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The importance of tracking over xmas?

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12/11/12 6:39 A

Thank you for your inspiration. I feel the same way. Have a Healthy and Happy Christmas.


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12/11/12 6:12 A

You have to decide if you are on a diet, or if you've made a lifestyle change. If your goal is merely to lose weight and get skinny, what is going to happen when you reach that goal? Will you quit tracking, quit everything you've learned, and eventually gain the weight back? Or have you made a lifestyle committment to being fit and know that one indulgent meal isn't going to ruin you? Have you learned how to incorporate "treats" into your life or do you feel like you are being defiant and getting away with something when you eat them?

For me, this is my life and I love the fit me that has been in hiding for so many years. I have no intentions of moving backwards. I will log, I will track, I will enjoy some once a year Christmas goodies, I will exercise, and I will keep moving forward!

Posts: 4,112
12/11/12 5:22 A

I will track mostly, and allow myself small portions of the holiday treats I love. A cookie instead of many; small piece of pie. That way I get to enjoy holiday food and not wake up after Christmas having to lose weight! I like that saying that nothing tastes as good as fit feels! emoticon

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12/11/12 12:42 A

I didn't track over Thanksgiving! I allowed myself to eat whatever I wanted, then got back on track the following Monday! I will do the same for Christmas as well. I will eat what I want on Tuesday, but then get back focused either on Wednesday or Thursday! Of course, this will depend upon the leftovers. The one thing I'm not going to do while on this weight loss journey is deprive myself of certain foods! I'm lost weight during Thanksgiving and I believe I will lose weight during Christmas as well!

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12/10/12 10:59 P

I will track. It helps me not to over indulge too much. But my aim is to maintain my weight loss and not lose more until the new year so I should be able to stick to the maintenance calories over a week. It would be a major first time victory to end Christmas without putting on weight

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12/10/12 8:53 P

For me, I'm going to try and make sure I have extra veggies and water in the afternoon before I go out for Christmas events. If I have a lapse at least I won't have as much room.

Maybe try relaxing your goals a little over the holidays but still set some targets? If you can get through the holidays with little weight gain it'll give so much momentum for the new year

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12/10/12 5:38 P

I wont be tracking ,but i will be aware of what I am eating. I am always in my range as it is and Ihardly track. Ijust dont eat anything i am not supposed to have not even lower calorie versions of it so far its worked if i dont taste it i dont want it and lots and lots of water helps sooo much. This is christmas and how can i not have pie its one day this is a treat ill give to myself.

Edited by: JENDAWN1973 at: 12/10/2012 (17:43)

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12/10/12 2:42 P

I will not be tracking on Christmas day but I will be tracking every single day before and after that.

I work on computers every single day.....Christmas is my one day to be technology free and pay all my attention to my children. I'm not going to ruin that by logging into my computer and tracking my food.

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12/10/12 1:20 P

It is DEFINITELY important to track.
Even if you plan to indulge...tracking it may mean the difference between a few bumps or
a complete train wreck. And holiday food, being what it is, adds a ton of calories that hike insulin levels and get stored as fat.

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12/10/12 11:22 A

Definitely track, that way you can incorporate the treats into your daily allowance, it might even motivate you to spread the treats out a bit more.

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12/10/12 11:10 A

I also wish to add that if you opt to stop your habit of tracking for the holidays, it may not be so easy to get started again. Speaking for myself, tracking keeps the momentum going for me.

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12/10/12 10:48 A

I will definitely track as best I can. If I know I'm not going to track, then I am more likely to eat more than I should since I know I won't see the numbers later.

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12/10/12 10:19 A

I plan to track over the holidays...before I eat or if unable, directly after eating...I HAVE to...I WANT to, if I don't, I justify, lie and pretend. I have made progress and do not want to blow it in a matter of a few days. I know that I can undo all that I have done...and for what? Food? Nothing tastes as good as losing weight feels, so with God's help I will continue to be accountable, one day at a time, throughout the holidays. I want to learn how to face life, holidays and all, without overeating. I have overeaten all my life and none of the food I have stuffed in my mouth has brought the kind of joy I feel watching the scale move.

