Santa Clause is coming!!! Heading into the holiday season can be difficult because people are bringing in cookies and cakes to help celebrate the season of giving. It’s hard to resist these sweet treats and not to pack on extra weight during the holiday season.  Holiday shopping can also cause stress forcing us to rush to the nearest fast food restaurant to grab a quick bite before searching for the next present. There are so many activities that REQUIRE hot cocoa or apple cider to keep everyone warm, but not to worry here are some quick and simple tips to practice this season and all year round.

Chew your food

  • Chew each bite about 20-30 times.
    • This helps you eat slower.
    • This also aids in digestion. The mouth is where digestion begins by releasing important enzymes to aid in carbohydrate digestion.

Eat slowly

  • It takes about 15-20 minutes for your brain to realize that the stomach is full. Enjoy being around friends, family, and the wonderful company of loved ones.

Put down your fork between bites.

  • This allows each bite to be enjoyed and not stuff more food in the mouth as soon as we finished chewing the last one.
  • Ask questions as you chew…. How does the food taste? Can you feel all the textures from the different foods?

Take a breath between bites and ask questions.

  • This gives a few seconds to connect with the body and ask questions to see if the body is full.
  • What does the food taste like?
  • How does it feel?
  • What happens when you mix different foods?
  • What is the best combination of food on the plate?

Be Thankful

  • Buddhist monks will often spend 20-30 minutes looking at their food and meditating before actually eating. This is a common practice not only to allow full pleasure once the food is eaten, but also to allow wholeness to occur between the person and the food.

Stop when you are FULL!!!!

  • Many people eat until their plate is empty instead of when they are “full”
  • Do not eat until you are stuffed… eat until you feel content. You could eat more… but don’t really have to.
  • Food tastes better when you are hungry; taste buds naturally decrease sensitivity as you become full.
  • Even a few bites can make the difference between those extra holiday pounds and a thin trim waist to start the New Year.

As Christmas approaches and the dinner parties continue, try practicing a few of these tips.  Be mindful, grateful, chew slowly, and enjoy this holiday season around friends and family.