Ridiculous Holiday Diet Tips

You Forgot Your BullshitThe “holiday season” means being bombarded with ridiculous diet advice (“The Holidays are Coming” being one third of the Dieting Axis of Evil along with “New Years Resolutions” and “Bikini Season is Coming”.)  Since you’re likely to have to deal with this whether you celebrate the holidays or not, in another DancesWithFat annual tradition I’ve compiled a list of so-called holiday diet tips from actual serious online articles, with thoughts on why we might be better off skipping these tips:

10 Diet Tips You’ve Never Heard Before!

You’ve totally heard these tips before. They still don’t work.

Start Our Program Now and Get a Head Start on Your New Years Resolution

If you start earlier, you can fail at weight loss sooner while giving the diet industry (who are fully aware of the massive failure rate of their product) a boost on their fourth quarter earnings.  Or, you know, not.

Eat a Big Bowl of Fiber Cereal and Drink Lots of Water Before A Party to Avoid Snacking.

Spend the party in the bathroom with your friends awkwardly knocking and asking if you’re ok while you miss out on delicious snacks.

Buy Your Party Dress a Month Early and a Size Too Small for Inspiration to Lose that Last 10 Pounds

Frantically search through your closet on party day for something, anything, that fits and is party appropriate, end up going to the party uncomfortable in a dress that’s too small.

Save Your Calories For the Party by Eating Very Little During the Day

Show up at the party absolutely ravenous, bribe a cater waiter to get your hands on an entire tray of shrimp puffs, scarf them in the bathroom.

Make low-calorie egg nog with skim milk, egg substitutes, and artificial sweeteners.

Oh…I just…I can’t even…Just…  Ok, by the underpants rule you can totally make this beverage if you want and I will support you in drinking it, as long as you support me in not drinking it.  Ever.

Only Eat Desserts that Are Truly a Sensual Experience for You

This author has a different relationship with food than I do…  I’m looking for desserts that taste good, not desserts that turn me on.

Don’t Taste The Food While You Cook – Those Calories Add Up

Serve your guests delicious-looking appetizers that taste like a salt lick, or like nothing at all, who knows?  If only there was a way to tell how the food tastes before we give it to other people…  The person who wrote this article obviously never watched Hell’s Kitchen or Chopped.

Choose Foods that Won’t Make You Feel Guilty the Next Day

Here’s the super secret trick to guilt-free eating:  Eat. Don’t feel guilty about it. Done.

Bring Fruits and Veggies to Parties and Work and Remind People About Their Weight Goals, They’ll Thank You!

They will not thank you.  They may, in fact, throat punch you. There’s nothing wrong with bringing fruits and veggies to the party, there may well be something wrong with being what we Southerners call a “superior sumbitch,” you may be able to avoid that by skipping the second part of this advice.  Instead consider “Bring fruits and veggies to parties and work and then shut up about it – find something more interesting to talk about than weight goals.”

Enjoy Fat Free Mock Versions of Your Favorite Holiday Foods, You’ll Never Miss the Full Fat Variety

I doubt that very much, and I do not think that the words “mock” and “food” should be put together, but of course that’s just me.

Divide Foods into Naughty and Nice

Use the holidays to ease yourself into a disordered relationship with food.

Don’t Read Articles About Holiday Diet Tips

You caught me, this one didn’t come from an article, it’s my advice – take it or leave it.

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32 thoughts on “Ridiculous Holiday Diet Tips

  1. As always, grateful I found you. I love the hilarity (and total seriousness) that makes me just stop and see things in a clear light. Happy Holidays! or Seasons Eating’s 😉 Thank you

  2. Enjoy Fat Free Mock Versions of Your Favorite Holiday Foods, You’ll Never Miss the Full Fat Variety Remembering the Weight Watchers ‘Danish’ – a piece of low calorie bread, topped with No Fat Cottage cheese, and cinnamon and put under the broiler. Oh, Yeah! That tasted as much like the real thing as almost any ‘Mock’ food does. Pooh. Just POOH.

    1. Oh man, those Weight Watchers food substitutes… They taste like sadness and regret. They make you miss the real thing even more.

    2. You know, I actually do like cottage cheese on raisin toast with cinnamon. It’s a nice breakfast with protein that doesn’t take a ton of thought (I also like cottage cheese, though not the nonfat). But it is not a danish, it is not a substitute for a danish, and if I want a danish, my brain knows that cottage cheese on toast is not even close to one.

