Our Top 5 Tips to Stop the Mindless Holiday Eating

Guest Post
The holidays are filled with "tiny tastes" that really add up. Learn how to stop the mindless eating during the holidays and enjoy yourself more!Tis’ the Season of “Tiny Tastes”

Did you know that we typically make over 200 eating decisions per day, without even knowing it? And it’s safe to say that number probably increases during the holiday season, often leading to mindless holiday eating.  

Those decisions include the…


christmas cookies

or the


starbucks coffee

Between October 31 and January 1, most of us are thrown out of our normal routines in one way or another. It’s a time of year when we often become less mindful of what and how we are eating. It’s a time of doing, whether it’s schmoozing at a work cocktail party, baking for our kids’ school functions, or entertaining the in-laws who are vacationing down the hall (or maybe it’s all of it!).  Plus, the holidays come with more of many things- more friends, more family, more parties, and… more “tiny tastes”!  

To give you an idea, here is what we mean by “tiny tastes”:

Food Calories
Handful of chocolate chips while holiday baking 200
Half cup of eggnog at the cocktail party 200
One “taste” of your kid’s candy cane ice cream 70
Piece of pumpkin cake at the coffee shop 100
Broken Christmas cookie eaten off the cooling rack 30
Taste of peanut brittle from co-worker  80
Cheese & cracker sample at the market  40
Flavored coffee sample from Starbucks 20
Chocolate-covered cherries in the break room 60
Few chips at the holiday party 70


Here are our top 5 tips to help you nibble a little less on the “tiny tastes”  this year:  

  1. Chill for a second.

    There’s no rush! While enjoying holiday foods, try and engage all of your senses, and let yourself savor each bite. And before you reach for another tiny taste, take a moment to pause and take a few deep breaths, and see if that third piece of cheese still has the same appeal.  

  2. Take a seat.

    Try to go a day or two without standing and eating. If you can make it that far, keep going! Sitting down to eat will help you to tune into your body’s true hunger signals and help you to savor your food more than when you’re running around.  

  3. Be a photojournalist.

    Pick one day during the holiday madness, and take a photo of every bit of food and drink before you put it in your mouth. This will help you to become aware of any extra nibbles you might be making throughout your busy day.  

  4. Ditch the leggings.

    Have you heard the term “stretchy pants” season? It’s the idea of wearing looser pants in order to indulge more comfortably around the holidays. To help prevent overeating, forget the stretchy pants. Wear a tighter-fitting pair and it will be easier to stop the mindless munching when you’re out at a party.   

  5. Eat before the party.

    Sound counterintuitive? Maybe, but it works! If you go to a party ravenous, chances are you will forget about making good decisions at the buffet that night. Try munching on a fiber and protein rich snack an hour or so before making your appearance. Some great choices are veggies and hummus, or an apple with a little bit of nut butter.  

Have a happy and mindful holiday! 


This post was written by Caroline Young Bearden. Caroline is a lover of both delicious and healthy foods, and believes all foods can be a part of a well-balanced diet. Caroline is completing her dietetic internship and earning her masters degree in nutrition at Georgia State University. Caroline is also a journalist and yoga instructor. Connect with her at https://www.linkedin.com/pub/caroline-bearden/34/282/7b4.

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