In years past, there were five weeks of diet disaster each year. It started with Thanksgiving, gained speed during holiday parties and cookie-baking frenzies, and culminated with heavy hors d’oeuvres and champagne on New Year’s Eve.
In years past, there were five weeks of diet disaster each year.
It started with Thanksgiving, gained speed during holiday parties and cookie-baking frenzies, and culminated with heavy hors d’oeuvres and champagne on New Year’s Eve.
But now, the period of sensible eating seems to be shortening with the autumn days. With swimsuit season firmly behind us, there’s a smorgasbord of reasons to overindulge for the duration of 2010.
Diet Disaster 2010 kicked off with the football season this month. Not only are we sedentary for three hours — or longer — every Sunday afternoon, but now we have a feast of football-friendly foods: Chicken wings, chips and dip, chili.
In just a few weeks, we open the door to Halloween. For years, I bought my Halloween candy in two batches: The first batch was purchased two weeks before the actual event, giving me the opportunity for a candy coma every night leading up to Halloween. The second batch was purchased on Halloween Day, because the first round of candy had mysteriously disappeared.
You might think there’s a food respite coming after Halloween, but there’s still a solid stash of candy around: Your kid has enough to last until Easter, so it only makes sense to help him out. After all, he’s only allowed to eat two pieces a day. You’re bigger, so you can have four.
Just about the time that only Dots and Dum-Dums are left in the candy bowl, it’s time to start cooking for Thanksgiving. A few years back, I learned about this fantastic post-Thanksgiving tradition called Turkey Stuffing Sandwiches. It’s basically an entire Thanksgiving dinner, thrown in a Crock Pot with a half pound of butter and then served on rolls. I hear cardiologists are in particularly high demand this time of year, but it doesn’t stop those sandwiches from tasting like a slice of heaven.
But with Thanksgiving, the holidays have officially arrived. So you wipe the last of the Turkey Stuffing Sandwich from your lips and apply gloss: It’s time to party.
All through December, newspapers and magazines are stacked with articles about how to stay low-cal through Christmas parties. There’s talk of carrot sticks and wine spritzers, of roasted potatoes and light salads. Yet, we manage to slip into a chocolate-induced amnesia somewhere between the door and the buffet table.
By Christmas Day, I’m almost queasy with the thought of more rich food. And yet, it’s only one day a year, so I take full advantage of it. Last year, I let my 2-year-old have a lollipop before breakfast on Christmas morning. My husband stared at me in shock, but I shrugged it off with a casual, “Lighten up, it’s Christmas!” and went off to flip the bacon with a truffle in my hand.
It seems downright silly to try to lose weight during the week between Christmas and New Year’s, given the abundance of holiday leftovers and all. And so it’s no wonder why we’re all inspired to lose weight come January 1. Our bodies haven’t been fed a tried-and-true vegetable in months, and they’re desperate for something without sprinkles on top.
It doesn’t have to be that way this year. And no, you don’t need to hire a nutritionist or personal trainer to make that happen. Just count on me and my foolproof ways to keep your waistline trim through the New Year:
Skip the “one for you, one for me” method of handing out Halloween candy. It’s bad for you. It adds to your bottom line. Instead, cut your candy consumption in half by doing “two for you, one for me.” It will make all the difference.
Host more parties than you attend. A party hostess is always too busy catering to her guests to fill up on unhealthy snacks. When she eats, it’s always the cold leftovers. And as everyone knows, cold leftovers have half the calories.
Avoid online shopping at all costs. Walking the mall burns calories, especially when you do a loop through the food court.
I know my methods seem unorthodox, but really — take my advice.
I’m certainly not using it.
Contact Elizabeth Davies at email@example.com.