The holidays are a great time for connecting with family, sharing joy, and enjoying some of the beauty of winter. What we need to be mindful of, is the plentiful, heavy food we eat around this time of year. It’s not just the family feasts either -- between advent calendars and Christmas cookies, snacking on sweets can contribute to overeating as well.
Especially as we get older, overeating can take its toll on our bodies, even if it's just around the holidays. Unwanted weight gain, spikes in blood sugar, and improper nutrition are all possibilities. While the occasional indulgence around the holidays is just fine (go ahead and enjoy that eggnog), being mindful about what we eat can make us happier and healthier.
Here’s three tips on how to watch what you eat:
Eat more slowly
When the table is packed with festive food, and conversation can distract you, it’s easy to eat quickly and without being mindful of what's going into your mouth. When this happens, we can easily devour our meal, knowing second helpings are coming right behind them.
When we eat quickly, however, sometimes our bodies don’t get a chance to let us know they feel “full.” There’s generally a delay between when you feel satiated, and overfull. During that time, it’s easy to continue eating, even if that will lead to discomfort later. By taking time to eat slowly, we give our bodies a chance to catch up.
Be mindful about alcohol
It’s easy to indulge in a few drinks over the holidays. And in moderation, alcohol is often a fine accompaniment to food. That said, being mindful of what we drink is actually a key part in not overeating. While scientists aren’t precisely sure why, alcohol consumption is frequently associated with overeating. Making sure you don’t overindulge with alcohol will prevent overindulgence with food, too.
And, while a bottle of beer doesn’t seem like much, alcohol is full of empty calories that can contribute to weight gain. When you consider your consumption, think about a drink the same way you would a snack, and make sure your portions reflect that.
Drink plenty of water
Water is truly the greatest beverage -- it keeps us hydrated and healthy without adding a single calorie to our diets. Water has the added benefit of filling up our stomachs so that we’re less inclined to fill up on food. Keeping a glass of water handy throughout your holiday activities is a good idea.
Another reason to consider drinking water regularly is that often our bodies misinterpret thirst for hunger. The sensors in our body can send very similar signals for both hunger and thirst, and when we’re surrounded by holiday goodies, it can be all too easy to reach for a treat before a sip of water. But try having a drink instead, and see how you feel!
While overeating can be all too common this time of year, there are steps you can take to manage it properly. Try eating more slowly, minding your alcohol consumption and drinking lots of water, and you’ll be able to enjoy the season.
And don’t forget, with Heart to Home Meals, you can enjoy food that has been selected not only because it’s delicious, but also because it has been properly portioned and selected for its nutritional value. Get in touch today, and find out how we can help with your meals this holiday season.
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