It is the Holiday Season and who among us can resist the pies, stuffing and beverages that we know will add weight? Not me! In fact, I plan to have a great time. Does this sound like a recipe for weight gain? My secret sauce for how I lost 30 pounds and kept it off includes cheating during the Holidays. I will have a great time with family and friends, enjoying all the tastes of the Holidays, and still lose weight. This article explains how I do it.
Reduced Stress = Reduced Weight
First, let’s start with emerging research on how stress causes weight gain. Dieting during the Holidays creates stress. Stress causes weight gain. The very idea of dieting during the Holidays is fattening!
So do we just give up and indulge? That is where the emotion of cheating comes in. Cheating is a path for relaxing about what you eat and drink during the Holidays while still maintaining a healthy focus.
How to cheat and still lose weight
Any diet that says I have to give up the joys of life is a diet I will fail. How to cheat and still lose weight is a key breakthrough best practices in my new book, The Boomer Generation Diet.
The key to successful cheating is to have a criteria for how you select food. The key is to have a list of foods that:
- You like to eat
- That are good for you
- That you will eat in such volume so you never go hungry.
If you are full, enjoying the food you eat and eating mostly healthy food then you can cheat. Cheating is manageable. It is fun. It reduces stress. It helps to emotionally sustain what you are doing to achieve weight loss.
Exercise empowers cheating
Exercise will let you cheat more. I use exercise to burn enough calories to allow me to cheat, within reason, and still lose weight.
But that sounds like a trade off between the pain/stress of exercising and the joy of cheating. A second major breakthrough best practice in my book is how we can make exercise fun, rather than a painful or stressful experience.
Here is what I hear most often on why we do not exercise or exercise enough to achieve sustained weight loss:
- Don’t have time
- Exercising is too much like work…it is stressful
- I hate looking out of place with all the jocks.
I can summarize all these reasons in one word…stress! Who needs more stress? So why exercise if it takes up more of our limited time, when it is uncomfortable at best, and potentially painful, and why feel like the fifth wheel at the gym? The key to turning this around is to figure out how to make exercise as much fun as cheating!
Rediscover how to play
As kids our childhood neighborhoods were defined by parents yelling at us to stop playing and come to dinner. It is time for all of us to rediscover the fun of playing. A key first step for me was taking a daily walk with my little dog Cooper. (Did you know, like us, that HALF of our dogs are overweight?)
Cooper has a blast walking, sniffing and chasing any squirrel or lizard dumb enough to cross our paths. I have fun participating in Cooper’s joy of being outdoors. This doesn’t feel like exercise because it is so much fun. But it is really good exercise because we walk about 30 minutes. I burn calories, breath some fresh air and relax.
An absolute best practice for achieving sustained weight loss is to stop thinking like an adult. Rediscover being a kid again. Go outside your daily life and explore how to play. Figuring out how to have fun walking, riding a bike, doing jazzercise or swimming is the fast track to feeling better and achieving sustained weight loss.
Go be a kid again. Have fun. Lose weight. And then cheat. You are on the path of living more+.
About the author
Bill Roth is the author of The Boomer Generation Diet, now on sale at Amazon! Here’s what Jen Boynton, Editor in Chief of Triple Pundit says about the book: ”Written in Bill Roth’s lovable, relatable tone. The Boomer Generation Diet is a must-read for any Boomer who is looking to jumpstart their health and have fun at the same time. I hope my parents read it!” Follow Bill on Twitter and Facebook.