The months of November and December is packed with holidays to celebrate with families, friends, and food (yummy food). During these holidays, the waistline of many also expands (expectedly, and unexpectedly by how much). However, there are ways to reduce the ‘damages’, and still enjoy the holidays.
How do you prepare yourself (and your waistline) for the holidays? It’s all about perspective. Don’t look at the food as filling up your body; instead, use the food to fulfill your other senses.
The core stems from mindfulness in three dimensions of health: physical, emotional, and social well-being.
1. Physical Mindfulness. The jury is still out whether calorie counting really works, or the Paleo diet, or the plant-based diet … etc. Regardless of the type of dieting planning you are on, the best ‘diet’ is a non-diet plan, right? What if you can continue your eating plan, but add a dimension of physical fitness now (in preparation of the holiday feasts), in incremental installment. This act will prepare the body to burn the extra calorie and increase your metabolism rate. When preparing your coffee, can you squeeze in jumping jack for 5 minutes, a few push-up, or Abs crunches. Or before you get into the shower, do a 5 minutes yoga stretch in bed. As the turkey is baking in the oven, can you make it a game with your family to see how many squats you can do before the timer goes off?
2. Emotional Mindfulness. When you are eating, do you notice the sounds and the texture of the food as you chew. Often time, the taste of the food overpowers our senses, and because of the ‘additive’ ingredients in the food, we ignore the ‘full’ signal in our stomach. By enjoying the ‘sounds’ and ‘texture’ of the food, you will become mindful in your action. Naturally, your attention to the other sense (beside taste) will become ‘full’, and you will automatically want to eat less. Your mind is connected to your stomach. Try it, it works ! When the holiday feasts start, you won’t be tempted to pack your plate with food, instead, you will be focused on enjoying the ‘music of your food’.
3. Social Mindfulness. I agree, the food during the holidays are sometimes extra special and extra delicious. Instead of packing on the calorie at the dinner plate, use the time to enjoy the conversations among families and friends. When you are busy socializing and listening to you other’s life stories, you mind and heart will become ‘full’, before your stomach notices. You’re be too busy filing your mind and heart with good ‘soul food’ to notice that you didn’t get the second plate of turkey meat !
Use these 3 ways to become ‘full’ beyond your tummy’s desires: physical, emotional, and social mindfulness through the holidays will keep your waist line in check.