Top Tips for Handling the Holidays Without Stress Eating & Overeating

Top Tips for Handling the Holidays
Stress Eating & Overeating

Full transcription available at the bottom of this post

You CAN Handle the Holidays!

Did you know the average American gains 8 lbs over the holidays?  The "holidays" are only 2 months!  And the vast majority don't lose it.  This does NOT have to be you!

The holiday season seems to take all our normal stressors and amplify them.  All the difficult emotions and situations that we emotionally eat because of now, seem bigger during this holiday season.  Finances, relationships, loss, our weight, our health, and add to that all the expectations we put on ourselves and that others put on us!  Then put an ever-ready supply of "not so healthy" food choices at our fingertips and it's no wonder we turn to eating.  The insidious thing about emotional eating, stress eating and overeating is that we usually don't even realize we're doing it  until we're ALREADY doing it!

In the link below you'll see that I've made a Healthy Holidays Masterclass for you this year.  Your guide to handling the holidays successfully WITHOUT the extra eating and extra stress.  I took some of the tips from that guide and shared them in this episode. Some are very practical - like tips for how to not overeat at events, and some are more mindset based - like how to handle Uncle Joe and his rude comments.  

The biggest takeaway from this episode is that YOU have the power to decide how you want to feel. ALWAYS.  You have to decide ahead of time how you want the holiday season to go, how you want to feel each day, at each event, after each event, with each person, about each situation.  My goal for you is that you've learned to handle yourself during the holidays SO WELL that come January 1st the thought of going on some crazy New Years Resolution diet will be laughable to you!


PS. If anything in this episode resonated with you, then share the LOVE! Head to iTunes and subscribe and leave a written review or post a screenshot of this episode in your stories and tag me @tarafaulmann 

Healthy Holidays Masterclass!

Did you know that the average American gains 8 pounds over the holidays? 
If you're worried about weight gain over the holidays, stress eating, or overeating, this masterclass is for you! You're going to learn my best strategies for overcoming emotional and stress eating, how to deal with the overwhelm of the holidays without food.  We'll talk about how your body work. How does stress during the holidays affect your body? How does food choice affect your cravings during the holidays, we are touching on it all. 
You're going to leave that masterclass with tons of skills and tools that you can use simple strategies and actionable steps that you can put into place right away,  and create your plan for Handling the Holidays and staying on track!

Important Links:
If you struggle with yo-yo dieting, emotional eating or creating lasting weight loss and health, then check out the Healthy Mind, Healthy Body Program and Membership so you can ditch the diets and finally make peace with food.

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Show Notes & Transcript: 

Full Transcript: 

The holiday season is upon us! Just kidding, I actually love the holidays. But it can be pretty stressful for about a million reasons and even if we think we've got a hold on our emotional and stress eating and are over eating the holidays are a time where we tend to turn to food even more to cope with overwhelming emotions. And I don't want that to be you this year. So at the time that this podcast is live, I'll be putting the finishing touches on a healthy holidays masterclass. And it's going to give you all the tools and the information that you need to actually take steps forward this year, instead of having a setback this year, so I grabbed a few of my best tips from that healthy holidays masterclass for this episode, let's go

Welcome back to the no nonsense wellness podcast, the place for women who are trying to do all the things and stay healthy, sane and actually enjoy life in the process. Hey, I'm Tara, a trained therapist, a life coach, a nutrition coach and a fitness instructor. And I'm on a mission to help you take back control of your mind health and life. Each week, I'll be cutting through the nonsense and getting real with you. I'll bring you the insight and information you need to take control of your weight and health. Find food freedom, and finally break free from the thoughts that are sabotaging you and holding you back. You, my friend are powerful, and the world needs you to start showing up in a bigger way. It's time to get unstuck and start moving forward.

So let's pop in those earbuds, tie up those shoes. Let's walk and talk. 

