‘Tis the season: Some mindful eating tips for the holidays

‘Tis the season: Some mindful eating tips for the holidays


From Christmas dinner, to New Year’s Day brunch and back to back get togethers, to homemade brownies and office parties and then … the leftovers. Whether you’re trying to control your blood sugar or trying to avoid gaining those few extra pounds, the holiday season can be challenging for even the most disciplined eater.

But some mindful eating guidelines could help you get through the season without overindulging at every occasion

So what is Mindful Eating?

Mindful eating is the process of eating with intention and attention. To refocus on why we eat and how we eat instead of what we eat while being fully aware of the moment. Loud music, excited children, the stress of hosting, and all those plates in the oven, sometimes we forget to focus on the moment and to ask ourselves: How hungry am I right now?

Stephanie Shabat a clinical nutritionist and dietitian at the MUHC shares some mindful eating tips to guide you through those very merry meals.

5 Mindful Eating Tips for the Holidays

1. Don't arrive hungry!

The thought of all of those homemade meals and fresh baked treats can sometimes sway us to eat less during the day so that we have more room during the party. Try to avoid this. Eat regular meals throughout the day. You can even have a healthy snack before leaving. This will prevent you from arriving to the party starving and over-indulging.

2. Eat smaller portions so you can taste everything

So many choices and so little time! Chocolate cake or shortbread cookies? Turkey or meat pie? There’s no need to fill your plate with large portions of everything. Try asking your host to serve you a little bit of everything on the menu so you can enjoy all that is being offered.

3. Eat slowly and take the time to savour your meal.

Slow down and savour!  It takes so much time to prepare holiday meals. Why not slow down and enjoy them? Eating slowly also gives you more time to enjoy your meal.

4. Listen to your fullness cues.

Just because it’s on your plate doesn’t mean you need to finish it. Holiday dinners can last many hours and sometimes you’re already full before the entire meal is served. Listen to your fullness cues and don’t be shy to slow down or take a break.

5. What about alcohol?

Try alternating between an alcoholic beverage and a glass of water or sparkling water.