Halloween is almost here. But for those pursuing a healthier, physically fit lifestyle, the real scares stretch beyond those terrifying (and tempting) towers of fun size candy bars. For when the clock strikes midnight on Nov. 1, the true holiday smorgasbord begins to rise.
Luckily, by taking a mindful snacking approach to the holiday season, you can enjoy holiday gatherings while eating selectively with intention and attention.
Mindful snacking is about being conscious about what you’re eating, why you’re eating it, and how it makes you feel. Doing so not only helps you to avoid overeating, but it also helps you to choose more appropriate things to eat.
Here are a few simple steps to get you started.
- Determine the reason for your snacking: Why are you reaching for that banana, bag of chips, or beef jerky?
- Are you actually hungry?
- Do you need energy?
- Do you crave a treat?
- Are you eating to be social?
- Are you stressed or nervous?
- Are you taking a break?
Figuring out precisely why you’re reaching for a snack can help you determine the right food to fit your body’s needs or change course and choose a different, healthier stimulus.
- Figure out what your body is truly craving: What’s really going to hit the spot? Are you looking for something sweet? Something savory? Are you desiring a certain crunch or something chewy? The key here is pinpointing your body’s exact needs. By doing so, you will be more satisfied and, subsequently, less likely to overindulge on something you’re only moderately interested in.
- Make the most out of each bite: Concentrate on the flavor and the mouthfeel and pay particular attention to how much you are enjoying your snack. This ultimately helps you get more enjoyment out of a smaller amount of food.
- Have healthy snacks on hand: Once you are able to determine the different reasons you snack, and the cravings you regularly need to satisfy – you can stock up on healthy alternatives that scratch that itch, so to speak. Nutritious, protein-rich options – from fruits to nuts and beyond – are available to deliver those sweet, salty, savory, and crunchy sensations.
Some readers might see the above and consider mindful snacking restrictive, but it’s really about being in the moment, enjoying your food more, and achieving a balance between satisfaction and fitness and/or a healthier lifestyle.
Remember – a balanced diet is only one part of a truly healthy lifestyle. Equally important is regular, weekly exercise. Fitness Together Ellicott City can help you strike the proper balance using strength, cardio and nutrition approaches that work together for your benefit. Our certified personal trainers offer knowledgeable guidance in fully equipped, private workout suites. Contact us today to learn more and get started.