Saturday, December 10, 2011

Does Santa diet during the holidays?

by Lorna Barrett / Lorraine Bartlett / L.L. Bartlett

Whoever heard of dieting during the holiday season?  Well, that's what my new doctor wants me to do. Mind you, I've already lost 20 pounds in 2011, but I hit the wall and plateaued in June. She wants me to lose another 20 pounds.

I lost those 20 pounds eating a LOT of ice burg lettuce lunches. After five months of those monotonous meals, I had to eat something else before I went completely bonkers. So ... I went back to REAL food.  I had a wonderful summer of tuna, chicken salad, or ham sandwiches, and while I went up and down three pounds (that olive oil mayo is almost half the calories of regular mayonnaise and it tastes delish), it was never any more than that. Right now I'm actually at T minus 21 pounds ... and why?  Because I started eating salads once again.  I figure I can probably eat them for another four or five months before I get absolutely sick of them again.  (Tossing in a hard boiled egg at least gives me some protein without a lot of extra calories or fat.  Yum-yum!  I love hard boiled eggs.)

But let's get back to this holiday time.  As I mentioned a few weeks ago, this is the time of year when you get food you don't get any other time of year.   I have successfully resisted all the stuff in the stores.  No candy.  No cut-out cookies, no cake.  No eggnog.  (This must be the first year since I was about four that I haven't had ANY eggnog!)

But I've got a hankering for three things, and two of them have chocolate in/on them.  Chocolate covered pretzel rods with jimmies.  Homemade toffee with chocolate and chopped walnuts.  Homemade pumpkin bread.  (Which I thought about making at Thanksgiving, but never got around to doing.)

All week I have been resisting the urge to bake or melt chocolate for something. (It helps if you're missing the vital ingredient for each recipe.) But that urge is growing stronger every day. 

I have to go to back to the doctor next week and she's expecting to see a weight loss and I intend to deliver.  But then what?  How long can you cheat on your diet and how bad will the consequences be?  Can you cheat for a few days and then go back to being good?  Should I only cheat on Christmas Eve and Christmas day?  And what about all the leftovers? 

I think the answer might involve the chest freezer out in my garage. Make the stuff, put it in single-serving containers ... and then dole it out slowly (like a once a week treat) over the course of the next 10-11 months.  (Will chocolate covered toffee last that long?)

What would you do in my shoes?