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Old 11-10-2010, 03:11 PM   #1  
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Hello maintainers,

What's your plan for Thanksgiving (or whatever holiday you have coming up next)? This is my first post-weight loss holiday and I'm debating between making a rigid plan as I did last year or just enjoying the company and trying not to focus TOO much on the food (but enjoying a few of my favorites). I'm leaning towards the latter. I'd like to work out in the morning, keep calories low leading into dinner-time, have a light snack before family arrives so I'm not ravenous, and then just have a little of everything (no seconds).

Wise or unwise? How do you manage the holidays?
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Old 11-11-2010, 01:06 PM   #2  
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This is not a complete answer, but I am following my first holiday strategy this weekend. I love baking sweet goods, and I volunteered to bring 4 items to the church bake sale. I get to do my baking, but I don't have to worry about not eating what I make. I'm making things that I can hold back one or two of - like a recipe that makes 16 bars and I'll enjoy one and put the remaining 15 on a plate to sell. All of the recipes I picked work that way are ones that I love enjoying at some point during the holiday season.
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Old 11-11-2010, 01:52 PM   #3  
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We'll be going to family events this year, so I'll use the easy strategy I learned from WW. Put the small plate (bread plate, generally, or a bowl, depending on the table setting) on top of the dinner plate, and stuff it FULL with salad or colorful veggies. On the leftover rim of the dinner plate, there's room for small servings of other stuff. If you decide to make the rule that those servings can't touch each other, it's pretty hard to overeat, and it looks like you're being a glutton like everybody else due to the heap of salad. My family can be a bunch of food pushers, but this has successfully kept me under the radar for multiple holidays.
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Old 11-11-2010, 05:44 PM   #4  
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Becky - that is a fabulous technique.

I tend to eat a large amount of veg, small amounts of turkey or ham, no bread and small portions of several homemade desserts. I have decided that dessert is more important to me than somewhat dry turkey. And I bring home no leftovers.
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Old 11-11-2010, 06:09 PM   #5  
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It is very difficult for me to abstain from "treat" foods when I visit my parents. They keep tons of them around, especially for the holidays. There is a reason I do NOT keep things I consider treats in my own house! I try to employ a bunch of different strategies. I figure out what exercise options will be available to me and figure out how I can stay active. I try to keep breakfast and lunch on the healthy side, since dinner, desserts, and snacks are really the "big ticket" temptation items. With the unhealthy stuff I try for portion control, choose the things I really like, listen to my body, and try my best to hold onto my willpower with everything I've got (with varying degrees of success each year). I also offer to go to the grocery store, and cook meals, so I can buy and cook healthier things. Then I can at least try to fill up on healthier options, this helps portion control the less healthy foods.

It's somewhat easier for me to abstain totally at holiday parties etc. because I'm still in my own house. When I'm staying with my family, I have to change strategies.

And what is most important is that I always stop at my favorite grocery store on my way home from the airport and stock up on healthy, OP foods, and return to my own gym immediately.
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Old 11-11-2010, 11:31 PM   #6  
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Basically, it will look exactly like my own version of an old-fashioned protein-centric dinner. I'll have steamed broccoli, steamed green beans, some roasted butternut squash (which I'll bring) or half a sweet potato, and some of the second joint of the turkey, because I like the dark meat. No dessert. Well, actually, the dessert is about two tablespoons of my mother's homemade cranberry sauce with orange zest in it, as she'll have made a very small portion of with Splenda, earmarked for me.

Problems come when neighbors send over sweet potato pie or pumpkin pie, which I will try not to look at or think about.

Most of the day I'm driving & I will have dinner as soon as I arrive. Then that's it.

Thanksgiving is easy for me.

The real problem is the five weeks after Thanksgiving, and my having to show up at peoples' holiday parties, because I do like the people, even if their food makes my life difficult. Also, there's all the stuff continually brought into the office as women compete to demonstrate their baking prowess & celebrate family & ethnic traditions.

