by Dana Hawthorne, MScFN, RD, Leeds, Grenville & Lanark District Health Unit
The abundance of holiday events, treats and meals can make healthy eating throughout the holidays challenging. One strategy for putting a healthy spin on holiday meals is to practice mindful eating. Mindful eating involves listening to and respecting your body’s hunger and fullness cues throughout the day. It includes eating when you are hungry, and stopping when you are feeling comfortably full, not stuffed. We can eat mindfully by chewing our food well and taking the time to enjoy the taste and aroma of the food. It can also be helpful to create a pleasurable eating environment, which might include playing relaxing music, decorating your eating area in a way that appeals to you, or enjoying the company of family and friends.
When planning to have a special dinner with a variety of choices, it’s still important to eat your regular meals and snacks during the day. This will keep you from getting too hungry before dinner. Becoming too hungry can make it difficult to eat mindfully, which might result in overeating and feeling uncomfortable after the meal.
For more information, visit www.healthunit.org, connect with us on Facebook and Twitter (@LGLHealthUnit) or call 1-800-660-5853.