Christmas excesses and how to keep track of everything

Options
Christmas is coming very soon now, a time of year where there are lots of excesses typically on the food and drink fronts, I'm dreading how to keep track of every morsel I might be eating as there are so many sharing platters etc and glasses tend to get refilled before you notice... any tips? Do most of you stop tracking altogether and not worry, and get back on it after the holidays? Just curious. Merry Christmas everyone!
«1

Replies

  • cmriverside
    cmriverside Posts: 34,100 Member
    Options
    I've logged food every day since 2016. Before that, I logged food sporadically between 2007 and 2016 only when I was trying to lose a few pounds. I far prefer to log food daily. It keeps my head in the game.

    With that said, in the past seven years of course there have been days and weeks when I did a lot of guessing. I may have been off by a thousand or more on my guesses, but the one thing I know is that I didn't throw in the towel and gain a bunch of weight...like I kept doing for years. Logging is important for a lot of reasons.

    ...and if you aren't keeping an eye on extra drinks and extra desserts, it helps you to start paying closer attention. Truly.
  • AnnPT77
    AnnPT77 Posts: 32,824 Member
    Options
    I don't usually log days anymore where I'd be wildly guessing, but that's in year 7+ of maintaining. I try to be moderately sensible (but enjoy the food part of the celebration), and remember that it's holiDAYs not holiMONTHs. As long as it's rare, it's NBD.

    I did log holidays during weight loss and early maintenance, since I still wanted at least approximately sound data for decision making about calorie needs and nutrition. .

    There are a couple of possible things that might help:

    For one, I did try to remember what I'd eaten. My family serves holidays buffet-style, so we serve ourselves. I could pay attention as I plated my food to estimating portion sizes. I didn't log right then, but if I got a spare moment where it wouldn't be socially awkward, I might log or at least note what I'd eaten. (Example: In my crowd, it's not rude to play with one's phone while people are mostly watching football. ;) )

    For drinks, I usually had a drink budget in my head - 2 glasses of wine or whatever - and tried to stick with that. To slow myself down (even now), I make it a point to have water with the meal and maybe at other times, and thankfully that's normal in my family. That put a drink in my hand that was non-caloric, cut down on other drinks being pushed. ("I'll have another wine when I finish this glass of water" . . . by which time people forget.)

    For two - and only if it can be done subtly and politely - I would take a quick photo of my plate with my phone (no flash!). Make sure there's something standard-sized on the plate (like a fork). That makes it easy to remember and to estimate portion sizes.

    Honestly, I think our own attitude toward this plays a role in accountability, assuming you do decide you want to log the holiday. You say "there are so many sharing platters etc and glasses tend to get refilled before you notice". That sounds like there might be an implicit script in your head telling you that this is going to be impossible, so you might as well not even try.

    I'm not saying it's wrong to skip logging that day. It's fine to decide that's your plan.

    But if you do decide that you want to log, spend your energy now planning how you can best do that. (I know that's kinda what this thread is about.) Adopt the idea that it is possible, that it's a skill you can develop. It may not be perfect on the first attempt, but since it's a skill, you'll get better at it with practice, right? There's always going to be approximation and estimation in the picture, but you can get in the ballpark, I think.

    Happy holidays!

  • SafariGalNYC
    SafariGalNYC Posts: 1,013 Member
    Options
    I track everyday. I used to go off the rails on holidays and felt so sick after.. I finally started to hate the idea of people gorging themselves on holidays.. so I decided holidays I can feast on healthier options, moderate my portions and not go crazy, track and still feel good.