      1. I feel the same way about egg-white omelettes and other recipes where egg white is substituted for the whole glorious egg. It’s like watching a movie missing the final reel.

        1. I like egg whites all fluffed up. Yolks are yummy, but if you’re going for froth, they need to be separated out. Like in meringue cookies or pie.

          There’s a real reason to use only egg whites. But making food “good” isn’t it.

          We have to have 2 types of cottage cheese in our house: The “lite” kind, and the kind I’ll eat. I do enjoy cottage cheese, when it’s the real stuff.

          Has anyone else here had a devil of a time trying to find regular yogurt? I mean, yogurt that doesn’t have “fat free” or “non-fat” or even “low-fat” plastered all over the label? Just plain old fashioned yogurt? I miss that stuff.

          1. I’m not sure what the m.f. % would be for regular yoghurt, but I think 6%. I know the greek yoghurt I was using had 10%, and other greek “style” yoghurts have more than 10% (especially if they are made with whole milk and cream). Not sure if the label will say “ordinary yoghurt” though.

  3. my comment is okay! i swear it! you dont have to worry about it! do not worry! i may sound loopy, but it’s from dental work. nothing scary [for anyone who hasnt had a an atomic ton of dental work within the last three days], and nothing mean AT ALL!

    1. ilovetrash: I’ve been there, and probably commented that. That day I could not find my mouth was particularly memorable on the loopiness. I know I’ve had some loopy-on-pain-meds posts caught in moderation, and looking back, I am SO GLAD! I love the moderation of this website and comments section. Safe places are rare and valuable.

      Once or twice, I had thought to copy/paste my comments, because of internet issues, so I had the original comment in my word processing program, and looking back on it, after the meds wore off, I saw exactly why it was moderated. Then, I could say, “Ah! No wonder that was modded out. OK, let me re-write this comment to say what I really meant, and not what it looks like I meant.”

      I believe your good intentions, and look forward to reading your new, improved comment, when you’re off the meds. Here’s hoping you feel better, soon, and have no complications.

  4. I can’t help reading “enjoy fat-free mock versions” in the imperative. We’re not expected just to eat them, but to ENJOY them OR ELSE.

    I don’t need that kind of stress in my life, thanks. :p

    1. For many of these people, it IS an imperative.

      They say, “Nothing tastes as good as skinny feels,” and then order you to enjoy the fake foods that are supposed to help you achieve skinny. Because, if you’re not enjoying starving yourself skinny, how can skinny feel better than eating something real?

      So, yeah, they DO mean it as an imperative. They WANT you to enjoy dieting, because that way, they can call it a “lifestyle,” and say how “easy” it is, and “anyone can do it,” and make it that much WORSE for anyone who doesn’t do it, because, after all, it’s not like you’re torturing yourself with this stuff, right? It’s GOOD! It’s DELICIOUS! THERE IS NO DIFFERENCE! EXCEPT THERE IS! DIET FOOD IS SO MUCH BETTER THAN THE ORIGINAL! YOU KNOW IT’S TRUE! ENJOY IT! ENJOY IT! AAAAAHHHH!

      I don’t think I’ll ever forget that WW meeting. What an eye-opener.

  5. I just realized that the eat a bowl of fiber (in the “don’t show up hungry” category), perfectly contradicts the “skimp on calories beforehand” category.

    Also, only eating “sensual” desserts directly contradicts “enjoying” mock foods.

    It makes me uncomfortable that WebMD has an article on how to avoid Holiday weight gain, and that many of the ones you mention found their way on that list.

  6. “Don’t Taste The Food While You Cook – Those Calories Add Up” These idiots needs a good yelling-at by Gordon Ramsey.

    And there’s absolutely nothing wrong with bringing a fruit platter and/or crudité to a holiday party–people love that stuff. But do it because people love it, and not because you’re going to be an annoying scold who spends the party shaking their finger at everyone in attendance and totally sucking all the fun out of it.

    1. Fruits and veggies are great at parties, they make a nice palate cleanser between the richer foods. What’s not great is the Diet Police. Do I need that second mini pecan tart? No. Am I going to eat it? Yes. Right in front of you. With great relish. I reject your eating reality and substitute my own!

    2. I love the carrots that are sliced into chips, on a diagonal. I learned in biology class that carrots have cells that go up and down along the length, so if you cut them into sticks, you MIGHT hit it just right, and split the cells, for lots of open cell surface, providing lots of flavor. But, if you cut it on a diagonal, you will certainly get all the cells, and get all the flavor.

