I figured this would be a good one to put out now, with the Holidays looming over us. Don’t get me wrong, Christmas is my favorite time of year. I bake cookies, sing carols, and deck the halls like my life depends on it. I am definitely one of those annoying “Christmas People.” And for years I have used Christmas as an excuse to eat my body weight in shortbread cookies, Christmas Tree shaped Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups (LOVE) and basically anything else I could tell myself I only get to eat once a year so I better eat it all in the next 30 seconds. And we all tell ourselves the same lie. “It’s Christmas! Everyone packs on a couple pounds, you lose it right after New Years when you make your resolution to lose weight. Easy peasy lemon squeezey! Right?”
Our next Uncomfortable Truth: Easy Come, Not So Easy Go
I always figured weight was a pretty simple equation: You have one bad day, one really good day should even it out. So if I have one day where I devour an entire chocolate cake, the next day if I stick to just broccoli and celery I’ll be back on track. Yeah…. No. For so many reasons. One being that there’s not a chance in hell I’ll only eat broccoli and celery for an entire day after a sugar binge. But also because that’s just not how weight works.
The sad, unfortunate truth is that fat is ridiculously easy to put on (even easier to put back on) and insanely difficult to take off again. We are currently doing the Slow Carb Diet in my house, no carbs at all six days of the week and one day where we go nuts and eat whatever we want. So far it has worked very well for me, but there are some weeks where I just barely lose an ounce by week’s end because I spent all week losing what I put on in one day.
I repeat: I SPEND ALL WEEK LOSING WHAT I PUT ON IN ONE DAY.
And that’s not coming from someone who eats bad all the time or doesn’t stick to their diet or has little “justified treats” all week. I eat very small portions, next to no carbs, I do some light working out, and I have very low calorie days wherein I don’t even sit down until after the baby has gone to bed. And I still need about 5 days to lose what I gain in one day of simple carbohydrates and sugar.
It’s insane. It’s unfair. It shouldn’t be that way. It makes no logical sense. But unfortunately, it’s a fact. So don’t kid yourself. If you use the holidays as an excuse to eat pie all day every day you’re doing yourself, and your thighs, a serious disservice. I’m not saying don’t indulge, you best believe I’m eating some serious sugar over the next month. But the key is to eat smart.
1. Don’t eat too quickly, you store more of it as fat.
2. Eat smaller portions, you don’t need to eat half the cake. Savor the flavor, and take smaller bites.
3. Don’t have dessert every day. There will be more of it to come. One day without sugar won’t kill you. But every day with sugar might.
4. Eat smart: Eat your veggies first. At a big meal it’s very easy to fill up on mashed potatoes and rolls. It’s also very stupid. Eat your brussels sprouts and turnip and carrot first. Those are actually wicked delicious, and you can eat a metric ton of them guilt free.
5. Drink Smart: Skip pop all together. Duh. Also skip really creamy drinks, and alcohol with a sugary and/or creamy mix. Red wine is good, dry white wine, vodka and gin with water (not tonic, its basically pop) are also good. Beer, sweet white wine, champagne, these are all tickets to Fatsville. And obviously, water is your best bet. Water with lemon and/or lime juice? Even better. And tastier. Club soda with lemon and lime juice (the real stuff) is super delicious and not fattening.
6. Cold weather is bomb for boosting your metabolism. So pick your favorite cousin (we all have one, don’t lie) and go for a ten minute walk before dinner and gossip about boys or your least favorite cousin’s ugly dress or whatever. Your hips will thank you.
Choose what goes in your body wisely. Easier said than done, I’m terrified to be around all my favorite Christmas treats for the next month, but we can do it! There’s no rule that says you have to eat the entire dessert buffet. You don’t have to poison your body to celebrate Christmas. And being happy with your body and reveling in your willpower? That’s your Christmas gift all year round.
Your turn! What are some of your tips and tricks to having your waistline survive the holidays?