How to survive the holiday food fest

The holidays are upon us, with Halloween just past, and Thanksgiving and Christmas right around the corner.

I don’t know how it is in other parts of the world, but here in the United States, mid-November through New Year’s Day is prime eating season, with large family gatherings that include lots of food, including pies, cakes, cookies — everything you may be trying to avoid.

One way to deal with this time of year is to just say, “Screw it! I’m going to eat whatever is put in front of me, and then I’ll get back on the wagon in January!”

Okay, you can do that, but wow, putting on 10 to 15 (or more) pounds doing that is not out of the question, if you are also lowering your number of workouts, and that can be disastrous. Well, it would be for me, anyway.

Another way to handle the holidays is to eat your way through it, but increase your number of workouts. That is not a bad idea, but remember, an average-sized slice of chocolate cake will run you 500 calories. Ten Oreos have about that same number of calories. A couple cups of mashed potatoes have that many, too.

It doesn’t take long for those calories to add up, so I hope your extra workout is one helluva good one!

The way I choose to survive the holidays is to do nothing out of the ordinary. Just because it’s the holidays, doesn’t mean I have to go off the deep end. Really!

So, as usual, I won’t eat any sweets. I don’t want them, I don’t need them. My blood sugar rides the fine line between okay and trouble, so I don’t want to shoot it over the top. That’s a personal choice for my own health — yours may not be so strict.

I will overeat at a meal or two or three (or four or five). That’s normal for me, and it’s one of the reasons I can’t see my abs as well as I’d like to. But remember, I am a regular guy, not a fanatic.

Will aunt Gladys be upset by the fact that I won’t eat her pecan pie? She should know better than to try to feed me that stuff.

Will mom be pissed because I won’t eat a second helping of her sausage dressing? Sorry, mom, it’s great, but one serving is enough.

One of the reasons I was overweight for so long was because I sacrificed my own health to keep order in the family. I didn’t want to upset aunt Gladys or mom. It was not until I broke that control others had over my diet, sacrificed their feelings rather than my body, that I was able to get into shape. Once my family saw the results of my new way of eating, their hurt feelings were salved.

Am I oversimplifying? Sure. My life is pretty simple.

You may have more pressure, because you are around more family than I am. Eat everything but in smaller portions. Make the right choices for you.

Most importantly, develop a strategy that will work for you, before the holidays start, and then stick to it. Believe me, you will be happy you did, when you start next year without the extra fat.