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How to Practice Mindful Eating While Celebrating

Being mindful of your eating habits can be difficult when you are celebrating. During the holidays and on special occasions you often experience a change of routine. With this change usually comes exposure to foods that you wouldn’t normally eat. Social pressures during special occasions coupled with many hours of sedentary socializing time can often lead to weight gain. Practicing mindful eating will make a positive difference.

Be Mindful of Your Food Choices

Whether the occasion is a birthday party or a Thanksgiving meal, you can practice mindful eating by paying attention to your food choices. If you are hosting a birthday party for your child, for example, you might have a small slice of cake, but also have nutritious snack foods available. Fresh fruit, dried fruit, nuts and vegetables with dip are some of the healthier options that can be enjoyed by you and others who are interested in watching calories.

When attending a holiday gathering in someone’s home, be mindful of choosing the healthiest food options. You might remove the skin from turkey, the fat from meat or limit the amount of gravy on your mashed potatoes. Being mindful in these situations means still enjoying your favorite foods on the table, but in a way that will not leave you feeling regretful.

Limit Food Quantity and Savor the Taste of Food

Mindful eating during celebrations entails tuning in during meal times. Sometimes it’s easy to become distracted by talking to people you haven’t seen in a long time. Then you suddenly realize that you have eaten way too much. When you sit down to enjoy a meal during a family holiday celebration or a birthday party, be mindful of portion sizes and quantities. You can avoid returning for seconds by eating slowly and really savoring the taste of the delicious food.

Mindful Preparation for Special Occasions

The change of routine and eating habits brought on by holiday celebrations and special occasions can interrupt your diet plan. Mentally prepare for these occasions ahead of time. If you know that your annual visit to your relative’s house is filled with social pressure to eat large quantities of fattening foods, prepare for this situation in advance. Think about how you might respond to repeated offers of food. Often, making such mindful decisions ahead of time can strengthen your resolve to enjoy celebration meals in moderation. You might also consider eating a much smaller breakfast and lunch on days that you will be attending a special occasion dinner. Be mindful, however, not to starve yourself. This strategy can often backfire by leading to binge eating.  

Exercise before the Celebration

In some situations, eating foods you normally wouldn’t eat is an inevitable part of taking part in celebrations. You might try to prepare for this by engaging in a good aerobic workout in the days leading up to the special occasion. An extra lap around the block, an extra ten minutes on the treadmill or an extra mile on your bike might be just what you need to make room for the extra calories you will be enjoying during celebration time.

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