Stress + sweets doesn’t have to equal weight gain
Follow these actionable tips to eating healthy during the holidays!
The holidays can be stressful. Shopping, cooking, traveling, and socializing can throw a wrench in our routines, including our eating routine. It is tempting to skip meals and snack on holiday treats all day.
While it may take extra effort to schedule uninterrupted mealtimes, your body and mind will thank you for it.
Meals are a natural time to take a break in your day – from work, school, chores, worries – and they should be cherished. When we’re focused on something other than the meal at hand (pun intended), it’s easy to overeat. Overeating can lead to weight gain regardless of what you’re eating.
Our digestive systems work optimally when we’re in a relaxed state. Eating on-the-go, too quickly, while multi-tasking, and/or when we’re stressed impair digestion. When our digestion is impaired, we absorb fewer nutrients and experience less energy following meals.
Stress also contributes to cravings for unhealthy foods and weight gain. And we all know unhealthy foods will be in plain sight during the holidays.
So, in order to get the most out of your meals emotionally and physically, take a moment to transition from where you are in your day to the table (yes, it is better to eat sitting down than standing up or while driving). This could be as simple as one of the following exercises:
- Closing your eyes and taking slow, deep breaths until you feel calm
- Expressing gratitude for your meal and picturing all who had a role in it: farmers, ranchers, butchers, distributors, buyers, cashiers, chefs or whomever prepared your food
- Giving thanks for your day, your health, your family, really anything you are grateful for
- Observing your food as if you’ve never seen it before, like a curious young child. Pay attention to the aromas, colors, and textures
It’s okay if you don’t have the time for this at every meal or even every day. Your goal can be as simple as scheduling adequate time for your meals, even if you can’t eat at the same time every day. Or, you could strive to pay more attention to how you’re feeling before, during, and after meals. Some questions to explore:
- Do you notice when you’re hungry?
- Do you notice how fast you’re eating?
- Do you notice when you’re full?
- How do you feel following your meals?
Whatever your answers to these questions, please don’t judge yourself. No one is perfect! Use them as motivation to pay attention more and more so that you can eat and care for yourself accordingly.
The holistic nutritionists at Healthy Nest believe that how you eat is just as important as what you eat. Get healthy habits in place before the holidays begin. Click here to schedule online for a free, 20-minute phone consultation with a Healthy Nest holistic nutritionist.