10 Tips To NOT Overindulge This Holiday Season

If you’re like me, you find the holidays to be one of the most stressful times of the year.

Between gift buying, entertaining, and traveling to be near family, it’s no wonder one major stressors of the holiday season is the one that most of us want to avoid at all costs until the New Year – overeating or overindulging all the yummy treats that come with the holiday season.

Stress is one of the most common reasons we turn to overindulging and overeating during the holidays. We overeat to help us cope with our emotions of dealing with family, money, and out of sheer comfort. We overindulge, because there’s a pressure of “it only comes but once a year” looming over our heads, so we must eat all the holiday goodies before they’re gone again for the year.

But it IS possible to have a holiday season where stress is kept to a minimum and your eating is still on track. Yes, even on track enough to keep you in your skinny jeans come the first of the year.

10 Tips To NOT Overindulge This Holiday Season | RachaelRoehmholdt.com

Not sure how? Check out these 10 tips for NOT overindulging this holiday season:

1. Make a plan

Going to a holiday party in the evening? Plan out what you will eat the rest of the day, so that you can balance out your choices throughout the day. You can plan to set aside one or two indulgences, but keep lunch as lighter fare.

2. Don’t skip meals

Don’t skip breakfast or lunch just because you plan to eat at an event in the evening. This concept of “saving calories” doesn’t work and you will end up feeling famished by the time you allow yourself to eat – and likely indulge a little more than you anticipated. It’s not worth it. Make healthy choices before the event and you’re far less likely to overdo it.

3. Breathe

This might sound silly, but if you’re feeling overwhelmed by temptation, excuse yourself for five or ten minutes to breathe. Focus on your breath and recenter yourself to deal with the situation. Having a few moments to reconnect with yourself can help keep you in line with the plan you’ve set out for yourself.

4. Drink more water and less alcohol

Most of us don’t get enough water each day and with the added excitement of the holidays, drinking alcohol only makes us more dehydrated. You don’t have to cut out drinking alcohol entirely, just be sure to drink water between drinks and be mindful of the drinks you do take.

5. Make healthy swaps

When it comes to creating meals or treats for the holidays, oftentimes our healthy choices end once the stove or oven turns on. Make some healthy swaps with natural sweeteners instead of sugar in sweets and baked goods, swap out whipped cream for whipped coconut milk to go on your pie, and “sneak” in some healthier sweet potatoes or squash with your mashed potatoes. These are just a few ideas – get creative!

6. Portion control

Remember that just because it’s a holiday, it doesn’t mean that portions don’t exist. I’m including this one, because I tend to be a person where more is better. When I like something, I want more of it. Portions are the same on holidays and at holiday events as they are any other day of the week. Load up on veggies and lighten up the other areas of your plate.

7. Keep realistic and consistent

Many of us can be hard on ourselves this time of year, so I recommend staying realistic about your health goals. This probably isn’t the right time to be trying to lose weight – maintaining weight is a much more realistic goal for anyone. Stick to your consistent eating and exercise schedule and make sure you’re doing some good things for yourself (not only others) too.

8. Don’t worry

If you overindulge at one event, don’t worry about it. You don’t need to start in on a crash diet just because you had one too many pieces of pie. Every time you pick up your fork is a new opportunity to change your eating habits – pick it up and move forward with healthy choices.

9. Be prepared

If you plan to attend events where you know there will be tables upon tables of holiday cookies or tempting foods, make sure you eat beforehand or come with a healthy snack in your bag or car to rely on. When you have a healthy choice available to you at all times, it becomes that much easier to make it in tough situations.

10. Indulge mindfully

It is the holiday season after all – you are SUPPOSED to indulge and enjoy yourself! Heck, I am counting down the days to enjoying my grandma’s sweet potato pie! The key to remember about indulging is to be fully mindful when you are. This means focusing in on the flavors, texture, smell, and every other little thing you love about it. When you’re mindful of the experience, even a little can go a long way.

Now it’s your turn – what do you find to be the most challenging part of keeping from overindulging during the holidays? Share in the comments below.

5 Strategies For Conquering The Sugar Habit

I’ve known for years that eating sugar isn’t all that great for your health. But I’ll be the first to admit that I’m completely addicted to it, especially now that most of my energy gets sucked up by taking-care-of-baby time every day.

It’s not that I eat a whole row of Oreos in one sitting. Or crave soda like I used to. But I certainly have been leaning on sugar and sweets far more than I should for an energy boost during the day.

In fact, if I’m being completely honest, my desire for sweets during the day have become more of a habit than a craving. After a meal, I think “hmm, what kind of sweets do we have around?” Or I’ll think to myself “I’ve had a long day, I deserve a treat.”

See, I’ve gotten so used to reach for sweets as a reward instead of a once-in-a-while indulgence. Something I’m not all that proud of as a health coach.

5 Strategies For Conquering The Sugar Habit | RachaelRoehmholdt.com

After all, I already know that eating too much sugar has negative consequences for your health, like:

  • Suppressing the immune system
  • Contributing to obesity
  • Increasing cholesterol
  • Leading to ovarian cancer
  • Contributing to diabetes
  • Aging our skin
  • Causing headaches and migraines
  • Causing depression

I’ve decided now is as good as any other to hone in on my sugar struggle and cut back on the sweets in my life.

These are the 5 strategies I’m using to conquer my sugar habit: [Read more…]

The Minimums of New Motherhood

Things change when you become a mom. It’s something I knew going into this whole motherhood thing.

I just never knew how much of myself I’d feel like I lost in the first few months. It’s one of those mysterious things that no one tells you before or during pregnancy to save you the hassle of worrying about it, like how much it sucks to learn to breastfeed.

If someone were to ask me just a few months ago how I’d change or what would be important to me when I became a mom, I wouldn’t have been able to answer you. But once my little guy came along, everything shifted in my head about what really matters.

The Minimums of New Motherhood | RachaelRoehmholdt.com

The things that I get done in a day – my list of minimums – has emerged, and it’s actually really nice to know that my priorities have shaken out.

So what are my minimums? And what’s the order of importance for me as a mom? [Read more…]