Eating Mindfully

It is so easy to mindlessly eat while mixing and mingling at holiday parties. You grab a glass of wine and chat for a while, but you eventually find yourself at the food table; you pile a little bit of everything on your plate, you grab some passed appetizers and someone pours you another drink.  All this munching between mingling can spike your blood sugar leaving you feeling bloated and tired even into the next day.  

Mindless eating is consuming food just because it’s there. It is eating while distracted- working, watching a movie, chatting at a party. It's important to pay attention to what we are eating and recognize when we're full before over doing it. 
The holidays are all about festive snacks, desserts, and drinks. No one wants to miss out on all of the fun, and you definitely don’t have to deprive yourself, but portion control is the key to mindful eating.

Tips for Portion Control: 

1. Eat something before the party. People often skip out on meals when they know they will be attending a party later on. Depriving yourself throughout the day only causes mood swings and cravings for carb-heavy and indulgent treats. Lets face it, when you show up ravenous you're going for the fried spring rolls and nacho dip over the veggie tray! Have a protein and fibre rich snack an hour or two before you leave such as a berry protein smoothie, an apple with almond butter, or a low sugar protein bar
2. Choose your indulgences wisely. When you get to the party, have a good look at the food being offered and take a moment to decide what you are going to eat. Choose 1 or 2 indulgences and stick to fresh veggies, hummus, olives and a small amount of hard cheese on the rest of your plate. Being more aware of your options gives you control over which treats to enjoy and which you can pass on.  

3. Sip slowly. We are all for enjoying a glass of wine but it can be easy to sip more than expected when busy mingling with others. Alcohol relaxes the body, inhibits judgement, and spikes the appetite; before you know it, you're hogging the chip bowl! Make a conscious effort to sip your wine or cocktail slowly, savouring every sip. Opt for a full bodied red wine, or mix spirits with soda water and lime to avoid extra sugar and calories.  

4. Eat when you’re hungry! It's very easy to forget that we do not need to continuously eat even though we're standing around food. Listen to your body, if you begin to feel full or bloated you don't need the excess food. If you find it difficult to stop, walk away from the food, step outside for a moment of fresh air or sip some water. 

5. Release the guilt. Deciding before the party that you're not going to eat anything accept some celery sticks will only set you up for failure. It is the holidays after all, so make sure you do indulge in a couple treats that you really want to try and enjoy every bite!

Following these tips and tricks will help alleviate any anxiety you may have about over eating at parties. Remember to enjoy the party and focus on spending time with family and friends! 


Emily Sawyer