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Here are 5 tips to keep in mind this Easter for mindful eating

Here come the Easter holidays with parties, family gatherings, and food galore. Of course, all the shopping, cooking, and company, can make the holidays stressful, and stress can lead to overeating and unwanted weight gain.

Mindful eating can help

Paying more attention to what, when, and how you eat allows you to better tune in to your body’s true physiological hunger cues and make choices that keep your energy and spirits up.

So how exactly do you practise this technique? Below is how you can bring mindfulness into your meals throughout the Easter holidays.

Change your mindset

Maintaining balanced eating and optimal blood sugar on vacation starts with your mindset. Thoughts like “I’m on vacation, so I'm going to eat as much as I want” may leave you feeling stuffed and uncomfortable, and may even lead to high blood sugar.

Consider changing your vacation mindset from “anything goes” to a more mindful mindset of “anything in moderation”.

Sit to eat

It is easy to lose track of how much you are eating when you are grazing the holiday buffet while chatting with family.

When you sit down to eat, that can help you connect with the experience so you can better measure how much time is passing and pay attention to what and why you are eating.

Avoid eating while you are distracted, as you will have a harder time eating mindfully when you are distracted by other tasks.

While it is sometimes hard to take a moment to eat when you are busy with various holiday activities, it is so important that you take that time.

Enjoy yourself

Try cuisines that you normally would not have access to. Enjoy them and have fun while being mindful of healthier swaps that will not interfere with the taste. For example, ask for dressing on the side and add enough to flavour your dish.

Eat in silence

Try eating your meals in silence once in a while. When it is quiet, it is natural for the mind to wander; acknowledge these thoughts, and then see if you can gently return to your experience of eating.

Be conscious of the food’s consistency, flavour, tastes, and smells, and fully appreciate the moment.

Of course, mealtime can be an important time for sharing the day when the whole household gathers, so having an entire meal in silence might be impractical or just feel awkward.

But even spending the first five to 10 minutes in silence can be refreshing and set a grateful tone for the rest of the meal.

Portion control

Use a smaller plate for meals. You can always go back for more if you are still hungry. If you use a larger plate and get too much food you are more likely to feel like you have to eat it.

Also, do not feel you have to “clean your plate”. Check in with your body and ask, am I really hungry or bored?

When you are full or satisfied you can remove yourself from the table, put a napkin on your plate or discard your plate.

Original article appeared on IOL

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