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12/10/12 10:10 A

Personally I track everything... sometimes is difficult as you dont know the ingredients so in my case I created something called Fiesta (Party), each party is 500 calories and I do an approximate,

I mean, I include those things that I know (such as potato salad or beef...) and then I add 1, 2 Fiesta depending what I did eat...

regarding exercise, as I am going from one place to the next, I might not go the proper routine, BUT I count steps, I go out on walks with any excuse and count it as exercise (window shopping burns around 290 calories every 120 minutes....) so even looking for presents if you are serious enough to walk and not stop every single window.... is an exercise!!!!

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12/10/12 9:55 A

Depends on your attitude--do you want to keep track & keep "at it" while it's the holidays? Or do you just want to throw in the towel for 3 days & eat, eat, eat?

I exercise daily regardless of the calendar--and sometimes I get militant about healthy food choices. Other times I slack off & eat whatever the hell I want. :) You just have to be prepared to live with the consequences of your actions.....that's life in a nutshell.

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12/10/12 9:40 A

Lots of excellent thoughts a laugh from SLIMINDOWN31's response...but my answer would be spot on with that.

I plan to do my best in terms of eating and tracking and exercising...believing this will not be my last Christmas, this will not be my last meal, so I plan to eat (even treats) in moderation and still enjoy the holiday. I don't want to undo all my hard work!


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12/10/12 9:24 A

I will be gone for four weeks but will actually have time to track and really watch my water intake. My challenge will be to keep exercising because I have been strength training consistently, but I already talked to my trainer about the worst case scenario when I return (which I guess will be to reduce the weight). My plan is to maintain. I already had about five holiday parties and one birthday party, and although my calories seem to be within range, the fat grams have been higher than normal for me. It's all that damn butter in the food, I'm sure of it. I also plan to eat smaller portions over the break and hope to reintroduce more vegetables and fruits into my diet. My struggle is the booze, but I am sticking to my small amounts of hard liquor and red wine, if we drink at all.

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12/10/12 8:22 A

Thanks for sharing your blog, Diane. It is really amazing. I feel so good about eating healthy, exercising and tracking. It is hard work, but know in time it will become a habit. You have a
great enthusiasm for keeping fit and I hope to read your book and become more motivated.
Have a wonderful week. hugs, Irish Ei emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

Edited by: IRISHEI at: 12/10/2012 (08:42)

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12/10/12 8:19 A

If you know your indulgences in advance, enter them in your food tracker first. You can do this several days in advance if you are going to a holiday event and you are aware of what is on their menu. Then enter your eating plan around it. You can make adjustments as you go along (such as reduce your serving size or make a substitution).

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12/10/12 7:37 A

Definitely, definitely keep track. Even if you don't really plan to lose any weight, set a goal of maintaining the weight you've lost to date. That way when January rolls around you are ready to go. I did lose during Christmas when I was in the weight loss phase and I paid close attention to my food choices.

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12/10/12 6:47 A

I have already set out my meal and came up with the idea on "you don't have to eat everything"
You can say have only 1/2 portions

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12/10/12 5:30 A

Definitely track during the holidays. Even if you don't make any changes this year, just being aware of what you are eating and the amount of exercise you are doing helps alot!

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12/10/12 2:05 A

I had difficulty with this one,too,b/c I had lost all the weight I had wanted,acheived my wt. goal and have a sweet tooth to boot! So what I did at the time that helped me was to track the food-whether it is sweets or not and when I did try a sweet ,to "sample" some of the sweet. If you are tracking and have had success, you are getting into a good habit and you don't want to lose that habit during this crucial time period. Plus b/c I knew I would be tracking during the holidays ,it helped me at that time.

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12/10/12 1:10 A

track gets my vote. you may be surprised. you may not overeat total calories, just the balance between carbs/fats/protein may be out of plumb. and it may not be as easy as you think to get back into the routine of tracking. they say it takes 3 weeks to set a habit, and only one to break it, especially if it is a good habit.

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12/9/12 7:06 P

I have already planned to over eat for xmas day. The rest of the season I will be a good girl. But on xmas day my plan is to do nothing more than half what is on offer... and push one half onto my hubbys plate. I will track so I know how much I have gone over my allowance, I will then make sure that on xmas afternoon and boxing day I do the right amount of walking/running to at least burn off half the amount I went over. This wont be hard as we will be at the beach for xmas and lots of cals are burned at the beach, what with all the games and activities we do over there. (I wonder if bullrush is in the exercise tracker database lol)

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12/9/12 6:41 P

I am tracking. Unless I drop dead this will not be the last Christmas where food will be served. Besides, there is always some reason for me to over eat/ go off track.

