During the holiday season, eating is both a source of pleasure and a social activity. Food is a means by which we define ourselves culturally and as individuals. In short, food consumption is not simply about physical sustenance and nourishment, but an inseparable part of society and self-perception.
“Mindful eating” refers to eating with awareness or self-control; the focus is on honoring self-care. Mindful or intuitive eating is both an attitude and a process.
1. Honor your hunger
Eat even-sized meals every four hours. Include nutrient-dense, whole foods in appropriate portions to maintain blood sugar levels and prevent energy dips that lead to cravings.
2. Respect your fullness
Observe your body for cues that signal fullness. Pause in the middle of a meal or a snack and ask yourself:
• How does the food taste?
• What is my current fullness level?
3. Honor your health
Maintain a varied diet: colorful vegetables and fruits, lean proteins, healthy fats, and fiber-rich foods. No food is perfect. You will not suddenly get a nutrient deficiency or gain weight from one snack, meal, or day of eating. What you eat consistently over time matters. Progress, not perfection, is what counts.
4. Honor your feelings without using food
Learn to recognize the difference between a biological and an emotional need for food. Find ways to comfort, nurture, distract, and resolve your issues without using food. Eating for emotional hunger will only make you feel worse in the long run. Ultimately you must deal with the source of the emotion, as well as the discomfort of overeating.
Your body is your most important environment. What can you do to care for it so that it supports you? How can you feed your body to be your best? Design an eating style that supports these attitudes and is flexible enough to be relevant year-round.
Embrace the principles of mindful eating this holiday season:
• Rely on internal hunger and satiety cues
• Eat for physical rather than emotional reasons
• Enjoy your favorite foods in moderation to maintain mindfulness
• Provide an eating experience that helps you feel satisfied and content
Know that we all at, H3, wish you a very HAPPY THANKSGIVING filled with gratitude and the celebration of your decision to take care of your physical and emotional health!