Keeping The Holidays Healthy
Friday, December 11, 2009
This is how I advise my clients to adhere to their diet plan:
Allow yourself one cheat meal a week. Not a cheat DAY, just a cheat meal. Friday night or Saturday night is common and is what I do for myself as well. If you want a big steak with a dressed potato, or something smothered in Alfredo sauce, or maybe a crazy chocolatey dessert afterward, go for it. You've worked hard all week, and you really have earned it. This gives the dieter a sense of empowerment during a week of strict eating and exercise; without that feeling, our brains eventually tend to protest by refusing to eat another bite of the healthy stuff and demanding that we binge on the worst stuff we can get our hands on. Besides, let's be honest: we don't go to a nice restaurant so we can have dry chicken breast and broccoli. I'm perfectly willing to do that at home, but not when I go out. P.S. Stay away from the aptly-named Quesadilla Explosion at Chili's.
Christmas and New Year's are about a week apart. How convenient! Each one of these days can be your cheat meal. Enjoy all of your comfort foods from childhood, with your friends and family, and make it a day to remember. Just make sure to keep hitting the gym (or at least the track) on the surrounding days. Trust me, you'll appreciate the peace of mind instead of beating yourself up for having too much whatever.
The biggest obstacle we will face is the endless bombardment of baked goods and "rehearsal" Thanksgiving and Christmas meals at work. One year, we had two Thanksgiving dinner potlucks that were work-related and they were weeks before the actual day. As a food lover (I make people twice my size sick when they see how much I can put away) I know it's a terrible temptation to have a table full of cookies, cake, pie and chocolates at work, free for the taking day after day. I guess we just have to find our own way of dealing with it. Sometimes talking to the boss, or the bakers themselves, might get results. For me, the number one rule is not to have even one bite, because once I start there's no turning it off. I'm the same with beer and women but some things are just crazy to give up.
Good luck to everyone here, and happy holidays! I hope you all find a method that works for you.