Like I said in the opening, I made a healthy holidays masterclass, so that this year, you don't give into stress eating and overeating. If you're worried about weight gain or over eating in this season. If things have not gone well in the past and you want this year to be different than this masterclass is for you, I'm going to teach you how to stay on track. So go to, or just pretty much anywhere on the website. Go to Right on the front page, you will to click on the healthy holidays masterclass, get in there and start learning and start implementing some of the tools and the strategies that I'm going to teach you. I think it'll make all the difference this year. So did you know that during the holiday season, which really is only about two ish months, the average American gained eight pounds over the holidays and then we don't lose it. That's why we're always doing some kind of crazy new year's resolution, right? Because we gained weight over the holidays and we're like, Oh, I really need to buckle down and really get down to business. Now. Listen, it does not have to be this way friends. So listen up, I'm going to give you some tips from the healthy holidays masterclass that are going to help you get through this holiday season and stay on track. 

First of all, always, first of all, is paying attention to the easy stuff. The basics I've talked about I talk about all the time are the basics that have nothing to do with food, the basics are sleep, water movement, are you sleeping enough? Are you drinking enough water? Are you staying hydrated? Are you moving your body everyday? Are you getting your steps in? Are you getting your exercise sessions and you have to focus on the basics honestly, you are sabotaging every single other effort you're trying to make if you are not getting this stuff down. If you aren't getting enough sleep, you are in a better state of mind to make better choices for yourself, the better choices means you stay on track. If you're drinking enough water, your body is functioning better and you're going to be less likely to have cravings, you're going to be less likely to overeat, you're going to be less likely to make poor food choices. If you're getting enough movement and exercise, you are de-stressing yourself that movement is so so important for stress management, and every stressor we have right now is amplified during the holiday season. So movement is one of the most effective ways to reduce stress. If you reduce stress, you're also reducing how much fat your body is going to store. You're also reducing the chances that you're going to emotionally eat or overeat. So these three basics are so important for you for your body and for your mind physiologically and psychologically. 

Do not. And I repeat, do not start a diet right now. Right We get to this point, maybe we got through Halloween and we started eating all the candy. And then we're like, oh my gosh, I need to really like buckle down, this is gonna be bad. I need to start a diet right now, please do not start a diet right now, you are going to set yourself up for total failure, it's going to lead straight to the binge behavior, a diet during the normal time of year is really hard to stick to. And most of the time we don't for any long period of time, a diet during the holidays is going to be torture. Like why would you put yourself through that? Why would you set yourself up in that way? Right? Don't set yourself up to go to Thanksgiving and be like, Oh, I'm eating that right now. I'm not eating any sugar. Oh, no, I can't have that. Right. I'm not doing any carbs right now. Friend. Why would you do that to yourself? Like just don't do not start a diet. There's a place in the middle. There is a place in the middle where you could live all the time that is not overeating, and is not restricting. And then binging Okay, we got to find the middle spot. So please don't start a diet right now it's not going to go well, you already know that. And stick to the basics, work on the basics, work on your sleep, work on your hydration, work on your movement and moving your body enough. 

Okay, the second tip, that was a lot of tips on one, I think all of these are actually a lot of tips all in one. The second tip is about events, going to the events of the holiday season and really enjoying them, and not again being so restricted in what you're eating or drinking, right. Let's be honest, how many events are there actually, the holiday season is let's say, from about Halloween ish to about New Year's ish, let's give it about 65 days, if you had an event every single weekend, during that time, that would be about 10 weekends about 10 events. That's a very social person, I probably have about four or five events that I go to during the entire holiday season. But even if you had 10, that's 10 days out of 65 days, where you maybe don't have a lot of control about what food is being served or you're probably more likely to overeat or over indulge. What about the other 55 days, the other 55 days are the important days. Even if you really go for it and you just totally go off the rails on all 10 of those event days, you still are going to come out okay, if on the other 55 days, you were staying on track. And by staying on track, I mean with your water with your sleep with your movement with your food with your 24 hour food plan, right all the things that we talked about. If you're staying on track, those other 55 days, those 10 days should really not have very much impact overall. I want to draw a distinction here because this is kind of a bonus tip. But if on let's say that event like let's say Thanksgiving is one of those events and you overindulge on Thanksgiving, you will likely retain water and the scale is probably going to be higher the next day for us women depending on where we are in our cycle, it could be quite a few pounds higher the next day. This is not fat gain, okay, you do not gain fat from one meal. Or from one day of overindulging. What you've gained is water weight, you've retained water likely there was a lot of carbs and sugar happening. So you retained the water your the scale went up, it will go back down once you get back on track for the rest of the week. So don't freak out. If you weigh yourself after an event where you overindulged and you're like, oh, this scale, oh my gosh, no, in fact, just don't even want yourself at all, that's probably a better idea. 

