Tag Archives: Slow Down Diet

How Do You Minimize the Holiday Muffintop?

Humans naturally put on weight in the winter. The Thanksgiving feast was not a bad idea on several counts: one being to shore up for the lean winter months when there’s not much to hunt, pick or gather.  When you pile Thanksgiving onto Christmas onto New Years feasts and realize that the grocery store doesn’t shut down in the winter, there’s no built-in way to waste away the gathered weight.  Focus is required. Promises are made to ourselves.
Diet books are top sellers in January every year.

The folks that preach weight loss that really know their stuff will start by telling you to eat better quality food.  They’re right.  Even so, you can eat too much good quality stuff and “oops I’ve gained a few pounds”.  The next smart thing to do is shave off a few calories each day until you lose the weight.  I don’t mean a big green bean and steamed chicken breast starvation diet.  Those are the devil.  This is way more subtle.   By following a couple of rules (three actually) you can slip away a few calories each day and slide away the doughy mid-section that sometimes gathers during the holidays.

1.    Almost no flour
2.    Limit caloric drinks to one per day.
3.    Make half of every plate vegetables and/or fruit.

That’s it.
Here’s why.

1.  Notice I didn’t say “no carbs”.  Carbohydrates are the body’s favorite and easiest way to create energy.  People can go for awhile without them, but sooner or later the cravings become crazy big.  Flour metabolizes quickly because it is already broken down.  You get a quick push from it and want more.  Stick with WHOLE GRAINS.  Nope, not whole wheat pasta or whole wheat bread or crackers – those are made from – ta da – flour.  Just whole grains – brown rice, quinoa, wild rice, buckwheat.  As a bonus, by eliminating flour you almost totally eliminate sugar because baked goods are made from…that’s right.
2.  Drinking calories gives you no sense of satiety.  No matter how many calories you drink, your body will still feel like it needs something to EAT.  To chew.  Limiting caloric drinks like juice, lattes, wine is an easy breezy way to reduce your overall caloric intake by as much as 1400 calories a week.  That’s half a pound – whoosh – gone.  Diet soft drinks need to go too.  They stimulate cravings.
3.  This trick keeps fiber and nutrients high while slivering off a few more calories.  Yes it’s ok to put good homemade salad dressing on your greens or sauté your chard in butter.  I didn’t say anything about eliminating fat.  No need to. Fats are really important in cold weather – keeping you warm, transporting needed vitamins, helping you feel satisfied.  Don’t eliminate them.

This way of eating will also clear your foggy post-holiday celebration brain (the energy you get from no flour and sugar is amazing) so you can plan for a stimulating 2010.  Two books I’d recommend if you want more encouragement are:

1. David, Marc, The Slow Down Diet (Healing Arts Press, 2005)
2. Wansink, PhD, Brain.  Mindless Eating. (Bantam Books, 2006)

Another fabulous idea is to get a dog.  Walk walk walk.  Happy dog, looser jeans.  But mostly, I want to know your ideas.  How do you easily, gladly, maintain a weight that is comfortable for you?  Inquiring minds want to know.