This article is being drafted in mid-January. And, if things go according to plan, it will be published sometime in February, around Valentine’s Day.
Normally, when people think of “the holidays,” they are thinking about the routine-derailing, end-of-the-year extravaganza that starts after Halloween and ends with New Year’s Eve.
If a holiday shows up on a retail calendar, it will probably impact your routine and diet. It is best to use the lesser holidays as a way to mark time on the calendar, as inspiration to stay disciplined.
Valentine’s Day: If you are single think about how being in shape might help next Valentine’s Day. And, if you are committed, focus on having a long and healthy life with your beloved.
Super Bowl: Eating light early in the day and going heavy on protein (rather than carbohydrates) can mitigate the consequences of eating late in the day (when the game is on).
Easter: While watching Heston in “The Ten Commandments” or Brooks in “History of the World,” Easter is about one-third of the way through the year. Weigh in.
End of School: The end of the school year generally means a more open schedule, making it easier to make better decisions about food. (The end of school can mean food scarcity for some families. If you are able, please consider supporting a local food pantry.)
Fourth of July: We celebrate the founding of our country with a day that offers chances to make uniquely bad food choices. Eat lightly when possible, and favor protein over carbohydrates.
Labor Day/Back to School: Think of summer’s last BBQ and new routine as a way to test, and maybe improve, routines. Weigh in.
Halloween: The start of the routine-derailing holidays. Where did you start this year? How do you want to end this year?
If you are going to treat a holiday as a “cheat day,” try to cheat in ways that cannot become routine. For example, nostalgia flavored candy eggs are generally only available at Easter. It is easier to get back to a diet if the bad choice is not consistently available.
Happy (lesser) holidays.