When we talk about weight loss or weight gain, what we're really talking about that really counts is fat loss and fat gain. So when we talk about that eight pounds, that the average American gains over the holiday season, that is fat gain, and that is what we do not want. Throughout that time, you're probably going to have some water weight gains and water weight loss. That's totally normal. And that's totally okay. The way we avoid that fat gain is to stay on track for the other days, all the other days in between those events, right? So don't get super hung up on what the scale says after you overindulge. Just get back on track, move your body drink your water, you'll release those extra pounds it's going to be okay. Okay, one event does not make you fat. One vacation does not make you fat, right. None of these things are what's putting on the weight. It's everything in between. That is the problem. 

Okay. So when you're at the events, there's a few things that you could think about doing to mitigate some maybe some of the emotional eating or overeating behavior. So don't hang out by the food, right? What do we always do? We're always like hanging around the kitchen island and it's full of food and we're just popping stuff in our mouth all the time. And we're not paying any attention to what we're actually eating. The whole idea here is that you need to be intentional. You need to be make intentional choices about your food. If you're just popping stuff in your mouth. You're not being intentional. You're being mindless, so make yourself a plate. Yes, I'm even talking about the appetizers, make a plate, put food on a plate and only eat off the plate. Do not eat off the trays and the displays. Put it on a plate and eat off the plate that will make you at least more money. In full about what you're actually putting in your face, okay? 

Also do not show up to that event hungry. Our logic for some reason is always, oh, well, I know I'm going to eat a lot at Thanksgiving. So I'm just going to not eat during the day, I'm gonna save up all my calories or all my points or whatever it is, for everything that I'm going to eat at Thanksgiving, you are setting yourself to weigh over eat, okay? When you do that, instead, during the day, eat normally, eat your regular breakfast, eat your regular lunch, eat the food that you plan to eat, don't show up hungry to the event, when you show up hungry, you're going to overeat a lot. If you show up, not super hungry, because you've eaten your normal food during the day, you're going to overeat way less. Okay? I know it seems counterintuitive, when you starve yourself all day long, you actually end up eating way more than if you would have just eaten food during the day. And then you don't overeat so much at that meal or at that event. So plan for that eat during the day. And that's kind of your physical plan. But I also want you to have an emotional plan for when you go into some of these events. Because families sometimes are really tough. And you're going to have some relatives like your aunt Barb, and she's going to make some passive aggressive comment about your parenting. And Uncle Joe is going to crack some joke about your weight. And Grandma Darlene is going to make some comment about oh, that's a lot of pie on your plate. Oh, why are you eating so much? Right? Like, man, families can be really tough. But you know this already, because it's happened before you can prepare mentally for these things you can prepare emotionally for these things. So I would encourage you to not just have a plan for what you're going to eat, and what you intend to eat, and being purposeful about the food that you're putting on your plate and choosing the food that you're putting on your plate. But I want you to also have an emotional plan. I want you to have a plan for how you're going to react when those comments come at you. What are you going to think? What are you going to feel because if you do not have a plan, Uncle Joe's gonna say his mean comment and you're gonna go around and you're gonna sneak some food around the corner, you're gonna go emotionally eat somewhere, you're going to start grazing around the kitchen island, again, you're going to eat your feelings, and you and so I want you to have a plan so that you don't do that. I want you to have a plan for how you're going to feel and how you're going to think and how you're going to react to some of these situations with your family members, friends, whomever. Okay,

so decide ahead of time, how you're going to feel about it, decide ahead of time, are you going to say something? Are you just going to turn around and walk away? What are you going to say? And is it helpful? Okay, you have no control over what they're doing and what they're saying you only have control over yourself. So you need to be very mindful of how you're using that control and maintaining that controls that make sense. Okay, have a plan. 