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12/9/12 3:32 P

Personally, I would still track, but I look at it differently.

If you *know* you're going to go way over, and you are actually alright with this choice, then tracking things shouldn't "ruin" your day. Tracking will, however, help you to anticipate how much you will gain over the holidays, and how hard you'll have to work after. There are days I go over, and it's a conscious choice. I decide I would rather have that treat, and I accept that this will slow my progress.

Your wording makes it sound as though you're not actually alright with this choice, and you're trying to convince yourself that it's alright anyway. I would re-examine this decision to see if you're truly alright with over-eating or not. Either way, though, committing to a healthy lifestyle, while it doesn't mean getting rid of ALL the treats, does mean tracking it all and knowing what you're doing. It means being informed, and making the healthy choices - or, at least, when you make the not-so-healthy ones, you know exactly what you're doing.

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12/9/12 3:28 P

"My point is, I will overeat and I know it and am okay with it. So do you think I should still track my foods (and get depressed at the end of the day and ruin my day anyway?!) I will definitely start tracking again right after xmas. "

If you are planning to go over your calorie, carb, fat, protein ranges etc and are okay with it then why would it depress you to see that? Why are you even asking if you really are okay with it? Just do it.

You could skip track anything and it won't matter to anyone but you. If you feel it is a waste of your time to track those days because you don't care anyway then don't bother. Come back to it after the holidays.

You could track everything you eat and see how much you go over and if it depresses you then you might rethink whether it is worth it to you to overindulge.

You don't actually have to overindulge to enjoy your treats. You can eat a moderate amount and work it into your plan and not lose all your progress and get depressed every day. Maybe it would be better to just plot out in advance how much you can eat of these foods and still stay in your ranges so you truly can feel okay about it.

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12/9/12 3:17 P


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12/9/12 2:37 P

I think I will concentrate more on tracking my physical activity. During the holdays food tracking overwhelms me. There is food everywhere! I mean good food!!

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12/9/12 2:03 P

Thank you! Very helpful and not having a go at me! Maintenance is definitely my goal for the holidays. Thanks for your helpful advice :)

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12/9/12 2:01 P

I agree w/ what most of the other said... if it's hard to track foods and you're already resigned to the fact you will be overeating, I don't see a point in tracking. I know I won't be for the week of Christmas since I won't be home or have a computer and the mobile app is a pain to use to enter more than one or two things. BUT, I will be keeping what I've learned this whole year in mind and will try to eat as mindfully as I can for that not getting all of my food in the form of sweets, still try to get good protein and veggies etc. I'll still probably overindulge some though.

I think it will be good practice for me actually, as I can tend to be a control freak and I'd like to be able to give up a little bit and not have to track everything for the rest of my life.

Edited by: YOJULEZ at: 12/9/2012 (14:01)

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12/9/12 1:57 P

if you know you want to indulge, setting your goals to maintenance for the duration is going to be your first step. maintenance means you get to eat your deficit calories instead of using them to make your burn up your extra weight. which means it will be easier to stay within them.
the second thing you want to pay attention to is what your indulgences really add up to. not to beat yourself up over, but to be able to realistically plan and maintain, you actually have to know how to do this [and learn for that matter].
let me use this sample menu as an example.
breakfast: 600 cal starbucks drink, 400 cal starbucks muffin.
lunch: mcdonald's specialty burger, fries and drink, 1200 cals.
dinner: outback, 1200 cals plus a 600 cal beverage.
so without snacks, you're looking at a 3400 cal day. do that for a week and you're looking at downing 23,800 cals. which isn't bad if you're looking at working out on the michael phelps swim like an olympian training program. you could probably eat more with that level of activity. but if you're on the small woman, not insanely active side of things, that's getting close to 1000 cals a day you're eating over what you need, which is about a two pound a week gain. and let's be honest, if at all possible it's better and easier to not gain the weight in the first place than to have to lose it. which isn't to say that any one of those things can't be worked in, just having all of them tends to blow it.
and you can do the same thing with your holiday indulgences. if you love chocolates, you should have them. but if you're trying to maintain instead of lose a pound a week, that means you get an extra 500 cals a day to eat. so if you know roughly how many calories your chocolate has, you can have 300 cals of it and still be where you need to be. if you love grandma susie's pesto sauce, maybe you could have it over broccoli or cauliflower instead of pasta [if not fully at least mostly]. the idea isn't to beat yourself up over what you want, it's to look at what you want and find a way to complement it so that you are eating what you want and what you need to get into you, all without breaking your calorie bank.
if you want to be able to fit something into your diet, you should know how many calories it has so that you can figure out how to work it into your diet. it's kind of like moving. if you decide to move, don't have anything packed and just go rent the biggest moving van/truck they have, then you're going to spend a lot more money and effort getting all your stuff from point a to point b. that's what the not bothering method does. whereas if you throw stuff in boxes beforehand, you'll save money because you can see that everything should fit in the 12' truck so you'll spend less by not renting the biggest thing you can find as well as less gas for the smaller vehicle. yes, you might have to play box tetris a little, but you find a way to work all the stuff you want to bring into the space it should be in. and that's what your eating should be like to. you know how much space you have, you know what you want to put in, then you just have to find other stuff to fill in the rest of the space.

