(Originally posted in Exposure Magazine July 4th, 2017.)
When we commit to changing our diet, we face all kinds of challenges we don’t anticipate. How can I NOT eat Grandmas fudge, and why are carbs EVERYWHERE? With yet another holiday coming up, we must find a way to not train wreck our healthy choices, but still be able to attend our family gatherings, picnics, reunions etc. Yes, the fourth of July will be fraught with potato salad, greasy burgers, and hot dogs. And we won’t even mention the brownies and the desserts. You know the one your sister-in-law brings to every function that everyone wants to eat before they have the meal. This is our reality. We often love people with food. I am simply going to ask you to love yourself a little bit more. It is actually fairly simple. You can also plan to fail and just commit to eating anything, in any amount, you want. Or you can plan your eating strategy ahead of time. Think of it as a game you must win. First step to success is bringing something you know you can binge on heartily without guilt. Perhaps it’s a vegetable tray or a fruit tray. Perhaps it is something high protein/low carb to help you feel satisfied. You have total control of what you bring. Make a plan to eat in moderation, not deprivation. If you catch yourself saying “I can’t eat those things”, you are planning to fail. Eat it, then you feel guilt, followed by shame, and then you give up. Negotiate your cheats. Simply eat a tablespoon or two of your favorite dish, not half a plate followed by seconds. Don’t drink your calories either. Plan to eat slowly so you can give your stomach a chance to catch up with your brain. This generally takes at least 20 minutes. Plan on drinking plenty of water before arriving so you don’t confuse thirst signals with hunger signals. Have a really good, solid cardio work out with some weights thrown in before the dreaded “food event”. Get your body into a fat burning stage before you ever arrive at the event. This is crucial to having that occasional binge or not-so-perfect eating day. Stay active and keep your body in a calorie burning mode. If the family starts a flag football game, join in and get moving to help keep those calories burning. If that’s not for you, take a few of the people with you on a brisk 20-minute walk. Be the person who plans their cheat days and meals and is able to stay on track to design the fit life you deserv
These are my older blog posts, which originally appeared in my Exposure Magazine Column, "Healthy Living."