Saturday, December 19, 2009

How I enjoy holiday eating - and not gain weight

I love Christmas and New Year's and all the delicious treats that go with the holidays. Bring on the mince tarts, Christmas cakes, chocolate, turkey with stuffing, potatoes and gravy, pavlova and cream! The holidays are times for treats, special occasions with special food - lovingly prepared and thoroughly enjoyed.

In the past, Christmas and the ensuing weeks of being in holiday mode meant weight gain for me. When the first Christmas goodies started arriving - usually in the form of end-of-year parties, morning teas, and gift hampers - I would indulge. It's Christmas, after-all! Well, technically Christmas was probably at least two weeks away, but by golly, I was not going to miss out on all the delicious foods on offer. So, I would be munching my way through thousands of calories for days on end (but who was counting? Not me!). Christmas day would come, and I would still be feasting. Then there were all the leftovers and more foodie gifts to keep me going well into New Year's.

By the middle of January all my clothes would be tight and uncomfortable. I would have put on 10 pounds! The New Year's resolution was always: lose 20 pounds.

I am so glad those days are behind me. I don't gain weight over the holidays any more. But I still enjoy my holiday treat foods. Here's how I do it - and surprisingly it doesn't take much willpower to make it work:

I choose one day of the two holiday weeks - it's usually Christmas Day and New Year's Eve - and during the one day I thoroughly enjoy a sumptious array of holiday foods. I eat, drink and am very merry!

The next day, I am back on my regular nutrition programme, eating my normal healthy food. I don't pick at the leftovers in the fridge, I don't nibble at scorched almonds and I don't have 'just a little piece' of fruit cake after my lunch. It's like turning off a switch for me. I can see all the treat foods there but (amazingly) I've trained myself to just see them as being completely off-limits. I will admit sometimes I get annoyed that I can't have them, but really it's just an annoyance because I feel so much better being back on a clean, healthy programme; and I also love having my clothes fit!

My best wishes to everyone for a safe, happy and treat-filled Christmas!

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