Social events, gathering, situations, etc. can be very challenging to the mindful eater. The main reason for this is that there are so many things going on that one can’t be attentive while eating. Women are generally social beings and love communicating.
When that happens over dinner or meals, very often the focus is on the conversations rather than the food and drinks. This will result in them eating and drinking more than they should. The human mind can only focus on one thing at a time, no matter how good a multitasker you think you are.
In this article, we’ll look at a few tips to help you stay focused on your mindful eating while at a social gathering. It may be challenging but it can be done.
• Pay Attention To How You Feel
This is the most important tip of the lot. Mindfulness is knowing exactly how you’re feeling… and then acting sensibly. During a social gathering, you may either be excited, happy, nervous, bored or indifferent. Whatever emotion you may be experiencing, it may trigger food cravings in you. So, you must be aware of that.
If you’re nervous, you may find yourself constantly sipping on your wine. If you’re excited and having a laugh, you may keep eating and conversing happily without realizing just how much you’re eating. If you’re bored, you may keep eating just because there is nothing else to do.
The secret here is to pause… yes, pause amidst all the noise and laughter and center yourself. When you’re eating, eat. When you’re talking, put down your utensils. This will force you to focus on one activity at a time.
• Festive Seasons
The Christmas and New Year period brings its own set of challenges. Women may find that they’re invited to many Christmas parties or end of the year celebrations. You don’t have to accept them all if you don’t want to. Don’t let peer pressure force you to make decisions that you don’t want to.
If you’re going to these events, do note that consuming alcohol can have an effect on your eating. Usually, beer and liquor cause the body to have cravings for comfort foods like pizza and burgers. It’s almost always a desire for oily foods that are high in calories.
So, if you’re consuming alcohol, now you know why you’re craving fries or pizza. Limit your intake of alcohol.
If you’re spending time with family and relatives during the festive seasons, you might experience emotional issues that are par for the course when dealing with family members. It may get dramatic and old emotions may get stirred up.
Your emotions may affect your eating habits. So, you may want to keep an eye on how you feel. It would be a good idea to exercise daily during the festive season so that you burn extra calories and also release any pent up emotions that you may be feeling.
• Watch Your Portion Sizes
Usually, in social gatherings, there may be a buffet or your friends may order food as a group and everyone shares in it. Whatever the case, always ask yourself if you’re eating too much. This pause to analyze how much you’re eating will keep you focused and centered.
You may wish to drink a tall glass of water before eating. It’ll help you feel fuller and aid in better digestion. You’ll be less likely to overeat. Another technique would be ordering an appetizer as your main meal. If you choose a dish with a large serving size, offer to share it with someone else. You’ll then eat less and the food will not be wasted.
• Get Enough Sleep
Make sure you get enough sleep before attending social gatherings. When you’re tired, you’re more likely to eat more and have less control over your eating. You won’t have the energy to think too much about what you’re doing. Get sufficient rest ahead of time. This is especially true during the festive season.
• Peer Pressure
Sometimes you may be in a situation where you’re at an office party and your colleagues encourage you to have just one more drink. Or you may be at the bar and your lady friends are telling you not to be so stiff and to drink more and lighten up.
At times like these, you need to ask yourself how you’ll feel once you do what they say. Will you feel guilty? Is alcohol really going to help you feel better? Your answers will guide you and help you decide wisely. Don’t let peer pressure throw you off track.
These are just a few of the common challenges that so many women face when they adopt a mindful eating lifestyle. While simple in concept, it is not entirely easy. Being aware of the challenges and thinking about them will help you overcome them much more easily. Eating well is a form of self-respect… And this is priceless.