It’s that time of year again where everywhere we look we see a finger wag for wanting to shove our gullets with delicious food. It’s also that time of year when a million articles come out explaining how to maintain your weight during the holidays. And with each article a million tricks abound: eat an apple and drink a diet coke before a party to feel full, smell fruit to fake your brain into not eating, get a tapeworm, etc. (Actually, there are a lot tricks with apples but I only know of one from high school and I wouldn’t recommend it here.)
Let’s face facts, the holidays are stressful enough as it is, it’s not enough to add more guilt onto it. And I’m sure there are those of us who have enough guilt on their plate. Isn’t the point of the holidays to eat drink and be merry?
Truth of the matter is, if we were the kind of people with discipline we wouldn’t need to read those articles or try the tricks for that matter. Food and booze will be everywhere and if you are the kind of person who likes food and booze no trick is going to keep you from them.
Which is why I came up with my real world list of real world tricks.
- Do you have a friend or family member who can’t cook? Well then only go to those people’s houses. Nothing to eat means you don’t. Case solved.
- How about sticking to a liquid diet? Clear liquor has less calories — Rum, Vodka and Gin are all 65-70 calories per 1 oz (holiday shots anyone?) I would just recommend building up a tolerance.
- Why not combine the liquid diet with a meal in a glass? I’m thinking a martini or Bloody Mary.
- Workout, A LOT!!! More than normal because that’s a lot of extra calories you are taking in.
If you want to play the little holiday games, go ahead I guess. Choose roasted potatoes over stuffing, white meat over dark meat (though for the love of god I don’t know why), sniff the desert while shoving a handful of flaxseeds in your mouth. But keep this in mind, there are 12 months in a year, 365 days where we are good for the most part and we act like enjoying ourselves during this short period is going to make us into Jabba the Hut.
And that is why I hate all of these magazine articles that are written to make us feel weak, as opposed to trying to give us that balance of enjoying the holidays while staying in control. As my mother always says, “Everything in moderation.”
All of the “You can’t, you shouldn’t, Don’t…” talk actually turns our brains into, “I must have.” If we just took away the negatives and the “no nos” and called a spade a spade maybe the holidays would be more enjoyable. Anyone who wakes up New Years Day morning healthy and free of weight gain is someone I just don’t want to know. We’re supposed to start the New Year with guilt and a hangover. That’s the fuel to get our asses back on track. It’s the fuel that makes us discern what our resolutions will be. And in all honesty, it’s the fuel that gives us hope for a new year. “I was bad last year, but this year, this year will be different”. Without that guilt, we wouldn’t move forward, start anew, lace up our sneakers and hit the gym. We NEED that. So why deny that?