Saturday, December 16, 2017

The week before Christmas

 - Sugar’s Slippery Slope

     Last week on my annual three-day gambling and shopping getaway with girlfriends, a friend gave me a jar of goodies that she’d baked. They were delicious. Don’t ask me how much I consumed on my drive back home; I’m afraid I lost count!
     Why is it, after being given a wonderful treat like home baked cookies, I eat them like they’re the last ones I’ll ever enjoy? If any of you readers have a good suggestion on how to put the brakes on grazing, please share it!
   Last week I was on the edge, and now I’m at the bottom of the goodie barrel, fluffy as a marshmallow snowman. It is not a pleasant feeling. I’ve slid down the slippery slope for three days; now it’s time to follow my own advice and return to sensible eating until the next food “event”. With only nine days to go before the big day, there are many more temptations ahead.
     I’m pondering why it’s so impossibly difficult to get back on track after three days of free-reign eating. The mouth wants what the mouth wants, hard to control as a cat! I must accept the inevitable truth—in order to keep from gaining pounds this season, I have to eat less than normal on days when there are no parties or other eating occasions luring me to overindulge.
And meanwhile, thank goodness for stretch jeans!

Tips for Christmas week.
1.  Don’t let a few out-of-control days lead to a week of binging. Accept it, forgive yourself, and eat lean whenever possible.
2.     Put gift treats out of sight. (Or in the trunk!) Allow yourself one or two each day as a reward for your resolve.
3.   Think before you drink! Most alcoholic beverages have 90 calories or many more. Substitute coffee, tea or water for them and save your calories for the things you can’t live without.
4.   Plan ahead. At the beginning of every day, take a few moments to consider your schedule. On party days, cut back on your fat and carb intake during the day so you can afford to splurge at the party.
5.    Remember it’s cold and flu season. Be sure to get enough protein, fiber, fruits and vegetables to stay healthy and ward off all the bugs that are going around.

Dear Readers,
Hope these tips help keep you on track (or close!) during the party season. Have a wonderful, happy and healthy Christmas.

Wednesday, December 6, 2017

Preventing Holiday Weight Gain

Christmas Treats—Yeeks!

     Thanksgiving is behind me. I indulged, bulged, and managed to get back on track. And then I started my holiday baking. Making treats to give as gifts is a holiday tradition, which once started is as difficult to get rid of as a yeast infection.
     For more than twenty years I’ve made candy to box up and give as gifts to friends and relatives. Everyone loves my fudge. Unfortunately, so does the cook. Over the years I’ve at least cut down to making two varieties. But two or twenty, the dilemma is the same. How do I keep from stuffing gift goodies into my greedy mouth?
     When Terry and I each had our own house, I shipped it to his garage in sealed containers until I was ready to box it up and give it as gifts. Keeping the candy in our attached garage now, makes it just too darn accessible.
     And everywhere I go, Christmas goodies are out, even at the library and the bank. A few bites here and there, and I’ve upped my daily calorie allotment to code red. I’ve had to wrack my sugar-drenched brain to come up with a few useful suggestions.
     Here goes.
1.     Pass up public goody trays by forming a mental picture of the unsanitary conditions surrounding them. Think about people sneezing on them, children handling each one before deciding, and how long they sit out exposed to who knows how many dastardly germs and menacing viruses.
2.     During the holiday season, few of us has the time or the inclination to write out a food plan every day, but develop a mental plan and stick to it. Plan to allow yourself two or three of your own homemade treats after supper, and keep that in mind when you walk past the cookie trays on display wherever you go.
3.     If you are making treats, box them for gift giving as quickly as possible. This includes a gift tag with the receiver’s name. I find that if I do this, it keeps my fingers out of them. Then store them with a neighbor!
4.     When baking cookies, make everyone else’s favorites and avoid your own.  If that’s impossible, again, allot yourself a few after dinner. I find that allowing myself that small indulgence keeps me from pilfering the gift boxes every time I walk into the garage.
5.     And one handy tip I’ve turned to lately—chewing gum. Hard to snarf up those random treats with gum in your mouth!

Dear Readers,
Every holiday season is a challenge for anyone watching their weight. The best way to keep from gaining is to stay aware of what you’re eating. Even the small things can help. Enjoy the parties, the lights, and celebrate the season!