Home / Oh the Buffet Inside is Frightful: Avoiding Holiday Diet Horrors

Oh the Buffet Inside is Frightful: Avoiding Holiday Diet Horrors

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Cheese platters and egg nog and pies, oh my!

Yep, ‘tis the season. For those of us working to become or stay fit and healthy, this is the scariest time of the year. There seems to be an endless supply of peppermint bark and home-baked cookies filling colorful holiday platters wherever you turn. You narrowly avoid the pastry-wrapped weenies on one table, only to bump into your hostess who tells you she will take it as a personal affront if you don’t consume a glass of her calorie-laden holiday punch. It seems as if the whole world is conspiring against the quest for clean eating and weight loss during the holidays.

I’m going to commit to you right here and now, dear readers: I am planning on bucking the gluttonous culture of the holidays and actually losing a few pounds over the holidays.

There, I did it. Committed in a direct and public fashion. Now I have to actually do it, right? But seriously, since I just broke my six-week plateau (seems all you really have to do is be patient…not a strong point of mine, I will admit) I am determined to stay on task and get rid of the last 15 pounds by my 50th birthday in February. I will not be derailed by a profusion of baked goods (no matter how much I LOVE them!). You hear me, pecan pie? I’m talking to you!

Now, I can’t really give you advice on how to stay fit and fabulous this holiday season – hell, if I pull this off it will be a first for me – but I can share what I plan to do. This month’s Shape magazine had a great article on techniques for just this issue. My favorite was “arrive late to the party.” A year ago I would have thought this extreme. I should be able to control myself and show up on time, no? Well, my track record blows that theory right out of the water. I like the idea of arriving after much of the goodies have been consumed and what is left looks much less appetizing. We have to do what we have to do to stay healthy and not overindulge. Nothing makes New Years more of a drag than 10 extra pounds.

My other plan of attack is to eat some lean protein before heading out to a party. You see, over the last few months I’ve made a fascinating discovery. Most times when I’m craving something bad for me – like those red velvet donuts that are at this moment sitting on the staff break table – it is usually because I’m actually hungry.  Before leaving for my first holiday party I shoved a baggie with a grilled chicken breast in my purse. When I felt the pull of the Chex Mix I gnawed on my chicken breast and the craving was vanquished. (No, I don’t advise you travel around with meat in your bag, but it was only in there for an hour, I swear!) I’m thinking I should invent an evening clutch that is actually insulated and can hold clean eating options in just this sort of situation.

The other thing I think will help is that I’m going to decide ahead of time what indulgence I will partake in. For instance, if I really want a hibiscus margarita, I will avoid the plethora of tempting baked goods. My consolation is that I am treating myself to something, just not everything (as would be my preference). And there usually has to be something healthy available, right?

Now, if you can pull off the “I can have all the goodies, I just eat very small amounts” method, then God bless you. Go girl! I wish I could say I’m one of those, but when I start digging into the chips and onion dip, it’s all over. Don’t put your hand in front of my face or I might take off a digit in my quest for consuming much creamy, oniony goodness. Best avoid it altogether. Perhaps I should carry around a bowl of whole walnuts and almonds. They are healthy and the nut cracking will occupy my hands and keep them from mauling the baked brie.

So join me! Step away from the rugelach, grab the nutcracker, leave the cookies and milk for Santa, and have yourself a happy and healthy holiday!

My weight ticker: 50 pounds down, 15 to go. 


What credentials do I have to be blogging about health and weight loss? Nada! Bupkis! I don’t know shit! But I find that I’m inspired by people’s stories and I’m hoping that, perhaps, I can inspire others with mine. All I can do is share my experiences, not give any answers. Hell, I’m barely in control of my own life and body; I’m certainly not going to tell you what you should do with yours. So, if you’re trying to lose weight and get healthy, for God’s sake, see your doctor! Make her your best friend! I’m sure she will not only be overjoyed at your desire to get healthy, but will help you do it in the safest way for you and your body. 

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About Ann Hagman Cardinal