Eating Season is Here – Be Prepared

Each year, at the end of October, I like to remind my patients, my followers (and myself) that the following two months (November and December) will inevitably bring a full-frontal assault on our daily challenge to eat healthy. As I write this post I’m actually looking at the first volley – leftover Halloween treats still setting out in plain view near my front door. You’ve also noticed the days getting progressively shorter, and know that with the clocks falling back an hour, adding even more darkness to our days. That subconscious stress, plus the stresses of traveling and family and entertaining and gift buying, can distract us from prioritizing diabetes management. And, while we’re distracted by stress and, at the same time, constantly surrounded by food day after day…… well, this is always a very trying time.

Mindful eating during the holidays

Maybe you’ve heard or read about mindful eating? It’s about slowly, but surely, developing a new relationship and new habits relating to food and eating. Here’s a post on mindful eating on by fellow R.D.N and C.D.E. Melissa Halas-Liang that can get you started. But as we come to the “season of eating” I’d like to suggest a couple of simple defensive strategies that may not reach the level of mindfulness, but are effective and preventing mindlessness when it comes to food.

  • Hide food

This sounds so simple, but it’s effectiveness is supported by many studies – leaving food in plain sight and within easy reach virtually assures you will eat more. And, it’s not about your memory – it’s about avoiding subconscious biological cues and triggers that come from seeing and/or thinking about food. So, it’s technically not necessary to actually hide food – just do your best to keep seasonal food (like cookies) out of sight and out of easy reach. You’ll be amazed.

  • Eat special holiday food

You probably have special dishes that may only show up during this holiday season. Thanksgiving dressing would be an example, when maybe your “go to” starch throughout the year is potatoes or rice. So, when your Thanksgiving bring-a-dish buffet includes dressing…and potatoes…and rice, simply skip the potatoes and rice and have a reasonable serving of the special holiday food. This way you’ll have that holiday feeling without straying away from healthy diabetes eating. The key is to consciously decide that this will be your holiday strategy.

Try these two tricks – you may find when the eating season is done a new year’s resolution seems unnecessary.

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