The last big tip I have is, sometimes this hard feelings are hard, right? And the holidays for a lot of us bring up a lot of things. There's a lot of things that the holidays are supposed to be like, there's a lot of expectations on us, that we put on ourselves and other people put on us, maybe you're hosting event and people have a lot of expectations about how that's supposed to go. You have a lot of expectations about how your house looks and how you look and how this event goes and all the things. And there's really no way that we can ever live up to any of those expectations. It's very difficult. And then on top of that, we're also dealing with maybe some financial stuff, maybe some grief and some loss, maybe there's family members that are no longer with us. Like there's a lot of difficult things that are being brought up for us during the holiday time. And there's just a sort of general overwhelm, I think for a lot of us because all the normal stressors that we're dealing with all the time seem kind of amplified during this holiday season. 

There are several strategies on this podcast that I've talked with you guys about in different episodes. Episode 61 talks about healing trauma episode 47 is the 24 hour food plan. And episode 36 is three strategies to stop stress eating, I would go back and listen to some of those in preparation for this holiday season. The most important thing I think you can do is to really check in with yourself and understand what your thoughts are about this time of year. If you're going into the holiday season already thinking that this is going to be hard like this is really hard. I always lose weight. This is always a hard time of year, I always have a hard time. This relative is hard. This situation is hard, right? If you're going into it already deciding that things are going to be hard. Your brain is going to go to work and find all the reasons that that's true. It's going to find all the evidence that shows you and proves to you see this is really hard. See, I am really stressed out and overwhelmed. So how do you want to talk about the holiday season? How do you want to think and feel about this time of year, you get to choose that, you get to choose how you think and feel. So if instead you decide to think I can find the joy in this season, I can be grateful for the little things, I can be okay with change, I can handle change, things can be different. And it's okay. If you choose to have thoughts like that, then again, your brain will go to work and find all the reasons that that's true. And it'll find all the evidence that tells you that, yes, you can handle this. And yes, it is okay, if things are different. And yes, you can find gratitude for all the little things and the big things, your brain will prove you right every time. So you need to make sure that you are keeping in check the thoughts that you're having about this time of year about how you're having about you, and your relationship with food and you and your relationship with your family, you and your relationship with this season. 

In general, you need to keep those things in check, you need to make sure that you are monitoring your own thoughts holding every thought captive. It's a hard job. But change doesn't really happen unless we start taking control of those things unless we start being in charge of our own brains and our own thoughts. And this is a great time of year to practice that because so much stuff comes up. And if you want to go deeper on any of this stuff, make sure if you haven't downloaded on the website, the free workbook about overcoming stress eating that will be super helpful if you download that workbook and then also the healthy holidays masterclass. So I take all of these ideas and about a trillion more. And we really dive deep and help you create a plan to make this the best holiday season that you've had. So that you don't have to go on a diet now and you do not have to do a crazy new year's resolution diet because you went off the rails during the holiday season. You can be in control this whole time and it can be great and you can have a wonderful holiday season even through the tough even through the difficult even through the dealing of difficult things. You can have a good holiday season and I want that for you and I want to teach you how to do that. Okay my friends, happy holidays, happy all the holidays that you celebrate during this time until we talk again. Be well.

Friends thanks so much for being here. If you found value in today's episode, will you do me a favor and head over to iTunes? Find the no nonsense wellness podcast and subscribe and leave me a review. It would mean the world to me and help other people find the show. And I'd love to connect with you more. So find me on Instagram. I'm @tarafaulmann Take a screenshot of this episode and share it in your stories and tag me. I'll see you over there.

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