      Another advantage to carrot chips is that if you’re going to dip them, they’re small enough that you don’t need to worry about anyone double-dipping, like they sometimes will do with long sticks.

      Even better, get a crinkle-cutter, and then you get pretty waves, along with all the flavor.

      My fave is getting a yummy cucumber and coring out the seeds, then stuffing it with a carrot, and crinkle-cutting the thing into multi-colored chips. Yummy! Also, with the seeds gone, I get a lot less gas.

      And I like the leave the peels on, for added vitamins and flavor.

    3. YES. I like fruits and vegetables, and it’s not a bad thing to have them at a holiday gathering. But they should be there because they’re delicious.

  7. My mother has a recipe for “mock enchilada” that I quite like. It’s not low-fat or anything like that. It’s just way easier to make than real enchiladas. Basically, instead of rolling the tortillas with the stuffing and all that jazz, you just lay them out on the bottom of the pan, put some stuffing in a layer, then another layer of tortillas. It’s like Mexican lasagna.

    When putting together a cookbook for my brother to take with him, when he moved out on his own, I included the mock enchilada recipe, followed by my own “mock chicken” recipe:

    Take one chicken and place in pan. Then stand there, with your thumbs in your ears, waggling your fingers, saying, “Nah! Nah! You fowl!” Add other insults to taste, then stick the chicken in the oven and cook it. Optional: Add seasoning before cooking.

    We had fun with that cookbook. The jokes started when I literally forgot to list tuna as an ingredient in the tuna casserole recipe, caught the error, and laughed about it. After that, my sister and I went out of our way to inject humor into at least one recipe per page.

    DANG! I wish I had a copy of that cookbook now.

    As for these tips: I like the one about bringing fruits and veggies (and then shut up about it). The nice thing bringing plain fruits and veggies is that people who have dietary issues, and don’t want to spend the whole party asking “What’s in that dish?” can know exactly what they are getting, at a glance. “Oh, carrots! They’re OK! Ah, better avoid the celery.” Of course, there’s the “what’s in that dip?” question, which can be easily solved by buying it pre-made at the supermarket and serving it in the original container, with ingredients listed. It’s not as pretty, but for a pot-luck, it’s much safer.

    I think the “only eat desserts that are a truly sensual experience” could be changed to “Only eat food you really like, regardless of any perceived morality therein.” In other words, if you don’t like lettuce, don’t eat lettuce, and if you do like chocolate, eat that.

    I remember Weight Watchers telling us not to taste while we cook. Also, it’s totally OK to cut the crusts off your kids’ sandwiches (my Mom never did that for us, and I’m glad. I like crust), because that gives them less food, and don’t you dare eat those crusts! Throw them away, because wasting food is virtuous! Much more virtuous than being fat! Also, if you use these fake foods, you can save points. But don’t taste it until you serve it! You might find yourself changing the recipe, as you go, and then you’ll go over your points! (or you might actually make the junk taste good. Can’t have that.)

    Fat-free, sugar-free, egg-free egg nog? Oh, yuck. If you’re that concerned, just take a small glass, walk away from the punch bowl, and drink it slowly, savoring every sip of that yummy, delicious, amoral eggy/creamy drink. The real stuff, that is. You’ll have all the delicious taste, and feel in your mouth, and the holiday experience, and with a small portion, you won’t worry about consuming too much.

    My sisters have “red list” items on their diet (for health reasons – dialysis), and dairy is on it, so egg nog is a thing. And even those things can be consumed on special occasions, with planning and portion control. In fact, they MUST eat some, sometimes, or their numbers will go too low. My sister was “too good,” and got in trouble for going too low on the controlled things like potassium and phosphorous, so she was told to go home and eat some red list stuff, to get her numbers back up in range. Then, just eat mostly from green list, sparingly from orange list, and then rarely from red list, in small portions. You know, she really savors those red list things, and she feels no guilt about it. And her numbers are great!

