At this time of the year, with a different holiday to celebrate every month, it can be very easy to forget to eat mindfully. It’s so easy to grab a handful of Halloween candy when you’re walking out the door, or eat pumpkin pie after lunch and dinner, or drink a mug of peppermint hot chocolate every night, without reason. These are mindless eating habits that become very frequent during the holiday season, and can leave you feeling empty, sick, and unhealthy. While it can be hard to practice strict mindful eating during this crazy time, it is important to try and incorporate informal mindful eating into your everyday routine. You don’t need to start a cleanse or go on a mindful eating retreat to change your eating habits. Remembering this handful of mindful eating tips can help you engage in mindful eating and please your body at the same time!
First, listen to your body and stop eating when you feel satisfied. Eating after you feel full means you are not listening to your body’s signals, which is the main issue with mindless eating. Second, eat only when your body is telling you to eat. Look for physical signals, like a growling stomach or low energy, that tell you that your body is low on fuel. Try to refrain from eating when your emotions tell you to eat, whether you’re sad, bored, lonely, or stressed. Emotional eating can actually worsen the intensity of negative emotions and physically make you feel worse. Along the same lines, remember to eat foods that are nutritionally healthy, instead of emotionally comforting. Third, make an effort to eat with others at set times and places. Eating alone at random times can lead to binge eating, and eating with others makes eating a social activity. Last, simply eat. Do not eat and multitask. Eating and focusing on where your food comes from, what you’re putting into your body, and how it makes you feel are important facets of mindful eating. Mindful eating has many physical and emotional benefits. No matter how crazy life gets, remembering to practice mindful eating can increase your emotional and physical health and help you tackle whatever life throws at you.