Mindful eating during the holidays

Mindful eating during the holidays

The holiday season is here! At holiday parties or get-togethers, there is usually a large amount of food to be eaten. It’s important to remember, though, that good nutrition and wellness are especially important for those with chronic pain to help control pain symptoms and reduce inflammation.

What is mindful eating?

Mindful eating means taking back control of your eating habits and not allowing emotions or cravings to rule over your behavior.

One of the most important mindful eating techniques is to ask yourself: “Am I hungry?” before you eat. If the answer is “yes,” then it’s time to eat. But if the answer is “no,” then there is likely something else going on, and your body probably does not need the extra calories if you do not feel hungry.

How do I practice mindful eating?

Our bodies are hardwired to tell us when we need nutrients and when we are full. Here are a few helpful tips to create a balanced plate during the holiday season:

  • At parties or family gatherings, drink low-calorie beverages to help fill you up. Alcoholic beverages, juice, soda and ciders are packed with calories and can contribute to holiday weight gain and inflammation. Flavored sparkling water is a great low-calorie alternative.
  • Snack on vegetables or fruit options rather than dips, cheeses or chocolates. At meal time, be sure to fill your plate with quality proteins like turkey, ham, chicken and non-starchy vegetables like broccoli, greens, carrots or a side salad.
  • Be aware that casseroles, dips, puddings, gravy and sauces can add calories quickly and make it more difficult to tell when you’re truly full. Limit these to smaller portions so you’re able to enjoy them and feel good.


Preparing for the holidays is about your mindset, mindful eating and enjoying yourself. You don’t have to sacrifice your wellness during this time of year—being mindful while preparing your plate will help you stay happy and healthy during the holiday season!