In the realm of women’s health and wellness, the struggle to manage weight, especially for those dealing with Hashimoto’s, is a common and significant concern. As we step into the holiday season, marked by Thanksgiving and the festivities of December, the challenge of avoiding weight gain becomes even more prominent. I’ve got one simple strategy to navigate the remainder of November and December without the annual weight gain that many experience. This simple tip, applicable every time you sit down to a meal, aims to empower you with the tools to maintain your well-being during this holiday season.
Body Positivity vs. Health
Before we dive into this topic, though, it’s crucial to distinguish between body positivity and health.
Your health and weight are undeniably connected on a physiological level. Increased fat levels, waist circumference, and other things impact your health and risk factors for future problems. It’s vital to recognize that body positivity and weight are not the same thing. How you feel about your body doesn’t necessarily correlate with your health and weight status. You can be fit and healthy while harboring negative body image perceptions, or conversely, feel comfortable in your body while facing health risks.
Today’s discussion revolves around practical strategies to enjoy the holiday season without gaining weight, emphasizing the importance of recognizing your strength and capability while acknowledging that improvement is a constant journey. Today I’m equipping you with the tools to make mindful choices during the holidays and avoid unnecessary struggles in the coming year.
Avoid Holiday Weight Gain with Mindful Eating
There’s one practice that can transform this holiday season and make it a whole lot easier to not gain weight. And that is the practice of mindful eating. You may already be familiar with mindful eating, or you may not. So let’s go through about seven tips to help you figure out what it is.
Basically, when you are incorporating mindful eating into your meals, you’re being aware of what you’re eating, you’re not zoning out or focusing on something else. You’re focusing on what you’re doing which is eating. Here are 7 ways to do that.
Avoid Weight Gain by Engaging Your Senses
The holiday season is a feast for the senses. Take the time to appreciate the colors, smells, sounds, and textures of the food around you. Engaging your senses not only enhances the dining experience but also fosters a deeper connection with the nourishment your body receives.
Be Mindful of Your Body’s Signals
Tune in to your body’s signals. Are you eating because you’re genuinely hungry, or is it a response to external cues like stress or social pressure? By distinguishing between true hunger and non-hunger triggers, you empower yourself to make choices that align with your body’s needs, promoting overall health.
Eat Slowly and Without Distraction
As you gather around the holiday table, make a conscious effort to slow down. Enjoy each bite mindfully, savoring the textures and flavors. Put away electronic devices, turn off the TV, and focus on the present moment. By doing so, you allow your body to recognize signals of fullness, preventing overeating and supporting your metabolism.
Taste and Chew Your Food
I tell my kids that they don’t have teeth after they swallow. You’re not a chicken. You don’t have a gullet with little rocks to help continue to grind up your food. And after you swallow your food, you can’t taste it anymore.
I practice this with an Andes Mint. You can take that tiny piece of candy and you can take three or four bites of that. And with every single bite you are tasting the chocolate and mint it’s so good. You get so much flavor in taking a tiny bite and when you take a small bite, you get to enjoy that tiny piece of candy four times longer. You only taste something while it’s in your mouth. Once you swallow it. You don’t taste it anymore. So take time to chew and savor your food to actually taste it.
Avoid Holiday Weight Gain by Eating to Maintain Health
Instead of viewing holiday meals as an indulgence, see them as an opportunity to nourish your body. Choose foods that support your health and energy, and be mindful of portion sizes. This approach allows you to enjoy the festivities without compromising your well-being.
Mindfully Notice Food’s Effects on Feelings and Body
Pay attention to how different foods make you feel. Are there specific dishes that boost your energy and mood? By honing in on these connections, you can make informed choices that contribute to your overall vitality.
Appreciate Your Food to Avoid Weight Gain
Finally, practice gratitude for the nourishment before you. Take a moment to reflect on the effort that went into preparing the meal and the journey the food took to reach your plate. This act of appreciation not only enhances the enjoyment of your meal but fosters a positive relationship with food.
Avoid Holiday Weight Gain by Using Mindful Eating
As we navigate the holiday season, let’s approach our meals with mindfulness and gratitude. By incorporating these mindful eating practices, you can not only delight in the culinary delights of the holidays but also support your journey toward lasting wellness. Wishing you a season filled with joy, mindful moments, and nourishment for both your body and soul.