These can be trying times for people trying to live healthful lives.  Notice, I don’t say for dieters.  In that the way we eat is our diet, yes, we are all dieters.  Please do not regard weight loss and living healthfully as a time to deprive yourself.  It is well-known, in the science of weight loss, that sacrifice can be your biggest enemy in this journey.

If you consider yourself ON a diet, then once you hit your weight goal, you will likely go OFF the diet. And, yes, gain the weight back.  Plus some!

I see the journey as weight-loss university.  It is a time to relearn your habits, to incorporate the foods that you really want in your life, with — gasp! — here’s that word again:  moderation. If I have had an indulgent moment (or more) I take that as an opportunity to look at the behavior.   How did I feel after I ate too much.  Does it feel good?  Am I glad that I ate what I ate?  Did I even enjoy it while I was eating it?

The Donut Pub

The Donut Pub

My goodness, my binges were epic.  I live in New York City.  Do you realize how easy it is to find food here?  I forage through the delis, donut shops (right across the street from me is one of the best donut shops in the city!), hamburger joints, ice cream stores.  Name it, it is within walking distance.

There is a great article in the New York Times right now – with tips on last-minute holiday eating.  There are still a few tempting occasions left in Year 2009.  And, so many are in the Final Meal way of thinking.  You know that experience.  “I’m going to eat everything I want before I start my diet.”  “I’ll do it Monday.  I’ll start in the New Year.”  One of the links is from Men’s Health MagazineEat This, Not That.

Worst Holiday Dessert

Pecan Pie a la Mode

810 calories
65 g fat
55 g sugars
In the wide world of holiday pies, nothing is worse than a slice of pecan. True, some of the fat is healthy fat from the nuts. Most of these calories, though, come from the filling, which is a sickly-sweet sludge of corn syrup and sugar. Fondue, in comparison, is a fun and relatively healthy way to splurge after a big meal. Angel food cake makes an ideal dipper: light, low in calories, and-because it’s made with egg whites-virtually fat-free. Use fruit instead and you’ll save even more calories.
Bonus tip: At all costs, avoid ordering anything from the list of The 15 Worst Desserts in America.

Eat This Instead!

Chocolate Fondue

340 calories
10 g fat
28 g sugars

My tip for all indulgent occasions (besides the standards: drink lots of water and don’t arrive hungry) is to leave room for what you really want at that meal.

You know what that is.  For me, it may be the pie.  For you, it might be the stuffing.  And, then eat it.   Otherwise, you’ll find yourself in what I dub the eat the entire box of cereal syndrome.  You don’t eat that piece of cake, but when you get home, you devour what’s left of the Captain Crunch.