“Put down that turkey leg, girl, and step away from the buffet.
You know you can’t eat that, you just dipped it in gravy!”
- The Uphill Skater -
The holidays are no longer coming up; they are here. Party time is upon us. We all like to bring our favorite, most fabulous recipe when it is a potluck or covered dish, and when everybody does this, it usually turns into a feasting disaster. Dinner with friends can turn ugly pretty fast when you add a couple of glasses of wine and dessert. I mean ugly in the calories sense, of course. I am sure you know the drill. Gathering means eating, and eating means splurging. It’s a tradition, and in all honesty, it is a tradition everyone loves and enjoys.
I have shared many tips about how not to gain the holiday 10 pounds, and I know everyone has taken those tips to heart and done every one of them. For example, you always fill your plate with veggies, no dip, and step well to the other side of the room and never go near the food again, right? You pour one drink and sip it all evening. When someone offers you another drink, you reply that you already have one. You mix, mingle, chat, dance and have fun with friends and never think that you are really there for the fabulous food, do you?
These diet-saver tactics are brutal during the holidays and can feel like punishment. Most of us instantly resort to over-indulging, probably because life is simply so cheerful and fun around the holidays that some things just cannot be passed up. Certain foods come along only during this time of the year. No turkey, dressing, or pumpkin pie until next year can be an unbearable thought. The same goes for Christmas candies, cookies, cakes and people’s extra special dishes.
The lack of these goodies being around any other time is my biggest excuse for diving into my daughter-in-law’s homemade candies, or the fudge my friend gives out to the neighbors.
Well, here’s a tactic to help you meet holiday goodies head on with some resemblance of control—the deep freeze. I learned this from a friend, and I plan to do it this year for sure—freeze stuff. Make your own “TV Dinner” in a container and include turkey, dressing, mashed potatoes, gravy, and anything else that says holiday to you. Freeze pie and cake by the slice. My favorite is pumpkin, and I love the kind my daughter-in-law makes only for Thanksgiving. (Lucky me, my husband does not like pumpkin pie, and that’s one of the reasons I married him, if you want to know the truth) Freeze anything and everything you love and pull it out any time. This will allow you to feel that you don’t have to gorge yourself—portion control at it’s best. If it is good enough for Marie Callendar, it is good enough for me.
Here is Tip 2: I can sum it up in one word—WALK! Last year when it got cold, I took off my Fitbit and started to hibernate. I totally regret it, and I’m really mad at myself for it. Anyway, not this year! I dug my Fitbit out of the dirty clothesbasket—don’t ask—and now I get out to walk, even if it is only a block or two, every chance I can. We recently visited friends who live near Washington, D.C., and they got up at daybreak to walk their dogs. We had our dog with us, so we got up too, thinking we would plod along for a while, then come in for coffee. That plodding along turned into an astounding three-miles, according to my Fitbit. I was in total shock that I could do that. I felt so fit and buff and jazzed until my friend started to show slides of their 120-mile walk through the Alps. Oh, well. It inspired me just enough to start doing it myself—not walking through the Alps—but at least walking a bit each day. My dog is thrilled I might tell you. Yours will be, too.
Here is the final tip (It is a good one.): Decide what you might wear for events, put the complete outfit on and stand in front of a full-length mirror. When I say complete, I mean accessories and all. Think about how beautiful you look in an outfit that is not too tight and zipped up or buttoned easily. Now think about how much you love your outfit. Finally, think about how much your outfit costs and whether or not you can afford to replace it, or if you’re ready to buy a larger size. On the flip side, trying on now can bring light to the fact that your favorite party wear has gotten a wee too small. You can manage your diet before your upcoming social engagements to get back into your holiday attire and feeling your best.