I have been at this weight management game long enough to have a few tricks up my sleeve. I come from a family who celebrated from October until Spring. Everyone started getting all hyped up at the beginning of October for Halloween and the food didn’t even slow down until after New Year’s Day…and then came Valentine’s Day and my sweet daddy got my mother and myself candy. To top it all off, my anorexic mother who was thin as a rail, would eat most of her pound box before going to bed and it was the one time of the year that I could indulge my sweet tooth without criticism, so I did.
So, let’s move through a day during this time of year and see what we can hack. Start with that morning coffee. I’m a black coffee drinker, but if you like it all jazzed up you can rack up some serious calories early in the day. Instead of all that sugar based stuff, try a little skim milk, some Splenda and maybe a sprinkle of cinnamon or cocoa. You’ll be surprised at how easily our taste buds can be satiated. Eat some breakfast! Avoid the doughnuts and various goodies offered everywhere you go. Get full of protein and fiber at home and just say “NO!” to doughnuts in tje work place. By making your own version of a fancy coffee and having eggs and meat and maybe a slice of toast for breakfast, instead of fancy coffee and two doughnuts you will have saved approximately 193 calories for this one meal, one day.
Lunch has it’s own unique problems. Quite often if we’re eating with anyone they always want to go where they get “more bang for their buck”. Eating food brought from home can alleviate this problem. The question is, which do we want more. Do we want Happy Hour or do we want a Happy Life. This method won’t make you the most sought after lunch partner but it will get you through the holidays with less weight gain or possibly, even a loss. Remember, all of these methods are things that I have done. They work. I can usually pack a lunch for about 400 calories. The average fast food meal is believed to be between 800 and 1000 calories. You will save at least 400, maybe much more by making your own lunch.
Ahhh… the afternoon munchies…the vending machine looms large…tempting…until you remember the excellent, big. expensive, seasonal therefore juicy apple that you brought along. Don’t forget the small pack of nuts or the string cheese. Remember, protein with every meal and snack. Your snack will be about 350 calories of fiber and protein to see you through the afternoon. The vending machine is bottomless. 500 calories is an easy estimate of how much we can consume there. A 1.66 oz. Snickers bar has 229 calories, a bag of BBQ potato chips has 240 and a sugar based soft drink has 150. You will easily save 250 calories here.
And Dinner, or Supper if you’re from the South…this can be a mine field. Don’t let yourself get too hungry before. Have healthy snacks like plain, fat free, Greek yogurt with Crystal Light in it for WOW! flavor or maybe PB2 and Splenda for a peanut butter pie flavor. If salty is your thing try a jar of pepperoncini or baby dills open on the counter while you prepare a quick David’s Way entree. There are numerous recipes right here on the blog and I promise you, they are quick and inexpensive. David prepares these after a long trip on the road in his semi. He is a frugal cook, only springing for expensive ingredients if they are important. His meals are The Bomb. A decadent dinner can easily rack up 1000 calories. David’s meals are about half that. Let’s be conservative though and say that you can save 250 here, especially if you avoid alcohol.
Late Night Snacking can undo an entire day of good work. Don’t fall into this trap. Make sure that you eat enough calories in your meals. There is a chart that tells you exactly how many calories you should eat to maintain or lose weight at https://www.webmd.com/diet/guide/calories-chart . If you have eaten enough, you may not get hungry or have the munchies at night. If you just have to have something, a bowl of oatmeal with a serving of your favorite nuts thrown in with Splenda and cinnamon makes a perfect decadent ending to a near perfect day and the oats will help you sleep…which is the other trick. Go to bed. Inadequate sleep makes us hungry and makes us have cravings and if we’re sleeping, we’re not eating. Get enough zzzzz’s this holiday season. It decreases your stress hormones and that decreases your waist measurement, really. Stress creates belly fat. Go to bed knowing that you have hacked this day to your benefit and get up tomorrow and do it again! You have saved at least 1000 calories today. Give yourself a hug. ;-*