The first is mindful eating, which is a buzzword, but what does it actually mean? Put shortly, mindful eating is taking the time to acknowledge the food with all of your senses and really appreciate what you’re eating.
Sure the thanksgiving spread looks great, but how does it smell? How colorful is it? What positive emotions does Thanksgiving bring you? That’s all part of mindful eating.
It’s not that food becomes healthier when we take our time eating, but it does give us a better appreciation of what we’re eating. Additionally, by slowing things down and starting with a smaller plate, we give ourselves time to digest, which can help us accurately gauge hunger and prevent overeating
Plus, it’s the holidays. There are always leftovers, which means you can go back for seconds!Avoid Skipping Meals
Some people go into a holiday thinking that since they’ll be eating a large meal later in the day, they can skip out on eating earlier. That’s actually the wrong approach if you want to have an enjoyable day! Not eating all day can cause low blood glucose. Even if you’re not a diabetic, low blood sugar can cause brain fog and irritability.
Eating at regular times helps keep your metabolism moving. Putting your body into a minor state of starvation by not eating actually slows your metabolism, which can cause unintended weight gain.
Additionally, have you ever tried to have a big meal after not eating all day? This can lead to stomach discomfort.Stay Active
Staying active causes your brain to produce compounds known as endorphins which improve mood and lower stress, but that’s not to say you have to go out for a run every morning. Any amount of activity is good for you. 10,000 steps is typically the number thrown around, but new research has indicated that even walking 7,000 steps per day is associated with improved health.
In addition to cardio, resistance training is an important part of fitness. This doesn’t necessarily mean lifting weights. Carrying shopping bags, light stretching, or chair yoga are all activities that help strengthen your muscles. As always, tailor any physical activity to your ability level and speak with your doctor before adding any new exercises to your routine.Stay Hydrated
Staying hydrated is an essential part of nutrition. You need water to absorb certain vitamins and just keep everything running smoothly. Fluid can come from more than just water, however. Tea, juice, soup, fruit, and more all contribute to daily fluid intake.
Drinking water also aids digestion and helps accurately judge hunger level. If your stomach is growling and you know you’re well-hydrated, that means that you truly are hungry.
Knowing how much fluid you drink throughout the day helps gauge hydration status, but so does checking the color of your urine. If you’re properly hydrated, your urine will be a pale yellow color.Make Simple Swaps
Finally, look for ways you can make simple swaps in your favorite holiday recipes, especially our baked treats! There are some simple ones like using milk in place of cream or dark chocolate instead of milk chocolate. There are also more unique ones, like using mashed bananas in place of eggs. We actually use this tip in our homemade oat waffle recipe!
We’ll have a recipe coming out later this month with more healthy baking swaps, so keep an eye out!