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12/9/12 1:53 P

I know its impossible to track stuff that other people make so this is what I do. I enter it in the tracker and it will pull up a lot of responses that other people have put in for that food. I click on three of them and add them to my food - then I scroll down to see what the calorie values of each one I clicked on are. I take the middle value and remove the other two. I feel this gives me the easiest, most impartial estimate of what I have eaten - if I looked at the values first I would end up chosing the lower end lol Hope this helps.

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12/9/12 1:11 P

It's nearly impossible to track when you're at family meals cooked by others, or buffets, or when treats are being handed around at picked at all day, and personally I don't want the hassle. I'm like you - I know I will overdo it sometimes and I'm happy with that, but I also know I need to not get too carried away... So there will be days when I don't track at all - I've learned enough to know what I'm putting in my mouth - but some days I will track and keep the treats in check as well.

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12/9/12 12:45 P

I dunno, I think it depends on a number of things. I know that for me, tracking will be tough as a) I won't be doing most of the cooking and won't know the measurements of what went into the things I am eating, b) weighing is not going to be an option, and c) I'll have to use the mobile app which is more time-consuming than online. OTOH if I track I'm less likely to go completely overboard with my eating. I think I will do my best with estimating what I've eaten, just to try and keep myself somewhat on track.

Edited by: LKG9999 at: 12/9/2012 (12:46)

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12/9/12 11:56 A

If you keep tracking during that week, it would be good for not breaking the chain. You can still overeat, but tracking would help you to tell what the damage is too.

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12/9/12 11:48 A

If you already know that you are going to overeat and most likely have a slight weight gain, and you are okay with it, I probably wouldn't track. It's just a waste of time, especially since homemade treats are impossible to track.

When I went on vacation in September, I knew I wasn't going to be able to track for multiple reasons, so I just took the week off. I ate healthily all day, and then would have a more indulgent dinner and dessert. You can do the same. You don't need to binge all week. Eat healthily as often as possible, and then indulge in the treats you really want. Then you won't necessarily gain weight.

I do want to caution you though, it is very difficult to get back on track after taking a week off. Not just from a tracking aspect, but also with your diet. You get so use to eating those delicious and addicting foods, that you're going to be craving them super intensely for the week after. So, just try to be cautious and keep that in mind. Good luck!

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12/9/12 11:18 A

As already stated your choice your results. At least you won't be suprised by your results.

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12/9/12 11:14 A

I'd suggest tracking everything. That way you have an idea of where you stand. I like to indulge too, and it's nice to know what kind of work I need to do the next week or two to get my weight back where I was preciously, with exercise and nutrition.

I find it helpful warding of the diet blues because to gain a pound of fat I have to eat 3,500 calories OVER what my body needs every day. Most commonly people just gain a couple of pounds, and have extra carb/sodium/water weight. So don't get too scared. If you want to indulge, do that! It's your choice. Just don't let your indulgences keep you from getting right back on track afterwards. Indulging is one thing, binging is another. Treat your body with love and give it what it really wants, if that's chocolate, lovely! If it's a giant salad, lovely!

Just think about how you will treat yourself the next day....

My personal favorite indulgence is a flourless chocolate cake...mmmmh.
Enjoy your holiday!

Edited by: MEG-NATALIA07 at: 12/9/2012 (11:21)

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12/9/12 11:01 A

Yes, track everything. Indulge little but by tracking you can keep it in perspective . Have a piece or two chocolate a day instead of the whole box. A little here and there if you need to but by tracking you won't go way overboard! Just maintain this month. If you don't track you will have no idea how much you indulged. In January you can look back and see both the good and bad decisions. We are suppose to enjoy Christmas just remember to enjoy the events and people first and then the food!

