you know about mindful and intuitive eating? J Am Diet Assoc. 2009;109:1982-1985.
Nelson JB. Mindful eating: the art of presence while you eat. Diabetes Spectr. 2017;30(3):171-174.
By Phoebe Zhou, MGH Dietetic Intern