  • liwo81
    liwo81 Posts: 17 Member
    Options
    I am tracking everything and just estimating the best I can when necessary. I think it’s helping be more accountable to myself and probably am being more mindful of what I’m actually eating. All those little cheats really add up and it’s easy to just keep at it and throw in the towel. I’d encourage you to track
  • elisa123gal
    elisa123gal Posts: 4,306 Member
    Options
    I've decided to enjoy myself ..but not going crazy and no free for all. I don't like logging calories.. it doesn't work for me. It is what a person does consistenty that matters.. not what they do for two or three days. But, like i said.. i'm not going off the deep end.
    Might I suggest.. looking at yourself in the mirror sideways with just your underwear on?... that always keeps me on track. :)
  • Rockymountainliving
    Options
    Last year I didn't track for November and December and just "tried" to keep portions under control and gained 6 pounds (real pounds not water or undigested weight). It took me 3 months to relose it. This year I am tracking and being honest and have gained 3 pounds but likely some is water weight and undigested food as I am traveling. I do have to estimate and am eating more rice and sugar than normal (in Japan).
  • tomcustombuilder
    tomcustombuilder Posts: 1,842 Member
    Options
    Lol, just input 2,000 calories a day over maintenance for the next 2 weeks and don’t worry about it.
  • Corina1143
    Corina1143 Posts: 3,129 Member
    Options
    I always log. Some days it's not so much to keep track of calories as it is to stay in the habit. I brush my teeth, too.
  • neanderthin
    neanderthin Posts: 10,017 Member
    edited December 2023
    Options
    Interesting. :#
  • ddsb1111
    ddsb1111 Posts: 844 Member
    Options
    Lots of good ideas here. I always start the day off with weighing myself in the morning every day of the year. That number keeps the impact of my decisions in the forefront. It’s such a pain in the neck to re-lose weight.

    So true. Even if I don’t track I know what the scale said and it pretty much guides my decisions throughout the day. I’m new to maintenance so not sure if it’s a good long term strategy but it’s working really well so far.
  • SafariGalNYC
    SafariGalNYC Posts: 1,013 Member
    Options
    Lots of good ideas here. I always start the day off with weighing myself in the morning every day of the year. That number keeps the impact of my decisions in the forefront. It’s such a pain in the neck to re-lose weight.

    This 👆🏻
  • lynn_glenmont
    lynn_glenmont Posts: 10,020 Member
    Options
    I log, but most of my holidays are with family and a lot ilof the menu carries over from year to year, so I have a "saved meal" as a starting point from which I can edit amounts and add anything new. After 10+ years of logging, it's an engrained habit to notice and remember what I eat. Of course the amounts are just estimates (I don't bring a scale).
  • spiriteagle99
    spiriteagle99 Posts: 3,690 Member
    Options
    I log basics, as close as I can. But I don't worry about being exact or including every bite. For me, holiday excess is usually only a day or two, not frequent rounds of parties. I try to be mindful of what I eat, but I don't do full denial either. I may gain a pound or two, but then as soon as possible I go back to eating normally.
  • neanderthin
    neanderthin Posts: 10,017 Member
    Options
    Personally I don't give it any thought, it's a few days or a week of indulgence and over the years it didn't make any difference how much I indulged in the long run and just went back to my intuitive eating pattern which is to eat until I'm no longer hungry. I am low carb and Keto, just getting that out there. :)
  • no1racefan2
    no1racefan2 Posts: 84 Member
    Options
    I'm logging everything because I'm still in the early stages of trying to lose weight for the zillionth time and I've wanted to give up a couple times. I'm certain if I stop logging it'll be harder to restart.

    That being said, I've been well over my daily calories for the last couple of weeks and gained 3 lbs. back. I've been letting myself enjoy treats and as long as I'm logging and conscious of what I'm eating, I feel like I'm still on plan, so to speak.

    I'm giving myself until New Year's and then time to get those calories back in line.
  • rileysowner
    rileysowner Posts: 8,237 Member
    edited December 2023
    Options
    The issue is never a single day, or even a scattering of say five or so days throughout the month. It is going to say, the office Christmas party, eating too much there, then instead of getting back to your deficit the next day and sticking with it until the next individual day, you go off the rails for all those days as well. So far my plan to eat according to my calorie goals all days except that handful of days has resulted in me dropping 3 pounds this month. Of course the big test is going to be today, tomorrow and New Year's Eve. If I can stick to the plan, which I have so far, I will hopefully end the month weighing less than I did at the beginning. On the days I eat freely I don't count or log although I do focus on eating more meat at the start to fill myself up with something that keeps me full.