19 Nov Mindful Eating During the Holidays
The holiday season is here! We’ve all been to holiday parties or get-togethers, where a large amount of food and drink awaits us. It’s important to remember that good nutrition and wellness are especially important for those with chronic pain. A good diet can help control pain symptoms and reduce inflammation. There are a ton of wellness buzzwords on the internet right now, so it can be difficult to know what is truly helpful. Keep reading to learn more about ways you can practice mindfulness during the holidays, starting with mindful eating habits.
What is mindful eating?
You might have heard of mindfulness, but what about mindful eating? You can think of mindful eating as practicing mindfulness during meals. The wellness world has used the term mindfulness a lot recently. Do a quick search, and thousands of results will populate from a variety of sources (like these from Forbes and Headspace, for example). Okay, so you may be asking what exactly is mindful eating, then? 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 tell us when we need nutrients and when we are full. In fact, we are hardwired to have these sensations. Because of this, it’s important that we take the time to listen to our bodies and understand what we need. Start off by creating healthy meals and plates during the holidays. 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.
To sum it up
Remember, diet plays a huge role in managing chronic pain. A poor diet can increase inflammation and make pain symptoms worse. That’s why it’s important to take a holistic approach to pain management. And that doesn’t have to stop during the holidays! 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!
We are committed to providing holistic, individualized care and vow to treat each patient with compassion and respect, never turning anyone away. Our physicians are fellowship-trained pain specialists who utilize a combination of interventional procedures and medication management services to tailor a personalized care plan for each patient’s long-term pain relief.