Saturday, November 15, 2014

Planned Exceptions: What Is Your Pie Policy?

What is your pie policy?
I recently read a Psychology Today blog post by Gretchen Rubin that could be a big help during the holiday season. She related the story of a friend who normally ate really clean, but while vacationing in Montana he ate every meal at a restaurant famous for its pies. “People came for miles to get these pies," he told her.

So before he even left home, he formulated a "pie policy" -- he would eat one slice of pie with every meal.

Personally, three slices of pie a day would be excessive for me, but that's not the point. The brilliance of having a "pie policy" is that he planned his exceptions and remained in control of what he ate.

So much about vacationing and getting through the holidays without gaining a dress size is facing temptations that do not normally cross your path. It is easy to feel out of control when you're thrust out of your routine like a rocket jettisoned into outer space.

But what if you planned your exceptions ahead of time?

Don't let Mr. Toad
take you for a wild ride
During a recent phone chat, my Medifast Facebook group friend and TSFL health coach Debbie Bodenhorn reminded me of the One Tablespoon Rule. On Thanksgiving she deliberately eats one tablespoon of high carb foods like mashed potatoes so she can partake in the feast without packing on pounds or feeling sluggish. She said last year all her friends lay around feeling stuffed after Thanksgiving dinner while she and her husband went out for a brisk walk.

Like you could
really be Meryl Streep?
Like the Montana vacation guy, planning her exceptions put Debbie in the driver's seat instead of letting the food take her on Mr. Toad's Wild Ride.

Planned exceptions work great when you're dining out, too. Before heading to the restaurant, peruse the menu online. If you plan to deviate from your regular diet, figure out which appetizer, dessert or cocktail you plan to enjoy.

Visualize in your head the hot rolls being served before the meal and the waiter asking you for your order. If you decided to bypass the rolls, picture yourself sipping on water instead or engaging in deep conversation. Observe yourself telling the waiter you want extra veggies instead of potatoes. Watch yourself eating half of the tiramisu and then pushing the plate away.

When you get to the restaurant, you're Meryl Streep. All you have to do is follow your script.

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