Dieting During The Holidays

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Vicki Briganti – CW50 Writer / Producer / EditorFood. Everywhere I look, I see a high calorie, fat laden piece of sugary goodness. This time of year, what’s a dieter to do?

We dovetail from Halloween, a holiday that’s sole purpose is to give away/receive candy, into Thanksgiving, a holiday known for pies. Then comes Christmas, when my sister’s annual gift is a coffee can filled with cookies and fudge. Who wants a stocking filled with coal? Stuff it with candy canes and chocolate Santa heads.

This holiday madness results in an already uphill battle to lose weight. According to a booklet I just received from the Mayo Clinic, on their My Weight Solution Diet, you can eat an unlimited amount of vegetables and fruit per day. Oh, goody. Who doesn’t want some spinach with their afternoon tea?

I keep a bowl of tootsie rolls and gum at work for my coworkers to enjoy. I wonder how they’d feel if I filled it with carrots and celery? I might as well fill it with disappointment.

The information in the booklet makes perfect sense, and I think the restrictions could work for me. But this diet won’t happen overnight, I can tell you that right now. Not before I finish eating the two packages of bacon in my freezer and my loaf of Classic white Wonder bread. Only then can I feel good shopping for a head of lettuce and an apple.

You should see the portion sizes in this diet, though. Talk about starvation. A serving of carbohydrates is ½ cup pasta or dry cereal. Try measuring that out sometime. It’s a few spoonfuls of food. I don’t think you can pour milk on the cereal, either. Too many calories, especially if you prefer 2% milk like I do. Try fat-free or skim milk. Better yet, pour water on it, garnished with a nice lemon slice.

No Pain, No Gain

The Mayo Clinic encourages you to lose 6-10 pounds in a two-week phase so you’ll see success and keep motivated. Just add these five habits:

  1. Eat a healthy breakfast – but not too much
  2. Eat vegetable and fruits
  3. Eat whole grains
  4. Eat healthy fats
  5. Move!

As part of a healthy partnership welcome backpack, I received a pedometer. I was very excited to use it because walking is my exercise of choice. So, I clip it to my waist and walk into downtown Royal Oak (probably to get a turtle mocha cooler at Caribou Coffee). When I pulled it off to check how many miles I’d walked and how many calories I’d burned, it was zero. Nada. Nothing. I reread the directions to make sure I was using it right. I set it on the counter for my next outing. When I picked it up again, it didn’t even turn on. Broken. Broken before it even logged a single mile. Now that’s lazy.

Well, I was in luck. My mom had given me a coupon for a free pedometer. I just had to log on to naturesbounty.com and order it. When it arrived, I was excited to use it. I clip it to my waist. I finish my walk. I check it. Zero. Nada. Nothing. Another broken pedometer.

In addition to moving your body more, the Mayo Clinic suggests you break five unhealthy habits:

  1. No TV while eating – and only as much as you exercise
  2. No sugar – except what’s naturally found in fruit
  3. No snacks except fruits and vegetables
  4. Moderate meat and low-fat dairy
  5. No eating at restaurants – unless the meal fits the program

Hold up there, number five. If I can’t eat in restaurants, I’ll have no social life. I suppose I could order a half a cup of pasta. That should satisfy my appetite for about ten minutes. I can’t go to a sports bar to eat it because that would violate rule number one since they have TVs.

As far as the ‘move more’ thing goes, does pacing my living room floor at 5:45am worrying about my weight count as exercise? If so, then I’m working out. I’m just not sure how many miles I’ve walked.

I need a new pedometer.

To learn more about Healthy Living, log on mayoclinic.com.

>> More Motor City Musing With Vicki Briganti  

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