For many Americans, Halloween often marks the beginning of “sweets and snacks season.” Halloween candy bowls linger for a few weeks, to replaced by Thanksgiving cakes and pies. Of course, that leads us into the Christmas cookie and candy season.
Instead of white knuckling it as you walk by bowls of sweet temptations or feeling guilty after you indulge, try something new this year. Make disciplined eating easy and satisfying by mindfully making choices. Pick one or two of these practical eating tips to add your personal wellness toolkit. Use as needed to mindfully eat with joy.
1) Move the candy bowl across the room: Treats at your finger tips make it easier to mindlessly grab and gulp. You’re more likely to ask yourself if you really want the candy bar if you have to stop what you’re doing and walk somewhere to get it.
2) Put healthy alternatives next to the goody bowl: Place a bowl of fruit, raisins, or (gasp!) veggies next to the candy bowl. Seeing both options will give you a visual reminder to choose what you actually want to eat.
3) Use a solid candy jar: Instead of putting Halloween treats in a clear bowl use a solid jar. Studies show you are less likely to eat candy if you can’t see it.
4) Give yourself permission: Set yourself up for success. Decide your upper limit for sweet indulgence ahead of time. You can still decide not to eat anything. If you do choose to enjoy a piece of chocolate, however, you free yourself from guilt and self-judgment.
5) Keep the evidence: If you do enjoy a few sweet treats save the wrappers. They give you a realistic reminder of how much you ate. This helps you stay mindful about how much you’re putting in your mouth. It also helps avoid the, “There’s no way I ate the whole bag!” scenario.
6) Savor the moment: If you decide to eat a treat take a few moments to really enjoy it. Let the aroma take you a happy memory. Let your taste buds rejoice at the sweetness. Eating mindfully in this manner often leads to feeling satisfied with less food.
7) Remember Scarlett O’Hara: Overindulging in spite of your best efforts doesn’t mean you won’t succeed the next time. Tomorrow is another day. Start fresh. Learn from what didn’t work. Do better the next time.
© 2012 Donna L. Hamilton, MD
The Ultimate Health and Wellness Guide Dr. Donna Hamilton, MD has a mission to help everyone live the healthy, satisfying lives they’re meant to lead. A dynamic holistic wellness speaker, Dr. Hamilton passionately teaches what being healthy really means and how to do it in a way that fits your unique needs. Her easy, practical tips assist you with assessing the entire wellness landscape and appropriately planning your personal wellness journey. Her workbook Wellness Your Way combines evidence based counseling and coaching skills with her primary care medicine wisdom to assist readers on this journey. For more information or to book Dr. Hamilton for speaking engagements visit www.DonnaHamiltonMD.com