We are heading into the toughest time of year. Food choices between October and February can mean a 10-20 lb difference in body weight by the time all is said and done. Starting with Halloween and ending in January sometime, whenever the holiday blues subside, dropping your food disciplines can lead to 2-4 pounds a month without batting an eye. This is what typically happens, starting with Halloween. A few parties and trick or treating with the kids, followed by leftover candy in the office, themed cocktails, decorated cupcakes, candy or caramel apples, your favorite childhood treats revisited, snickers, m&ms, a few random bags of candy corn, start your slide into the holiday. Once you have a few of these treats, you could throw all your discipline out the window and are more likely to continue this behavior for the next 5 months! Pumpkin Spiced Lattes, Egg Nog Lattes, and other “holiday” special drinks at Starbucks are 500 calorie drinks! With 40-50 grams of carbs and sugar, a daily habit can wreak havoc on your body. Even if you’re only doing a small one with 2% milk, you can still rack up enough to gain a half a pound a week, let alone the abuse on your insulin system. Then, before you know it, you’re shopping for Thanksgiving and seeing all the food displays in the markets. You feel the sentiment, the nostalgia, you dig up family recipes and take the opportunity to cook your favorite dishes to bring to Thanksgiving pot luck. You make pumpkin pie, pecan pie, your traditional family dessert recipes, cookies, pizzelles, cannolis, and they will tempt you everywhere you go because everyone has them to share. This is the season of thanks and giving, right? You can’t deny a gift of food, right? STOP THE MADNESS! Eating a few holiday treats here and there will make a 5 pound difference between now and January. I can walk you through the calorie math if you want me to. Trust me. An unnecessary snack of bad calories in the morning, then one in the afternoon, then dessert at dinner is good for a half pound a week. Couple that with the “bad weather” workout excuses and you’re headed down a bad road that’s hard to turn back from. Don’t do it! Tell everyone you’re not eating bad food. It makes you more accountable. Find a workout buddy to help you stay on a workout schedule. Modify your diet to exclude grains and gluten, sugar, and dairy throughout the holiday season. Eat root vegetables instead of potatoes. Eat more leafy greens. Eat fish. Educate yourself on diabetes so you can eliminate the bad eating habits you already have that will lead to that disease. Do something! And if you think you’re already doing it, do more. We can always make better food choices and we can always exercise more. Get it under control now, so come January, instead of saying what you say every year, “Ugh, why did I do that”, everyone around you will be telling you how great you look!