Have you ever caught yourself overindulging during holiday meals? I know I did…

The dishes reserved for special occasions and usually associated with unlimited eating can be hard to resist. However, as someone with years of expertise in functional medicine and mind-aligning techniques, I can attest to the incredible power of mindful eating, especially during the holiday season.

Mindful eating is about being present in the moment, savoring the sensations, emotions, and thoughts that come to you subconsciously when eating. It’s not just about the food but also the how, when, and why.

As the holiday season approaches, being intentional with your choices can significantly impact your health and the goals you are achieving. You don’t want to compromise your goals by eating automatically and regretting later.

Discover Your Triggers

Do you know the importance of emotional and social triggers leading to overeating? For many people, holidays are associated with food and alcohol, so eating tends to become mindless because “it’s what we do.” 

Knowing what triggers you can help you identify the most tempting foods in advance and prepare accordingly.

Practice Gratitude

It is good overall to be grateful for things in life, food included. Plus, when you stop and take a few moments to appreciate what’s right in front of you, it gives you some time to reach your mindfulness and remember your intentions. You can be grateful to everyone and everything who was a part of your holiday experience.

Tune in to Your Body Signals

Your digestion sends you clear signals (via hormones and neurotransmitters), but during the holidays, your subconscious mind can override and ignore them (by generating other chemical messengers). 

So, before eating ask yourself:: Am I eating because I’m actually hungry, or it’s a habit or family tradition? Continually assess if you’re still hungry when attempting to fill your plate again.

Enjoy Each Bite

I learned to chew each bite at least 30 times. At first, it seemed too long to chew until I realized that food actually changes taste as I chew it. Next time, try taking smaller bites and chewing slowly. Savor the flavors, textures, and aromas of each dish. This enhances your culinary experience and allows your stomach to communicate when it’s full, preventing overeating.

Portion Control

It’s easy to go overboard when faced with an array of delicious options. Opt for smaller plates, which psychologically make your plate look fuller, making you less likely to over-serve. Also, filling half your plate with veggies is a good idea, providing a satiating fiber boost.

Stay Hydrated

Often, your body confuses thirst with hunger. By keeping yourself hydrated, you can prevent overeating. Drinking a glass of water before a meal can make you feel fuller faster. Avoid drinking water or juices during the meal as it can dilute digestive juices and affect nutrient absorption.

Holidays Are About Love

I know that for some people, and maybe it’s you, holidays bring negative memories that stem from childhood. And spending time with family can be highly stressful. Sometimes, my patients have physical and emotional flare-ups right after each holiday. So… what to do?

I’m a big proponent of freeing yourself from stressful relationships, but this article is about food. So, my next big advice is to eat lightly and healthily if you are already stressed and can’t free yourself from the situation. The automatic thing to do when stressed if eating fat and sugar and drink too much alcohol. Know that and do opposite. Because all these heavy foods an alcohol will make you feel much worse in not such a long term. 

Be Creative

With some creativity, you can transform traditional heavy dishes into healthy versions without compromising taste. I replace ingredients in most Armenian and Georgian dishes and can enjoy them so much better now without the repercussions they tend to create for my body.

In functional medicine, we understand that our relationship with food goes beyond just eating. It’s deeply connected with our emotions, memories, associations, and feelings of satisfaction. I dedicated many years to helping people live better lives through functional medicine and mind-aligning techniques, and every year during the holiday season, I remind you of the importance of being mindful of your food and emotions.

Remember, the holiday season is a time to celebrate, relax, and enjoy the company of loved ones. And loved ones can be people who you actually love. It’s also an opportunity to set goals, reassess your progress in life, relax, and make conscious food choices that satisfy your taste buds and nourish your soul.

My hope is that by integrating these strategies into the last quarter of the year, you will allow yourself to enjoy every holiday of 2023 healthfully and joyfully. Happy start to the Holiday Season!

Personalized Approach

One size does not fit all when it comes to healthcare. We have unique requirements based on our genetics, lifestyle choices, and individual needs. I always provide a personalized approach to healthcare, allowing us to assess your needs accurately.

If you are ready to take charge of your health and embrace a proactive approach to preventive care, contact me today to schedule your session and start your journey to your health and happiness.

With this practical information, you can have a competitive advantage. You will understand your body and mind better and capitalize on your strengths. This way, I will help you develop a plan to strengthen your weak points in a deliberate and educated manner. No more guessing – the science is here to help you achieve your goals and peak performance.


Dr. Maya Sarkisyan 

If this information picked your curiosity, let me know by emailing me [email protected] and ask for more interesting and relevant information.

Stay tuned and discover “The True Story About Your Health”.

Disclaimer: This is a general information only. Consult with Dr. Maya Sarkisyan before altering or discontinuing any current medications, treatment or care, or starting any diet, exercise or supplementation program, or if you have or suspect you might have a health condition that requires medical attention. 
Share This