After a month of diligence, dietary changes, and more exercise, I'm happy to say that I've actually dropped five pounds this month. That's the good news.
The bad news that the pounds are going to get harder to take off. If you'll pardon the aphorism, these first few pounds were the low hanging fruit, from here on out, we're going to have to reach a little higher.
Not to mention that this weekend, I've got a few old friends coming into town for this little football game you may have heard of, and there will no doubt be quite a few libations quaffed and unhealthy foods consumed (oh, chicken wings, I wish I could quit you...)
Let's assume you're going to be watching the big sports extravaganza this weekend, and don't want to load up on pretty much everything bad for you. What can you do?
- Eat before the party. If you load up a big lunch – a big healthy lunch, that is – then all those side dishes won't look so tempting.
- Have healthier options available. Carrots sticks, cauliflower, celery sticks; all are better options than twice-baked potato skins and sour-cream-and-onion dip. The veggie tray is your friend. Make it a good veggie tray, though, not a sad store-bought one. If you make it yourself, you can put in the vegetables that you like, not the limp celery and dried-out carrots you'd get from most megamart delis.
- Avoid the alcohol, if possible. If you're going to drink, I won't judge you if you go for the “light” beers. But there's a reason they don't put calorie counts on microbrews.
- It's okay to say no. Guacamole? Chili dip? This food that I don't know what it is but there's a stick of butter in there somewhere? Thank you, but no. It's funny, but in my younger years, peer pressure was a thing my friends were always trying to out-do each other for who could eat the most chicken wings. Nowadays, that same group of friends is comparing the benefits of Plavix vs. Lipitor. With age, perhaps, comes a modicum of wisdom.
- Moderation in all things. Have some guacamole, maybe a snack or two. Just don't over do. One chicken wing won't put you over the edge. A dozen, that might be a different story.
But let's say you go with the flow, you eat all the chips and salsa and drink all the beer, and come Monday, you step on the scale and see all that hard work from the past month has disappeared in one gluttonous afternoon.
Perhaps not coincidentally, this is about the same time that all those gym memberships stop being renewed and attendance at such organizations dwindles back to pre-New Year's levels. While my old statistics professor always told me that “causation does not equal correlation,” I find it hard to believe that the two are not interrelated.
Do you shrug your shoulders, surrender to the inevitable, and go back to the old habits? Or, do you get back on that dietary horse, go back to what was working, and chalk it up to one day of excess?
That's a decision I can't make for you. But if you've come this far and seen positive progress, it shouldn't be too hard to get back to what was working. Ultimately, as in all things, the decision is up to you.
By Dave Meddish, Live Superfoods