Living the Slow Carb lifestyle and surviving the holidays, (sort of!)
Damn you Starbucks Snowman cookie! Damn you, you sweet, frosted temptress with your red or blue scarf… taunting me, teasing me. You know I cannot resist your delicious charms… Sigh. And so it goes… The battle of following the 4 Hour Body eating plan, or any diet plan for that matter during the holidays. Yet somehow, despite the indulgences of these past few weeks, (and there were several), as the dust settles and another holiday season is firmly in the rearview mirror, I am happy to report I have managed to maintain my pre-feast weight! Here’s how I did it.
1.) Admit you’re human and move on—First of all, let’s face it; We ALL have our food weaknesses. Apparently for me, this holiday season it was the Starbucks Snowman Cookie… Who knew?!! One bite and I was a goner. Now I could have drove myself crazy trying to say no and abstaining completely from this dietary time bomb, and chances are, I may have been successful… for a while. But sooner or later, my resolve would have cracked. I find it better to admit I am going to “cheat” during the holidays or a special occasion and rather than beat myself up for it, I turn my attention to counter measures for keeping it all in balance and that means;
2.) Eat more… Burn more!—Knowing I was going to indulge, during the holiday break I tried to up the caloric spend to help offset the added food intake. Fortunately for me, living here in Phoenix, AZ, I was able to continue biking, hiking and walking despite it being December and I took full advantage of it. Even during my vacation visit to rainy, cold Washington, I made sure to start every day with a brisk walk/hike in the morning and ALWAYS began each day with a slow carb breakfast. Again, for myself, I find it’s all about balancing the good with the not so good.
3.) Keep track, but don’t freak out!—Even during periods of diet ‘relaxation’ I try to make a point of always stepping on the scale once a week, at the same time of day, just to be sure I am not drifting too far of track. Make no mistake, during the past few weeks of holiday festivities, my weight did fluctuate; Up two pounds, down one, up one, down three. It bounced around more than the stock market! My plan going in to the holiday season was to not stray more than 2+ pounds in the gain column for two consecutive weeks, if I had I would have immediately dialed the diet back in.
4.) Cheat… But not too much!—Life should be about enjoyment. There is enough ‘hard stuff’ we have to deal with on a daily basis not to at least occasionally let go and indulge. I love my red wine, I crave the occasional sweet treat. The key to staying on track for me however is to not let go so far that I fall completely off the wagon. I know myself too well. I can miss one to two days of working out and I can get right back into the groove, but 3 or more days? Danger!! Same goes for the diet. In order to ‘have my cake and eat it too’, (literally), during periods of indulgence I religiously follow the slow carb plan for a minimum of two meals during the day. That way I feel I am counter-balancing the effects of the cheat meals and for me, this approach seems to work.
Following the above ‘rules’ has allowed me to partake in the sweetness of life without completely trashing my hard-won fitness in the process. However, in order to continue to make strides towards better health, the cheat period MUST have an end date. Frankly, I am more than happy to wave goodbye to the insidious Snowman Cookie and its 390 calories and 44 grams of carbs until next year. After 6+ months of following the Slow Carb plan, my body has learned to crave the increased energy and renewed confidence eating this way has given me and no cookie can compete with that! Till our next Slow Carb update— Good luck to all of you in your quest for better health!
A Life Designed
About the author: Along with writing for the blog A Life Designed, Randy Sloan is a designer specializing in print, web and social media and a longtime musician currently writing and recording a collection of original guitar instrumentals. He is dedicated to the pursuit of living a creative life and loves sharing this passion with the growing community and readership of this blog. You can follow A Life Designed on Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn.