Have a mindful Christmas!

Did you know that most people consume 6000 calories on Christmas day alone? This means we could potentially gain up to 2.5kg over the festive period.

The festive period is a time that we gather together with family and friends and enjoy eating and drinking. Consequently, weight gain seems inevitable and a formality. However, this doesn’t have to be the case as we can still be merry without overindulging.

We can use a concept called mindful eating that can help with our weight loss goals.

What is mindful eating?

Mindful eating is a conscious way of eating that fully uses all the senses. It encourages greater awareness of what you are eating, how you eating, and when you eat. It involves taking the time to think, hear, smell, touch and taste your food. Doing so enables you to have greater appreciation for every little bite, allowing you to not take food for granted and consequently overeat. It is a skill you have to practice and be patient with, but it is worth it once you have grasped it!

Here are some practical tips for you to try over the festive period:

Keep a food and mood diary. This allows you to become more aware of how you feel when you have those foods, but also of your feelings before and after.

Plan ahead when buying ingredients and planning meals so you do not ‘impulse buy’. Also if you are planning on going for a Christmas meal, have a look at the menu beforehand and perhaps stick to two courses and plan in advance what you are going to drink.

If you are going to a buffet, the temptation is to go back for seconds and thirds…. But if you choose your first plate of food wisely and take time to think about what you really want to eat, then you can avoid overeating and going back for more. Same with the alcohol beverages…

We are human. If you do have the odd chocolate or pudding, it is a small slip-up in your journey to weight loss. The important thing is to know how to get back on track again, and realise that you may need to exercise more if you are eating those little treats. Some ideas are to go for a power walk, or go ice-skating with family or friends, take time out from sitting in front of the TV to do some tidying, go for a walk around a shopping centre, or put some Christmas songs on and dance around your living room!

Happy Christmas and happy holidays from Healthy Hearts!

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