Last edited by saef; 11-11-2010 at 11:33 PM.
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Old 11-12-2010, 08:40 AM   #7  
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I am going to have to rely on portion control. We will be at my in-laws, where there has never been a steamed vegetable that wasn't draped in sauce. And because my in-laws are all thin "without trying" (i.e., they are moderately active and eat healthfully and moderately, and do not have to think about their weight), they are not receptive to people like me who have to be vigilant about intake. Also, they go all-out for holidays. So while they eat moderately 360 days a year, on holidays it is crazy. I think one year we had 10 different sides. For Thanksgiving, it would not be unusual to have 3 or 4 desserts.

I am running a Turkey Trot in the morning. It's a 5K, and the start/finish is 1.8 miles from my in-laws house (oh yes, I mapped it), so I'm going to jog there and back. I am praying for decent weather. If it's raining, and I can't get out and exercise, I might go crazy.

I will bring some food for breakfast and snacks (they don't snack), which will raise eyebrows for sure (my FIL in particular was a pain about my eating while we were on vacation this past summer), but if I'm going to run 6+ miles in the morning, I do not want to rely on what they have around (cereal). I'll also bring yogurt, fruit, and maybe some cheese.

I keep telling myself I don't care what they think, but once I am there, well, I do. ~sigh~ I thought my own family was challenging enough. In-laws are a whole 'nother ball of wax.
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Old 11-15-2010, 01:21 PM   #8  
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It's hard for me to abstain at holiday dinners, so I usually plan to indulge and just up my exercise and drop my calories for the surrounding days.

That said, my plan for this year's Thanksgiving is to only eat the foods I really want. In the past I've gone for the "small portion of everything" but I feel like I'm wasting space on stuff I don't care about like mashed potatoes and stuffing, or eating stuff just for the sake of having tried a little of everything. This year will be a bit different because someone else is hosting so I'm not sure what food there will be, but assuming it's the standard holiday menu my plan is for a small portion of turkey with gravy, little bit of cranberry sauce, big portion of sweet potatoes (my favorite), some veggies, and small pieces of each of the desserts that I like (like my grasshopper pie) while avoiding the ones I don't care for (like pecan pie, I don't like nuts).
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Old 11-16-2010, 10:56 AM   #9  
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You know Marie Barone on "Everybody Loves Raymond"? Well, there's a lot of Marie in my Mother-in-Law. I love her to bits, but when it comes to feeding the family, I have been putty in her hands for years. Her pride and joy is in seeing everyone load up on all the many, many specialties she makes. The going for 2nds and 3rds. The platters keep getting passed and refilled.
So, now that I am slender-looking, I intend to keep it that way. I don't plan any announcements of what I will or will not eat, but I have a subtle strategy to keep myself under the radar.
No nuts, crackers, cheese or any other pre-dinner fare other than fruit or vegetables, if she has them. One glass of wine that I will keep full until dinner. Then, I will skip a few of her specialties, but have the plate full-looking anyway. This is easy to do because there is way more food than can fit on the plate. One homemade roll when the basket is passed, no butter. One piece of pumpkin pie - no pecan pie- she always makes both, and everyone has a piece of each. And of that pumpkin pie, I will leave the outer crust. Anyway, these are small differences, but I know if that is all I eat on Thanksgiving, I will not only not gain weight, but may even show a loss for the week. I WILL remain under 150# this Holiday Season! - 146 this morning.
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Old 11-16-2010, 07:29 PM   #10  
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My strategy for challenging food situations is to plan out the time on my pda, which I jsut got finished doing. I have used this method many times the past year, so Thanksgiving isn't really any different. I have planned out my meals for most of next week, we leave Tuesday get back Sunday. Knowing what to plan for with meals, calms the vacation down substantially. I know the restaurants family likes to go to and acceptable choices for me. I know what foods to bring with me, what to make for the rest of the family, what to buy on arrival. I also catch any glitches now instead of on the fly. I expect to see a 2-3 pound bounce up, I am 2-3 # lower than I need to be. So I am in great shape for the holidays.

The good habits developed over the past year, my travelling strategies, are paying off for me big time now. I am so glad I worked through the discomfort on the unknown. 3FC was a big help in letting me ponder what to do. The tip at Cracker Barrel with low carb, cheese covered chicken tenders have been used many, many times.
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