This holiday season, there will be sweets, treats, alcohol and more. Is eating in moderation even possible over the holiday season? Of course!
Eating in moderation is a way of eating that is reasonable and not excessive. For many people, this helps them stay on track and avoid large amounts of food. While eating moderately, you can enjoy your favorite treats while also staying within your plan. Aim for moderation over the holidays this year — not deprivation!
Tips for Eating in Moderation
Follow Your Plan Most of the Time
Lower the bar just a bit and allow yourself room to stumble. Instead of stressing about every single choice you make, decide to be a “B student.” Make good choices most of the time and recognize that you don’t have to be perfect.
For many, taking some of the stress away eases the mind. Trying to be perfect can many times increase stress and cause you to throw in the towel altogether. Instead, allowing a favorite treat here or there can reduce your stress and keep you on track for a longer period of time. Strive for balance this season.
Decide Where You Will Make Some Exceptions
Mindful eating requires a plan. Determine when you can let your guard down and have a treat or two. Without a plan, it’s easy to fall into the habit of snacking on treats throughout the entire holiday season. For example, maybe you continue to stock your kitchen with nutritious foods, but you allow yourself treats when you go out for social events. Or, decide to have a piece of pie with your grandmother while you sit down and talk together, but stay on track during your holiday work function by choosing a protein and a salad. You decide what works best for you.
Choose Only Your Favorite Things
There are treats galore over the holiday season. Cookies, brownies and crunchy snacks can add up quickly. Instead of choosing all of them, perhaps choose just your favorite. Take a minute to decide if the foods you’re tempted to eat are really worth it. Your grandma’s sugar cookie may be your favorite holiday treat, but you may also want to pass on the store bought brownies.
The holiday season is often fast-paced. You may find yourself eating in the car, mindlessly eating while socializing at a party, or grabbing a holiday treat from the breakroom table. Change your plan this holiday season by eating mindfully. Take your time while eating, chew your food, place your fork down between bites and allow yourself to truly enjoy what’s on your plate.
Stick to the Basics
Make sure you keep up with your regular plan. Eat regular balanced meals, drink fluids and find time to exercise. Your basic routine and day-to-day choices are what sets the stage for long-term success. Sticking to the basics provides structure and will help you stay on track.
As the holiday season carries on, be ready for change and flexibility. It’s a very busy time of year, so plans will change and things may not always go as you anticipated. Allow yourself flexibility, but try your best to stick to your plan for your peace of mind.
Focus on What Matters
The holiday season places a lot of emphasis on food, but spending time with loved ones is more important. Above all, try to remember the reason for the season when you get stressed or anxious about food. When it’s time to eat, employ the tactics above to help you make smarter decisions and eat in moderation. Enjoy this special time of year!