Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Tips for "better" eating through the holidays.

I know there aren't many people that are gluttons for punishment like myself. I'm still not eating sugar and doing well with that. (Read here for more info about that.) Since I have quit eating sugar I have been able to reach my goal weight. It's what works for me. I find that if I don't eat sugar I can pretty much eat however I want and as long as I get to the gym I will lose or at least maintain my weight. It's been a good, successful journey for me and I think I will just keep up the no sugar thing even after my sister and I end our deal.

Anyways... the holidays are always the hardest times because there is soooo much good food and desserts and snacks and they are abundant and seem to be out no matter where you go. I have found some things over the years that work for me that I am going to share with you... because my goal is to lose a pound or two during this next month instead of gaining 8!

TIP #1
Decide BEFORE you go what you will eat. It's too late to make a decision to have only one piece of dessert when you have already shown up and gazed at the lovely, enticing, sweet looking spread of desserts. If you wait till you see your options you will never be able to make the choice to only have one or maybe two things. (I used to pile up a plate with a bit of everything... and then go back for more. Ugh.) Before you even leave your house decide if you will allow yourself one piece of pie, three cookies, one handful of m&m's or whatever it is that you want to allow yourself. Then stick to it. You will feel like a champ when you leave at the end of the night knowing you succeeded and you will feel powerful because you beat the food! You also won't feel disgusting from eating way more than you should have and you won't have to deal with the guilt that comes along with it... and you won't have to work extra hard at the gym to work it all off.

TIP #2
Ok... you all might think I am a little whack after reading this one but oh well. 2 Corinthians 10:5 says "We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ." Stick with me here. Have you ever seen that cookie or cake or whatever and you could just swear that it was talking to you?! "I'm sooo yummy! You NEED to eat me! Actually you NEED to eat a whole lot of me!" Don't let those thoughts run around in your head. The more time and thought you give to them the stronger they will become and the harder it will be to resist and not give in. Then (this is where the whack part comes in) don't be afraid to speak the truth. I have been known to mumble to a tray of cookies "No. I really don't NEED you. Actually I don't even WANT you right now!" HA! Call me a whack if you want because I have had victory after victory due to this technique! :)

TIP #3
Don't leave yourself with no options. During the holidays I will often find out what is being served and then ask if they mind if I bring a fruit or veggie tray. (Who is going to say no to that!?) So that is what I take... something that I know I can eat and enjoy and something that can be left out with the desserts that tend to sit on the table or counter for every one to keep picking at. If you have a hard time saying no to all those sweets (my weakness) pack up that fruit tray with some of your favorites. It's a lot better if you eat 15 strawberries instead of 5 cookies!

TIP #4
DO NOT accept the leftover desserts. It seems that no one ever wants to keep the extras because they know they will just keep eating them. So they get around to being generous and want to send those desserts home with you so that YOU can get fat instead of them. :) Don't walk out with a tray of cookies or half a pie if you know you can't exercise control over it. My husband has way more control than I do so if he REALLY wants to bring something home I ask him to limit it to one piece of pie or whatever. (If what he wants has coconut in it he can bring home as much as he wants because I will never touch it. Yuck!)

It's not always easy... but let me just tell you this... it is soooo much fun when January 1 rolls around and everyone is making their new years resolutions and talking about how horrible they ate over the holidays and how much weight they gained because of it and how much harder they are going to have to work to undo all those poor choices and you just get to sit there feeling good about yourself because you haven't undone all the hard work you put in all year round, you haven't given up your new lifestyle of eating better and you have been successful. You don't have to start anything over... you just get to keep going with the same things that you have been doing. THAT my friends makes all the sacrifices worth it... for me anyways. So what if I don't get to eat any pumpkin pie loaded up with whipped cream this year... I'm going to feel good instead of like a slob! And that makes me happy.

Do you have any tips for eating "better" during the holidays? I would love to hear them. Write you own blog and link back to me or just leave it here in the comments.

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