Competition Shape…Minus the Competition (Lisa’s Journey) – Entry 10

[Lisa] Been a while since our last post – Sandy had everyone busy. I lost another 3.2 lbs. in October, bringing my total to 17.2 lbs. I’m sure many of you shared the lovely experience of being without power for an extended period of time. My family and I were out for 9 days. We are fortunate to have a generator. Since my refrigerator was in working order I did not have to eat all the ice cream because it would have melted. On the heels of the hurricane we were visited by a nor’easter. My car got stuck in ice on my street not far from my house. I got a good workout shoveling ice and my weight training served me well when I helped push my car uphill into my driveway. (How many calories do you think I burned Mike?) Most of us were out of our routine for at least a few days. Businesses were closed and traveling was challenging. The first time I went to the A&P, after they got power back, fresh food choices were limited as they struggled to restock. Being stressed and out of my routine, it was tempting to take a little break from my eating plan and fill in with some cookies but, I did not. I kept thinking about something a co-worker told me about when she went back to Weight Watchers. She met a woman who had lost and put back on 70 lbs. My friend asked her what caused her to slip; the woman said it started with one Oreo cookie. Heading into the holiday season, it is not an Oreo but a butter cookie that has the possibility to lead me down the wrong path. Mike, how about some tips to get us through the holidays without undoing progress made.

[Mike] The holidays are always a tricky time for people. The average weight gain between Thanksgiving and New Year’s is a whopping 8lbs. It’s no wonder “weight loss” is the number one New Year’s Resolution.

My best solution for avoiding the holiday weight gain is to start dieting and training BEFORE the holidays start. But since some of you may not have been doing this then I’ll lay out a few other options to lessen, and ideally eliminate, the potential damage done during the next 6 weeks.

• Plan your “cheats”. I like Pumpkin and Apple Pie as much as the next person but these high sugar, high calorie foods can wreak havoc unless you consume them strategically. For one you need to predetermine how much you are going to have. One small piece won’t kill you but when one leads to two, or three, or is accompanied by cookies and ice cream you’re in trouble. Ideally the amount of calories you consume from your “cheats” should still work into your daily totals as explained in previous blogs.

• Plan your workouts around the days you know you might be eating more or having foods that could be more calorically dense. As I’ve written about before, eating foods that are higher in carbohydrates and/or sugar can be good thing when they follow a high intensity workout. If you don’t need to be in the kitchen cooking 2 hours before meal time be in the gym weight training or outside performing a High Intensity Interval Workout.

• Drink lots of water. Many people notoriously mistake hunger for dehydration. Keeping your water intake high (64 oz. or more per day) can help to satiate you and keep from overeating (or over-drinking at the next office party).

• Prepare your own meals. If you’re hosting the party then there’s no reason you can’t put together a healthier version of the proposed meal or at least have healthier options available. Truth be told, most holiday meals do tend to be healthy…that is until you start adding mass amounts of butter, oil and sugar to the mix.

• Measure your intake. There’s no reason that a holiday needs to be different than any other day as far as your total food/calorie consumption goes. If you’re intent on keeping the holiday pounds off then treat them like every other day and be sure to keep your food scale and measuring cups handy.

These are just a few of many ways to keep your fitness—or fatness—in check throughout the holiday season. If you have some other ideas or suggestions then please post them in the comments box below for others.

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