November 1 is the day to start your pre holiday season crash diet. Mark your calendar. Get ready to employ some heavy-duty weight loss strategies so that you can enjoy free-for-all eating starting on Thanksgiving day and ending on New Year’s Day.
This is a radical departure from my usual weight management advice. I am the queen of balance and moderation. I advise all who want to lose weight and maintain their goal, to go easy. In other words, make a few little changes that tip the calories going in to the deficit side of those your body is burning. I endorse following a nutritious food plan that includes treats (but not too many.)
Why am I contradicting my own advice? I never endorse crash dieting because experience and research shows that extreme diet behaviors end in extreme overeating and rapid weight gain, generally gaining more weight than was lost. Yet, here I am suggesting an almost-month-long crash diet for the very purpose of overeating for the next month.
Well, just because some people have unwanted results following a crash diet, not all people have that experience. Some people find crash dieting the best way to start a weight loss effort that goes the distance. That hugely rewarding initial weight loss is just what is needed to carry some people through their challenges successfully.
If that’s you, then here is what you need to do to kick off your crash diet. Follow this crash diet as closely as is possible for you. If you can’t do it 100%, that’s okay. Don’t give up if you can’t be perfect; keep going doing the best you can do.
- Don’t eat any bread and rolls, tortillas, cereal, chips, crackers, pizza, rice, pasta and potatoes.
- No sweets as in cookies, cakes, cupcakes, ice cream, candy and granola bars or foods processed with added sugars and fats. You’ll have to read labels or easier, just stay away from all processed foods for the week.
- No dairy (milk, cheese, yogurt, butter) To ensure you get adequate calcium eat other calcium-rich foods such as dark, green, leafy vegetables (broccoli and kale), egg yolks and sardines or salmon with soft, edible bones or consider a calcium supplement.
- Drink only water
- Eat 2 servings of fresh fruit daily and you can eat all the raw and cooked vegetables you need to keep hunger at bay.
- Have 2 teaspoons of olive oil, or 2 tablespoons of flaxseed, or 1/4 avocado daily. Try mixing 2 tsp of olive oil with 2 tsp of balsamic vinegar, a little salt and pepper, and any favorite herbs for an easy salad dressing.
- Eat three 3-oz servings of lean meat – can be red meat with all visible fat trimmed off, poultry without skin, fish or eggs. (this isn’t for vegetarians)
- Eat 2 1/2 cup servings of whole grains (oatmeal, quinoa, barley, or the like)
- Walk at least 60 minutes every day (can be broken into smaller increments of time) at a brisk pace (about 4 mph) in addition to your normal daily activity.
When Thanksgiving comes you can eat as much as you want without worrying and you may find that as much as you want, is less than you expected. You’re feeling so good from dropping weight as a result of the crash diet that you want to indulge with flexible restraint and you want to continue to do that until the holidays are behind you.