My husband and I attended the USMC Birthday Ball this past weekend. The USMC Ball is always a special event. Women spend weeks preparing, getting a special dress, shoes, jewelry, their hair done, make-up and the men spend extra care on preparing their uniforms. Most of my clients who are Marine Corps spouses name the USMC Ball as an event they're training to lose weight for and look fit in their ball gown.
At the ball, with everyone looking their best, you hear women talk about all the preparations they did to get ready. Some fasted all day to avoid bloating or to lose the last few pounds. Some did 100 sit-ups and 100 push-ups to be toned where their dress showed off their best assests. Some were on liquid diets. Some had cut out all types of foods from their diets. Some were exercising for hours on end. Everyone seemed to have a technique for being "Ball" ready.
Then as cocktails flowed, the bread basket was passed around, the main course served and the Marine Corps birthday cake cut, you'd see these same women, who had just worked so hard to be at their best, throw it all out the window. Now, I'm just like all of you. An over-worked, over-scheduled mom trying to live my best, healthiest life and I too love, LOVE, a good party! I love looking and feeling my best. So rather than waste calories and time on looking good for one night, or catered food that has sat under warming light for far to long and a generic sheet cake, I'd rather eat and workout for a lifetime of looking and feeling good.
So as the holidays roll around and your special events calendar gets over-scheduled begin with a plan in mind.
Fad diets, fasting and eliminating food groups, may help you to look good for one event, but at what cost. Most people over eat after fasting. I don't know of a single person who has tried a "fad" diet, lost the weight and kept it off for a lifetime. Most of the time, the results are short lived. And you end up feeling worse about yourself once you gain the weight back. And eliminating food groups, that never works. Not only do you end up depriving yourself of neccesary nutritients for brain, cell and bone health, but you also end up desiring the same foods your trying to eliminate!
Instead, evaluate your diet. Keep a food log. A well-published and accepted trial of people who have lost more than 20% of their body weight and kept it off for over 5 years, indicates that a food log was one of three things that helps them to lose the weight and keep it off. You're able to see where problem areas arise. Are you eatting too much sugar? Do you eat too much at the end of the night? Do you skip meals? Are you eatting too few veggies? Plus, writing it down keeps you accountable.
Also, go with a plan in mind for those events. Don't waste your calories on something that doesn't taste fabulous! At events like those, no one cares if you leave something on your plate or if you choose not to eat the sheet cake. Eat well during the day, so you're not starving when you get there. And drink water or a low calorie beverage, cranberry juice with tonic or club soda and a twist of lime is a great option, between glasses of alcohol or wine. It tastes great and still looks like a festive drink!
Why would you punish your body with extra exercise or extra reps for a short term gain? Exercising should make you feel good, increasing your oxygen load, making you stronger. The addage of more is better, doesn't always hold up when it comes to exercise. Sometimes it just makes you more sore, compromises your form and puts you at additional risk of injury. If you're looking for an increase in calorie burn, up your weight or increase your intensity! You can burn additional calories in a shorter amount of time and use that extra time for some much needed pampering, relaxing or girl time!
The key is to enjoy your special events that are coming up. Eat and exercise for long term change. Enjoy the life you're living. A positive attitude, a smile, and a woman who exudes confidence in who she is always looks good no matter what her size or what she's wearing!