So, it's that time of year where everyone from Heloise to Dr. Oz wants to give you their take on "how not to get fat from now till my birthday" (January 20th and I like beer, chocolate, and large purses). Just once, I would like to see an honest article on Holiday Weight Gain. Last year I wrote a tongue in cheek post on Holiday Weight Gain. This year I am just going to simply state why STAYING SKINNY NOW DOESN'T WORK. I am not a doctor, a weight management professional, or a nutritionist, but I love to eat and my brain works (as far as I know - most of the time) so I think I am qualified to write this.
1. Many nutrition gurus suggest continuing your normal exercise routine or if possible increasing it this time of year. This doesn't work and there are a few reasons why. Who has time to exercise on a normal basis? Not many people. In fact, in the article I read one of the tips was to do tummy tucks while you are standing in line (presumably waiting in the buffet line). For real? What I understand when I read that is: YOU DON'T HAVE TIME TO EXERCISE. NOT BEFORE AND NOT NOW. AND - while you are waiting in the buffet line you should be enjoying a delicious Christmas cocktail and talkin' to your man. I will just say one more thing: if you have time to exercise now, you better check your "to do" list. If "Buy A Day In The Life a Christmas present" is not on your to-do list - add it. Stat. And then get busy shopping for me instead of trying to find time to exercise.
2. Another suggestion I've seen is to "limit yourself." Now, I am just not sure I understand this one. The article referenced above suggests filling one plate (at the buffet) and then not going near the food table again. That just sounds like cruel and unusual punishment to me. I like to make many trips to the buffet, sample everything, and do a noteworthy plate balancing act in the process.
3. "Curbing your appetite" also seems to be a popular notion. It is suggested that you eat a "handful of nuts" and possibly drink a glass of water before heading out to a holiday party. I love the idea of eating a handful of nuts. But, what I want with a handful of nuts (and might I suggest spicy hot peanuts) is a cold beer. Then, I might want some nachos and another beer. THEN, I would be ready to go the party!
4. "Accepting mistakes" is popular. In other words, if you fall off the wagon - don't waste time feeling guilty, just hop back on! As a general principle, I really don't have an objection to this one. But, consider this - if you keep falling off the wagon, it may be time to walk.
5. Now the article I referenced above specifically suggested "Calming down." This one is just nuts. The holidays do not allow for "calming down." My to-do list is a mile long and I am still blogging. Calm down? How about a donut and another cup of coffee? Now, that's more like it!
6. The article I read also suggested carrying snacks with you for when you are out-and-about where healthy snacks might not be offered. I am all for carrying snacks with you. Some that I suggest for the holidays are: Christmas cookies (you never want those to go bad and have to throw them away), hot spicy peanuts referenced above (Although drinking alcohol in public is not sanctioned by me or this blog. Are Christmas parties public?), dark chocolate chips, and chili-lime Cheetos (my nine year old son just introduced me to those).
7. Professionals also like to warn against falling into the "trap" of thinking that weight gain now is okay since in January you can always go on a diet. Frankly, I fell into that trap a long time ago..............and I like it here! It makes resolutions soooooooo much easier!
8. Several articles I read suggested keeping a log of what you are eating. Again, this is questionable on so many levels. Sub-list:
a. Do you have time for a log? If so, leave me a comment and I will send you some of my to-do list items.
b. Do you really want to know what you are eating??? It could lead to more than a weight issue. Trust me.
c. If you simply must keep a log, maybe you should keep it on a concrete tablet (like Moses) so that you can kill two birds with one stone (figuratively and possibly literally as well) - curbing your appetite AND exercise. And, YES, that is SARCASM.
9. Many professionals suggest that you be mindful of snacking during holiday cooking. I really take objection to this one. What's one of the best parts of holiday cooking? SNACKING while you do it! Who doesn't want to snack on cheesy popcorn and have a nice glass of wine while making Christmas cookies??? Thinking about it just makes me want to belt out a line of "White Christmas."
10. Another popular suggestion seems to be sending holiday party leftovers home with family and friends. Remember this works two ways. I am the family and friends with whom you need to send leftovers home.
That's my explanation of why staying trim during the holidays is worthless. Don't think about it! You will be happy while others will be miserable. Enjoy, friends! Know that I will be with you January 1 when we have a lot to resolve!