Mindful eating and Christmas

For many people, there is a lot of stress about all the food and the indulgence. Christmas comes around once a year and we should all be able to sit down at Christmas and enjoy our Christmas dinner. The dinner itself is generally a pretty balanced roast dinner with lean meat and lots of vegetables. It is all the other food and trimmings that can lead to guilt and stress.

There are lots of trimmings and foods that we are often told that we should eat less off, traditional foods that are all part of Christmas. There are also the gifts of chocolates, the mulled wine and mince pies. We may not be having so many social events this year but those that we do have often centre around food, drinks or meals. It can feel that there are just too many opportunities to eat.

How do we eat and enjoy the food around at Christmas without going over board or feeling guilty? Principles of mindful eating can really help.

What is Mindful Eating?

Mindful Eating is about developing your awareness of your thoughts, feelings during and after you eat. Its about becoming more in-tune with your body and recognising your physical hunger and satiety cues. Engaging all your senses can help you choose what to eat to nourish and satisfy you, without judgement.

The first place to start is considering your physical hunger. This scale is really helpful. There will be times when there is food available and it would be good to eat for reasons other than physical hunger but you can still aim to remain in the green zone.

Next important thing is to be present and enjoy the food. If you consider the food and use all your senses to appreciate it. It also allows you to notice better how enjoyable the food is and if you really want any more. Make time to enjoy it and talk about it with whoever you are eating with.

If you manage to do this some of the time then that is great. Mindful eating does take a bit of practice. You can develop it by keeping a satisfaction journal. If you struggle with all the food at Christmas print of the journal pages and see if being more aware of how full and satisfied you are when you eat. Does it help you?

You can download a free resource from Let’s Talk Food.

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