The Holidays can be a wonderful time of togetherness, but the sheer number of get-togethers, a growing to-do list, and stressful family dynamics can all add up to over-eating. Here are some tips to help you avoid the triggers and have a truly happy, and healthy, mindful holiday season.

  1. Bring healthy snacks

By bringing healthy, protein rich snacks to nibble on at family get-togethers (think roasted nuts, granola, half an avocado, almond butter on toast) you will be less tempted to fill up on empty calories (sugary drinks, etc.)

  1. Slow Down

It can be a hurried time of year, which can lead to overindulgence and weight gain, simply because we aren’t paying attention! So stop and pay attention. Look at the food, give thanks, smell it. Take small portions and truly enjoy each bite. Put your utensils down between bites. Slow your pace and give your body a chance to truly appreciate what you are eating.

  1. Breathe

Sometimes, when we get rushed, we can inhale our food. Let’s inhale air instead! Before you start eating, take 5 slow deep breaths. Halfway through your meal, take 5 deep breaths again. Feel how grateful your body will be that you are filling it with oxygen instead of sugary foods.

  1. Focus on Friends and Family, not Food

This can be one of the only times a year we see certain loved ones. Make conversation the focus. Photos, crafts, stories. Build new traditions that focus on loved ones rather than stuffing ourselves and make more memories.

  1. Limit alcohol

The more alcohol we drink, we more likely we will make poor food choices. So limit the amount you drink and only drink your favorite beverage as a treat.

  1. Sip on Herbal Tea

If you need some help slowing down during the course of the event, sipping herbal tea can really           help. It is warming and filling, and can help ring a level of peace to your experience. Ginger tea is also great for digestion, so some lemon-ginger tea with a bit of honey is a wonderful drink to sip, slow down and settle the tummy.

  1. Sniff Essential Oils

Citrus and mint essential oils are enlivening and can help reduce cravings. Keep some on you to sniff, rub some on temples and wrists, to keep overeating at bay.

  1. Get moving

Taking a break to get everyone outside can be a fun way to focus on health. A brisk walk, a game of touch football, a group yoga session in the living room—all can be fun ways to get everyone moving and spending time together in a healthy way.

  1. Tune into your feelings of satiety

It takes the brain 20 minutes to receive the message of fullness. By slowing down and checking in throughout the meal, you will be less likely to over eat and go into a Food coma.

  1. Eat only what you love- and enjoy it guilt-free

So your Granny makes the best pecan pie? Have a slice! Enjoy every bit of it, chewing thoughtfully, savoring it, allowing your body to enjoy it fully. No guilt! If you take your time with your food, your body will experience pleasure, and you will be able to avoid that gross I ate too much at Thanksgiving feeling.

Try some or all of these tips to stay mindful and feeling great this holiday season. Which one did you find most helpful? Leave us a comment to let us know, and have a very Happy Thanksgiving!