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Ghost of Binge Past
Holidays and special events should be a time of great joy, but dietitians usually picture these occasions with fear and horror. How come? Because parties aren’t parties without high-calorie, tempting food. Does this mean you have to become a social scrooge to duck temptation? No, the “secret” is to make a survival “plan” in advance and stick to it this holiday season.
“If you don’t plan, you can plan to fail” is a time-worn and clichéd statement. But it is still wonderful success advice. Not only do most people fail to plan, they consciously plan to fail over the holidays.
Most people expect to “blow” their diet and miss workouts during the holidays. They expect to eat more, exercise less and gain weight. Instead of putting in the effort by taking control, they surrender to maintenance at best or backsliding at worst.
This negative expectation leads to a self-fulfilling prophecy. By the first week of January, they’re in the worst shape they’ve been in for a year and are frantically making New Year’s resolutions to lose the excess fat they’ve gained. Is that your approach? Or will you be strong and really make it to the New Year without gaining weight?
Let’s revisit October with the ghost of binge past. Oktoberfest plus Halloween equaled a huge junk food binge for some of us. Oktoberfest and Halloween are over and done with. Does that mean that you will let the ghost of past binges turn you into a foodie scrooge? Will you pass up seasonal celebrations to avoid the fattening feasts?
Whoa, Whoa! How to avoid becoming a miserable ol‘ food scrooge?
First, get the Halloween candy out of your house. Take it far away. Okay, there are starving children in third world countries, but you can’t help but eat everything in sight! Plus, feeding our sweet tooth is like watering a plant. It only makes the thing bigger, needing more next time. Whoa, Whoa!
Wait! Look into your secret stashes and throw them in the trash with old coffee grounds and banana peels (so they don’t find their way out again). Yes, get rid of the candy on your desk.
When you off “with the candy, your house echoes because there is no in your house, with snacks such as unsalted nuts, fruits and vegetables.
Second, plan to tell friends and family to leave gifts for dinner. If you still get them, thank the person, but give the food away to someone else later. In this way, you will not hurt the feelings of the giver and eliminate your temptation.
Third, manage your time. With hectic schedules, there never seems to be enough time to plan, eat, exercise, clean, shop, cook, and decorate. Sit down and write out daily schedules for the weeks before your events. Determine what you can reasonably do in specific time frames and then plan to do it. Manage to have a meal replacement when you’re on the go. They are much more nutritious than a fast food meal and more convenient.
Fourth, plan to change your recipes. You don’t have to give up traditional favorites – just change them up. For example, make turkey filling low in fat by sauteing onions and celery in broth instead of butter. Use sugar-free gelatin to cut calories in gelatin shapes. Review your recipes to see if you can eliminate or reduce some ingredients or use lower calorie substitutes.
Fifth, plan to leave the leftovers. Too often leftover food goes into your mouth instead of the storage container, even if you are already stuffed. Give away leftovers, make takeout packages for your guests, take lunch to work, or divide leftovers into portions to use with your diet plan.
Sixth, control your food. The moment you arrive at a holiday gathering, check the food and choose a few “healthy” foods to eat and skip all the others. Eat slowly and enjoy every bite. So you don’t overeat, eating a meal replacement beforehand can help fill you up before you hit the holiday party table with “once a year, you gotta eat me treats.”
Seventh, meal replacements are your answer if you are like most people, and don’t have a few hours a day to prepare healthy and nutritious meals. Research shows that people who replace several meals a week with portion-controlled foods, such as liquid shakes or snack bars, lose significantly more weight in three months than people who simply try to cut calories. What is the secret of meal replacements? Meal replacements keep it simple. Forget counting carbs or calories!
So you see, you don’t have to miss to plan. You can really make it to the New Year without gaining an ounce by incorporating meal replacements into your diet. And if you come on New Year’s Day (and you’re not drunk), you’ll be free to avoid the parade of New Year’s eaters. Everyone will start the latest fad, but you will live your new lifestyle without deprivation diet. Nothing tastes as good as thin feels.
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