    Here’s my favorite diet tip: Give a Hoot! Don’t Pollute! But don’t give a hoot about dieting or weight. Stop worrying about dieting, and just eat what your body wants, when it wants it. Since my accident, I stopped exercising (due to the pain), so I’m more sedentary than I was before. And since I found this place, I stopped dieting. And yet, contrary to what “everybody knows” about how fat bodies work, over the last few years, I have slowly dropped 20 pounds. I don’t really care about it, but I noticed it at the doctor’s office (the only place I am weighed now, as I threw out my scale), and 20 pounds off of 240 is almost that magical 10% they talk about, right? So, at this rate, I should be magically cured of all my ailments in another year or so. My 10% thinner body will spawn a time machine, and go back to stop those trucks from crunching my car and injuring me, as well as doing cellular surgery on my body, and cutting out all those “bad genes” that cause my inherited illnesses.

    Oh, wait. It won’t.

      1. It is nasty, nasty stuff. I couldn’t remember why I liked eggnog until I realized that I no longer had to follow my mother’s diet rules (she’s been a WW leader for the past thirty years) and tried the real stuff again. Of course, once I jettisoned all of her rules, I rediscovered that I like fruits, and vegetables, and fish… all of which I learned to hate, while secretly scarfing cheeseburgers, as a teenager. (I still like a good cheeseburger. They’re awesome. I just like a lot of the foods I associated growing up with punishment.)

      2. If someone wants to make a tasty, eggy drink, using skim milk, egg whites, and the like, and they give it another name, entirely, and use real ingredients (egg whites, instead of egg substitute, for example), then I might give it a try. It might be tasty, indeed. But it won’t be eggnog.

        I don’t mind food that is naturally low in fat, or fat free. For example, cheese made from skim milk, doesn’t have any of those fat-substitutes that taste awful, and make me feel worse. And some of those naturally low-fat cheese recipes are tasty.

        Carob is quite tasty, when you don’t compare it to chocolate. Carob is not a chocolate substitute; it’s just carob.

        Just make it real, and make it unique, with its own name, and it might be a big hit. But when you start doing replacements and taking things out of a classic, then it just feels wrong.

        Like Ragen said about diets – make it about adding healthy things to your diet, eating more fruits and vegetables, and avoid making it about taking things away.

  8. My diet tips:

    Don’t eat food you are allergic too – whether that means epi-pens or gas and bloating, if it makes you feel bad, don’t bother.

    Eat regularly to stave off blood sugar drops that can lead to feeling crappy.

    Hang out with people who are fun to be with and only talk about food in terms of ‘here’s how I made this.’

    Also, if you do have a lot of things you can’t eat, there is nothing wrong with bringing a dish you know is safe for you.

    I mention the last item because I HAVE been to parties where one person couldn’t eat something common, like gluten or eggs, but brought a dish made with the item and spent the party moping because there wasn’t anything for them to eat. PLEASE DON”T DO THAT!

    Granted, you can decide to do what you want, these are just suggestions. 🙂

    1. Yay, sensible tips!

      *Don’t forget to drink! It’s party season, which means lots of people in one room, making it stuffier, plus lots of fun froofy drinks that are unfortunately too sweet or alcoholic to quench your thirst. Don’t go home with a pounding headache; take a satisfying gulp of water in between alcoholic drinks or servings of tasty, delectable (salty) canapes.

      *Consider not using scented candles that smell like food, if you want to fully enjoy your actual food.

      1. These are all great tips, especially the “bring something you can eat, yourself” tip, and the water tip.

        I would add – if it’s delicious, don’t limit it to the holidays. Seasonal fruits/veggies are, of course, seasonal. However, egg nog can be made whenever you darned well feel like it. You can’t buy it in the grocery store in June, but you can get a recipe, and make it any time. Pumpkin pie – seasonal from fresh pumpkins, but canned make good pies, too, any time you want them.

    2. The allergy tip is unfortunately one that we have had to follow for decades. My dad’s allergic to tomatoes, and we’ve found out that I’m lactose intolerant and most likely celiac, so we always have to make sure that there is something edible for us at potlucks. Even if all that is edible is our dish, at least we know what’s in it.

      You wouldn’t believe how many tomato dishes get brought to potlucks: there’s always cabbage rolls. And we hosted a party on Friday and we supplied 1 punch (non-alc), 3 dips and chips. One of the dips was a layered dip which we made with my lactose free cheese and sour cream. Guess what? 2 other layered dips came. At least I could eat the 3 we made, and my dad could eat the 2 non-layered ones that we made, but not the others. One lady brought some stuffing for little pastries, and we baked them in the oven, and she made sure not to put tomato in it, thinking of my dad.

  9. I have one diet tip: Eat as much pumpkin pie as possible between Thanksgiving and New Year’s. It’s my favorite!

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