Monday, December 12, 2005

Sticking With Low-Carb Through Christmas

Can your low-carb diet survive THIS?! You bet it can!

This is only my second Christmas holiday season since I started livin' la vida low-carb, but I can honestly say I have not been tempted even one time to indulge in the guilty pleasures that this time of year so readily offers. In my mind, it's not worth even a nibble of something that I know is something I should not have because that's how you rationalize your way back to becoming obese again. Been there, done that, and yes I've written the book, too! LOL!

People are always asking me, "how do you stick with your low-carb program during the holidays?"

To me, it's not a matter of how. Instead, it's a matter of what. What matters the most to me? Is it showering my mouth with a wide array of sugary items that will lead me back to fatland again? Or is it the satisfaction in knowing I have learned how to say no to those things to preserve the healthy lifestyle I have committed myself to forever? Obviously, it's the latter that drives me and keeps me focused at Christmastime.

While you may not be at that point yourself yet, let me offer seven helpful tips to get you through this Christmas holiday season with your low-carb plan still intact:

1. Make up your mind RIGHT NOW that you will not allow ANYTHING to derail your low-carb program. No candy cane, no gingerbread man, no chocolate chess or pumpkin pie, no sweet potato casserole, no NOTHING! They will not prevent you from losing or maintaining your weight during this crucial time of the year when everyone seems to pack on the pounds. How about letting everyone else gain weight this year while you are LOSING?! That sounds like a plan man!

2. Be prepared with some low-carb snacks when you go to a Christmas party. Don't automatically assume there will be SOMETHING at the office party or when you friends from church get together to celebrate the season. Bring some low-carb chocolates, nuts, Dreamfield's pasta, cheese slices, and more with you to the party so you will have at least ONE thing you can eat. The last thing you want to do is allow yourself to get ravenously hungry as you are surrounded by a sea of carbs! Low-carb friends don't let other low-carb friends eat excessive carbohydrates! Be prepared!

3. Go for the protein at your party, but be careful of sauces and breading that contain extra unnecessary carbs. I was at a Sunday School party on Friday night and the hostess of the party made sausage and ham biscuits. Of course, I didn't eat the biscuits, but I had several slices of ham and sausage. There were also some of the party smoked sausages in BBQ sauce that I would warn you about consuming too many of since the sauce has sugar in it. Additionally, there was some chicken that had breading on it that I simply skipped over because it would have been too much trouble to scrape it off. '

4. Veggie up when you can because salads are usually an excellent low-carb option. Watch out for the carrots and tomatoes since they tend to have a few more carbs than you need, but dipping a stalk of celery or cauliflower in some fresh Ranch dressing is awesome and very low-carb. Who said you can't eat vegetables on a low-carb diet?! HA!

5. Stay away from sugary sodas, punch, and alcoholic beverages if at all possible. Instead, drink water, diet soda, or even unsweetened tea with Splenda to enjoy a much healthier alternative drink. The wasted carbs that are consumed in beverages can singlehandedly cause your weight to go up rather than down through the holidays. Be cautious and don't let this happen!

6. Don't slack off on the exercise this time of year. If you have a regular workout routine, then don't rationalize that you are too busy to keep it going during the Christmas season. Keep it up and savor the opportunity to reliieve your body of the extra stress that may be on you during these sometimes tense weeks. I have actually looked forward to my workouts more lately for that very reason and my body has benefitted as a result.

7. Remember the reason for the season. Our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ was born of a virgin in a manager some 2,000 years ago in a little town called Bethlehem. He is the ONLY reason we celebrate this time of year and should be the real focus of every event and gathering throughout the month of December. Pray that He will help you resist the temptations that come your way and don't be surprised when He so graciously answers that prayer for you just as he did for me.

Sticking with low-carb through Christmas is not an impossibility when you are serious enough with your low-carb lifestyle to remain committed to the cause for the sake of a healthy weight and body. If you mess up, then don't panic. Just get right back on the plan as if nothing has changed.

YOU CAN DO IT!!! Make this the best Christmas holiday season ever by livin' la vida low-carb and watching the scale go anywhere but UP! For more encouragement to get you through this Christmas season, e-mail me anytime!

God bless you and Merry Christmas to you and yours!


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