How to Avoid Mindless Eating This Holiday Season

The holiday season is a time to enjoy family, friends and parties. But for some of us, it is the dreaded time of "holiday weight gain." With all the holiday goodies around, how can you not indulge yourself? After all, the holiday season only rolls around once a year.

For those of you who want to avoid excess weight gain, here are some helpful tips on practicing mindfulness while eating those yummy holiday treats.

More: A Healthy Makeover for Holiday Desserts

Eat With the Five Senses

Look at your food and notice its colors and textures. Smell the aroma as you take a bite, feel its texture, and the sensation as it moves into your body.

Slow Down!

Many people eat as though they are on a time limit. Relax and enjoy your food. The longer food is savored, the longer you can enjoy it. Chew your food thoroughly because large pieces of food force your stomach to work harder and take longer to digest.

More: 10 Unique Ways to Keep Your Waistline in Check

Look Behind the Craving

Whenever you have a longing for a certain food—such as chocolate—sit with your craving for a minute. Note the emotions and feelings you are having. Watch the craving rise and then leave.

Be Aware of Unconscious Eating

If you are cooking, take notice of how often you taste test. One bite of raw cookie dough will give you approximately 50 extra calories. Do you lick the spoon? If so, you are adding another 50 to 60 calories.

More: 8 Steps to a Healthy Relationship With Food

Avoid the "Good Food/Bad Food" Label

There is no such thing as "good" or "bad" food. Food is neutral. Foods have either positive or negative effects on our health. When we label a food as "bad" we immediately start to fear it, think about it, crave it, and in many cases, label ourselves as "bad" for eating it.

Choose Acceptance

If you do overeat, don't punish yourself by starving the next day. Accept it and move on.

Be Flexible

Each day is different. Allow yourself to eat what nourishes you, rather than sticking to a rigid routine.

Be Thankful

Before each meal take a moment to breathe. Think about where your food came from, the elements of the earth that created it and the nourishment if offers.

More: Athlete's Survival Guide to Holiday Eating

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