For most people, the festive season is probably not the best time to start going on a diet.  As we all know, the festive season is a time when families and friends come together and have social gatherings that usually involve indulging in excessive amounts of decadent food and treats.  Maintaining a healthy lifestyle becomes less of a priority for most people at this time of the year.  The festive season is the perfect time to regroup and think about what you can do to better yourself for the new year.  Make it a point to not just focus on your physical well-being but your mental well-being as well.

Instead of putting pressure on yourself to go on a diet in preparation of the new year, focus more on having gratitude for your body.  You can eat as many fruits and vegetables as you can but if you are constantly anxious about the food you consume, your body won’t function as it should.   Practicing gratitude reduces the stress and negative focus off your body.  This means that you will have less room for negative thoughts about your body.  People who appreciate their bodies are more likely to embrace where they are, allowing themselves to connect with what their bodies need.  This results in people taking care of themselves in a way that improves their overall health and well-being.

“Eating healthy becomes easier and enjoyable when you are in sync with your body.  It helps to be aware of what happens inside your body and your mind as you eat.  If you learn to embrace mindful eating, becoming aware of and accepting your relationship with food becomes easier,” says Gert Coetzee Pharmacist and Diet pioneer who founded The Diet Everyone Talks About.  Below he lists some hints and tips that can help you eat in gratitude for your body.

Cut out addictive foods:  Being addicted to foods that contain caffeine, sugar, alcohol, carbs and dairy can take over your life.  When you try cut out addictive foods, you might start to crave healthier food options.

Explore your food habits:  When you are aware of your food habits, you are able to identify the reasons behind eating what you eat.  Being able to identify which foods your body needs and consuming it will benefit your overall health.

Avoid emotional eating:  Rather than just eating when you get emotional, learn to listen to your body.  Are you eating because you are actually hungry or because you are you feel like eating will take away the sadness, frustration, loneliness?  Mindful eating is when you listen deeply to your body’s signals for hunger.

Watch your food portions:  Whether you want to maintain a healthy weight or wanting to lose weight, controlling your food portions is as important as sticking to a healthy diet.  Big portions of food contribute to discomfort and indigestion.  Managing your food portions helps prevent bloating after eating.  Consuming small portions of food ultimately helps you lose weight.

Avoid distractions when you eat:  Being distracted while eating does not allow you to listen to what your body needs.  When you are distracted, it becomes hard to listen to what our bodies try to communicate to us.  Get into the habit of sitting down and consciously enjoy your food.