Is it okay to break my diet over the holidays?

Is it okay to break my diet over the holidays?

Yes, as long as you make it up if you are striving to arrive at a weight loss goal by a certain date. Otherwise put your diet on hold and just maintain your weight throughout the holidays by averaging an equal amount of calories consumed and burned, which will be determined by your weekly weight change.

The good news is that the dotFIT program can do it all for you, including telling you what to do each time you enter your weekly weight. The goal through the holidays is to manage the AVERAGE daily intake and burn. If you are trying to lose or maintain weight, the key is to focus on the average deficit (difference between intake and burn) rather than your daily deficit. This allows you to "cheat" on festive days and compensate for it on other days in order to stay perfectly on target.

For example, if your goal is to lose 2 LBS in December. One pound of fat equals 3500 calories. Therefore, for the month of December, you will have to burn 7000 calories more than you eat in order to lose two pounds. We don’t care how you do it. The basic formula: Time period = 30 days; goal of 2lb loss = average daily deficit of 230 calories (30 days x 230 = 7000 calories or 2 pounds). In my case, I am a 180 lbs person with a sedentary job and exercising 30 minutes, 3 days a week would average ~2700c/d burn. Using the 2-pound loss goal, my average daily calorie intake will have to be 2400 calories – (whether I record my food or not, my weekly weight/fat trends will validate my success). Let’s say during a festive day I really let go and consume 5000c (some of those would have been connected with alcohol, which is generally the factor that results in excess calorie consumption). Two-day remedy: as long as you know you are going to blow it ahead of time, always prepare by cutting the previous day’s calorie consumption in half. In this case, I would consume 4 meals totaling 1200 calories the day before. I would then consume 5000 calories the day of the event, then repeat the 1200 menu the following day. This brings my three-day calorie intake to 7400. Assuming I burned my 2700c/day average, my three-day calorie output would total 8100 and I am virtually back on track, especially if I participated in a function that went well into the night, resulting in more calories burned than if I had stayed home and gone to bed (by myself). Use this formula anytime you wander off goal.

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