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12/9/12 10:03 A

You want us to tell you it's "okay" to stop tracking and eat all the candy and goodies you want over the holidays?

Hey, it's your decision, but I'm not going to endorse it.

You're the one that has to live with the consequences. You're responsible for your choices, whether they're good or bad.

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12/9/12 9:26 A

Yes, keep tracking. Eat healthy meals and snacks, thereby having less room in your stomach for too many treats. At least be aware of the damage you are doing to yourself with excessive sugar. Drink lots of water. Snack on fruit, nuts, and vegetables. Try to maintain weight, care less if you lose during the Christmas Season. Exercise every day, as a minimum make it a short walk. You choose what you are going to do, and you will live with the consequences.

Enjoy your travels and family!

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12/9/12 9:23 A

For me, I need to track everyday, holiday or not. It is what keeps me honest and following my plans and goals.

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12/9/12 8:53 A

speaking from a personal perspective - I have a feeling if I stop tracking, and just fill up on treats, any amount of weight I've lost (or at least a significant portion of it) would come back to fill the gap of poor choices and non-veggie options.

You have to make your own choices, which I suspect you already have, and are just looking for confirmation, based on what you've already said:

" that key week of Christmas when all I'm going to eat is treats. I know it now, and I actually want to. . . . I will overeat and I know it and am okay with it"

Go ahead - do what you want - what difference will it make what anyone here says, anyway? You'll have to live with whatever you decide

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12/9/12 8:17 A

I think that what you decide to do, depends on what your goals are. And this is a highly personal thing. Last year, I was hellbent on losing the weight. So I tracked every single day through all the holidays (Halloween through Valentine's Day), stayed within my ranges, and lost weight. This year I'm still tracking, although I've definitely allowed myself a few occasions where I've gone over and it hasn't bothered me to do so. My goal through this holiday season is to end up a little under my goal weight overall.

The point is, that you can't live your life with someone else's goals in mind. You have to decide for yourself what your goals are, and what it will take/what you're willing to do, to reach them. If you want to "give yourself a pass" for the holidays, that's fine. Just keep in mind what it might do to your overall goals.

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12/9/12 8:03 A

I personally will not track and put that week "into brackets".

I know myself, I know more or less what are my "normal" portions for meals, and let's not forget it's the holidays!

(last year I actually lost weight at christmas??!)

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12/9/12 5:04 A

It depends how you use tracking.

I like to track so that (a) I stay in my range that day and (b) so I can see the trends/averages over a period of time. If all you do is my (a), then don't bother since you already don't plan to stay in your range and don't care. If you do my (b) then YES, track everything, otherwise your averages will be ruined and useless.

When I go over my calories (outside the holidays), I do track all of it. But I always travel internationally over the holidays and it can be very difficult to track because I don't cook any of the food myself. My goal this year is going to be to do my absolute best to estimate but still track, even if just on paper (not sure if there will be internet or if I will be able to fit my computer in the tiny carryon bag allowed by the airline). That way when I get back I can input it and at least my averages will be sort of accurate.

But if you already know you're going to overeat, don't care, and think that tracking will make you depressed/ruin your day, AND don't care about the averages, then it seems like it would be better for you not to track.

Don't be surprised if you gain all 6 lbs back, maybe more as well. I've gained up to 21 lbs traveling internationally over the holidays although it was a month-long trip so maybe more than you're planning.

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12/9/12 4:03 A

My goal over Christmas is: you don't have to eat all that is put in front of you. Looking at a small Christmas pud it is nearly 1/4 of my daily intake (calories) so I said I don't have to eat a whole one, save the rest for another day

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12/9/12 1:05 A

Hi guys, I'm wondering what the importance is of tracking foods that key week of christmas when all I'm going to eat is treats. I know it now, and I actually want to. I've lost 6 pounds, maintained that loss for 3 weeks and now I'm enterting the christmas period. I'm spending my first xmas in another country and lots of friends and family have sent me chocolate (which I do want to eat!) and I'll be indulging over xmas.
My point is, I will overeat and I know it and am okay with it. So do you think I should still track my foods (and get depressed at the end of the day and ruin my day anyway?!) I will definitely start tracking again right after xmas.
What are your thoughts?
Thanks :)

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