Welcome to Section 3
You’re making great progress on your mindful eating journey. Keep it up with our third topic, Balancing Indulgence. Here you’ll find helpful tips on finding a balance between enjoying holiday indulgences and making nutritious choices to maintain well-being.
You'll find several different practices, informational areas, and tips on today's topic, and you can try them at your own pace. Read through the various areas, find the components that best suit you, and commit to follow them for the next day or two before moving on to the next section.
Self-awareness and your body’s cues
Mindful portion control is a powerful ally during the holiday season, as it allows you to revel in the joy of feasting without overindulging. It begins with self-awareness: before filling your plate, pause to assess your hunger and consider your cravings. Listen to your body's cues; if you're not genuinely hungry, opt for smaller portions or delay your indulgence until your appetite calls for it. When serving yourself, remember that the first few bites are often the most satisfying, so prioritize your favorites and savor them fully.
Mindful management of self-indulgence also involves setting boundaries. This means defining limits for yourself and respecting them. Consider what is appropriate for your well-being and your goals. For example, if it's about indulging in decadent foods, set portion limits and savor each bite fully. Mindfulness allows you to be present during the indulgence, experiencing it without guilt or overindulgence. By savoring the moment, you can enjoy the experience without the feeling of excess, and over time, find greater balance in your indulgences.
Self-Reflection: Reflect on your motives and intentions behind self-indulgence to understand why you seek it.
Set Boundaries: Establish clear limits and guidelines for self-indulgence to prevent excessive behaviors.
Savor the Moment: When indulging, focus on the present moment and fully enjoy the experience.
Avoid Guilt: Practice self-compassion and avoid guilt when indulging, as long as it's within your defined boundaries.
Balance and Moderation: Strive for a balanced approach to self-indulgence that aligns with your overall well-being and goals.
Grab your journal and a pen, reflect on the following topic, then spend ten minutes writing out your thoughts and ideas.
"What are some triggers or situations that lead to self-indulgence? Reflect on your experiences and emotions around these moments and consider how you can maintain better control while still enjoying life's pleasures."
Even Harvard Medical School suggests mindfulness exercises for our food habits: Overeating? Mindfulness exercises may help - Harvard Health
Controlling self-indulgence can be challenging, but here is an effective strategy to keep you on track:
Set Clear Boundaries: Define limits and guidelines for self-indulgent behaviors, such as portion sizes, frequency, or spending limits. Create a structure and write several boundaries down, along with non-food rewards for achieving those boundaries. As you go about the day, check off each one that you’ve accomplished, and encourage yourself to keep going!
Skip going back for seconds - as a reward, spend a few extra minutes playing with a younger family member.
Ask for a dessert but ask for a half portion - as a reward, save the second portion for tomorrow!
Don't eat past 7:30 (or other set time) - give yourself a small treat in advance to celebrate a successful day.
You've made it through the third section of mindful eating during the holidays! You're on your way to a healthier lifestyle while still enjoying every moment of this festive season.
It's time for your self-check-in. Please share your thoughts before moving on to the next section of the program with the button below.