Since my birthday is one week after Thanksgiving, three weeks before Christmas and four weeks before New Year’s, I’ve always allowed myself to “free-feed” during the winter holidays. Unfortunately, I still haven’t taken off the weight from last year, so I’m going to have to stick to my strict contest-diet guidelines this year:
Weigh myself once a week on the same scale and at the same time.
Join a free, on-line calorie counter website. (They have the calorie content of most national brands as well as restaurant and fast food chains.)
Eat one cheat meal, or go to one holiday party per week. Wear my favorite high heels, spend all week thinking about the menu, but under no circumstances can I bring home any leftovers. In fact, I can’t even make my cheat meal at home—it’s too easy to extend the cheat “meal” into a cheat “day”.
No alcohol, except with cheat meal.
Verify my Lean Body Mass (LBM) vs. Fat weight through hydrostatic (under water) weighing. My LBM has dropped significantly over the last five years, which I believe has caused the slowing of my metabolism.
I hear that eating "on the go" makes it hard to stick to a diet; however, it definitely makes it easier for me to stay on track. When it's gone, I'm done. There's no opportunity to go back to the refirigerator or cupboard to grab more or be tempted to eat something that is not on my diet. With that said, I do not enjoy cooking!!! Blocking off most of my Sunday afternoon to cook my food and sort it out into appropriate portion size containers takes a great amount of self-governing. I would much rather sit with my laptop, book or television and lose myself in my imaginary world than stand in the kitchen with the heat of the oven and stovetop. It's a hot flash just waiting to happen.
Of course “fast food” is the last thing you want to choose when trying to lose weight or eat healthy, but for days that you have no other option, Chipotle, with over 800 locations nationwide, gives the customer complete control over what goes into their burrito, taco, or salad. Additionally, you get to build it with fresh, local ingredients and spicy foods invoke a thermogenic response (natural fat burners)!
F-50 Tip: Order the Burrito Bowl, which lets you skip the tortilla. Add brown rice, beans, a DOUBLE serving of meat, HOLD the cheese and sour cream, but add the guacamole. Lastly, ask for a To-Go bowl on the side. Before you sit down to eat, put half of your order in the To-Go bowl, seal it up, and save it for your next meal!
On the Plane
I’m always paranoid I’m going to get stuck on the tarmac for hours on end without food and water, so I bring a meal to eat on the plane AND bring an extra for “just in case”. Since ice packs and liquids aren’t allowed through security, I freeze one meal to act as my ice pack to keep the second meal cool and fresh until I eat it.
F-50 Tip: Pack a protein shaker cup even if you don’t pack protein powder. Once you get through security, you can fill your cup with ice and/or water at the self-serve drink stations.
The hardest part about eating at a restaurant is saying “no” to the bread and chips placed on the table. If you are dining with a business colleague, excuse yourself to go to the restroom and ask your server to place the basket as far from you as possible. For the meal itself, order a large salad with the dressing on the side, lean protein and grilled vegetables—just remember to ask for the vegetables AND protein without butter.
F-50 Tip: Request a side of balsamic vinegar (not vinaigrette) for your salad, vegetables, and in some cases, your protein. Balsamic vinegar will not only add flavor, but it’s a natural meat tenderizer (great for lean cuts of beef) and fat burner.
In the Car
Keep an ice chest packed with bite-sized snacks. If it’s a long drive, place one meal within reach and the rest of the food in the trunk or back of the car. Keeping the food far out of reach will ensue that you don’t indulge in mindless eating and it will remind you to stop and stretch your legs and spine every few hours.
F-50 Tip: Wear a bib!