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The holiday season is upon us yet again- and so are all the temptations to overindulge.  But I promise you can enjoy your holiday festivities without all the weight gain and guilt afterwards.   Here are 5 tips to staying mindful through the holidays so there’s no need to detox or “get back on track” in the New Year:

1.) Continue your exercise regimen.  Make it a priority.  If you normally go 3x/week, stick to it even if you have to break it up into smaller chunks of time or get up a half hour earlier in the morning.  Once you stop that routine and say you don’t have time, you’re not going to be as motivated to eat well.  When you are exercising regularly you will automatically be more mindful of what you are eating and will think twice about overdoing it after the hard work you put in.  Plus, exercise is a HUGE stress reliever and grants you some me time during the chaotic holiday season.

2.) Plan, plan plan! Continue to plan your meals ahead of time so you’re not stuck last minute at the drive through or ordering take out.  Now, I know the reality is none of us are perfect and we still have times we will not plan ahead.  It’s OK!  It’s what you do on most days that really counts.  Sticking to your meal planning routine will keep you organized and will be one less thing to worry about when you’re spending extra time getting gifts, planning your menu, or getting your house ready for entertaining.  Don’t forget to refer back to my last blog post on “10 Tips for Successful Meal Planning” for more strategies.  If you are pressed for time and need help, sign up for these Dietitian-approved meal plan and delivery options .

3.) Use smaller plates and bowls.  Portion distortion is REAL. Filling a small plate 100% makes us feel full and satisfied.  When we use larger plates we have the tendency to fill them and eat more than our body is really telling us it needs.  The result? FOOD COMA – not fun.  You want to be able to feel good after your meal, not so tired and full that you don’t have the energy to catch up with loved ones.  Fill your plate with your favorite foods, not a “little bit of everything” so what you are eating is really satisfying for you.

4.) Sit down and eat whenever possible.  Eating when standing, multitasking, or watching tv is not enjoyable and makes it harder to realize how much you’re having.  In fact, you may forget and later feel like you barely ate at all!  This also applies to your every day meals.  This is the whole premise of mindful eating – eating without distractions.

5.) Take the focus off of food.  Don’t hang out by the food table if it’s too tempting to grab more food when you’re already full.  Focus on catching up with family, friends, listening to music, or any other non-food related activity you find enjoyable.  By all means enjoy your meal but make the social time the highlight of your holiday, not the food.  Then you will be more aware of how much you’re eating.

Happy Holidays!! Stay tuned for my next blog post where I’ll share my favorite EASY holiday recipes…