Sugar Matters
November 20, 2009

Holiday strategy number 1: DEFENSE!

You have two parties to go to this weekend? Hmm, sounds great. What’s that? They will have barbecue AND a ham AND stew chicken? Mercy. And a table full of dessert? Mercy again.

The holiday season does not have to be one big blur of plate after plate filled with food. You really do not have to let your sugars run wild for a month or so. I agree it is quite difficult.{{more}} Christmas isn’t exactly about everyone gathering around a big bowl of salad. Culturally, we fully expect to wine and dine during the holiday season, and to do it repeatedly from house to house.

There are a few tricks that you can use to help cut back on the craziness. Before I get to them, let me put out a petition to hosts and hostesses everywhere: please do not try any guilt tactics on people coming to your house if they do not eat a bunch of food. You know what I am talking about:

“Oh, you didn’t like the pork, you didn’t eat much.”

“Boy, the eggnog must be bad this year, you barely drank two cups of it.”

“I thought you like black cake, why you only had one piece?”

Stop the madness right now and forget about making people feel guilty. It is not a reflection of your food, and even if it is, you should stop forcing people to eat.

Back to my topic here-tricks to use in order to avoid overeating/eating the wrong things when you go out visiting/partying:

1) Eat something (preferably healthy) before you leave the house. I do this all the time in order to stop myself from pigging out when I get to a dinner party. You will still have room for a small meal, but not attack the table because you are STARVING.

2) Start at the healthier side of the table. Often salads, greens and fruits are clustered at one end of the table, the meat and rice in the middle, and dessert at the other end. DO NOT head for the black cake first. Start at the vegetable side of the table and fill your plate with that first.

3) Make it difficult to go back for second servings. Try to sit as far from the meal table as possible. You will be less likely to go back for more food.

4) Enlist a buddy/partner-in-crime. Try to attend or sit with someone who is also trying not to backslide off a promise to stick with a diet plan. Sitting next to your friend who encourages you to eat everything he/she eats is a BIG mistake. This is not the time to test your willpower.

5) Get numbers before you leave the house. Check your blood sugar. Weigh yourself. Measure your waistline. Yes, do it. It will remind you how important all of this is, how serious watching your food intake will be, and how unfortunate if you return home after a night of over-indulgence.

I am not trying to spoil your party but you can enjoy celebrations while also being good to your health. That ultimately is what counts.

Until next week, stay safe and healthy, Vincies!

Anita Ramsetty, MD
Medical Director Endocrine Care Group
Tel: 843-798-4227