Aunt Jen’s 17-day diet holiday feat

I wasn’t nearly as impressed when Bob’s Aunt Jenny lost 10 pounds on the 17-Day Diet as when I discovered this: She’s only gained a single pound since going off the diet Dec. 17, a full week before Christmas.

So how’d she manage that?

DSC_1519“I didn’t deprive myself,” she said, but she didn’t go crazy, either. She had what she really wanted, but not as much as she would’ve had before her loss. And she stayed away from “white” foods like bread and potatoes.

Jen’s got enough dieting experience to know that because she’d only lost 10 of the 30 or so pounds she wants to lose that she didn’t have to be in full calorie-restriction mode to stay where she was.

“It still takes quite a few calories to maintain my weight,” she said.

Rick lights antique candle ornaments on a tree he made to resemble an old-fashioned "feather tree."

Rick lights antique candle ornaments on Christmas Eve.

So on Christmas Eve, for instance, when we went over to their place for appetizers and desserts — and to gawk at Rick’s stunning collection of antique Christmas decorations (see more pics below) — instead of trying all the desserts and sneaking in a second helping of brownies, she just had a modest serving of my pumpkin dessert and a small taste of brownie.

On both Christmas Eve and Christmas Day, she limited herself to one small meal before the holiday “banquet.” When someone gave her a box of holiday candy, she took it to work, where she had a few pieces, but not as many as  if she’d kept the box at home.

Two other habits she’s maintained since Dec. 17 — having a salad and fruit for lunch, and keeping potato chips out of the house, since she has trouble controlling her urge to munch on those.

One of the antique ornaments on Rick's "feather tree."

One of the antique ornaments on Rick’s “feather tree.”

As for the 17-Day Diet, she plans to go back on “Level One” Feb. 1. The diet, based on the book by Dr. Mike Moreno, has four levels, with the first being the most restrictive — mostly lean meats and veggies, with limited amounts of low-sugar fruit, probiotics and “good fats” like flaxseed oil.

You’re supposed to move from level to level, easing up on the restrictions as you go, but Jen prefers periodic stints on level one followed by her own

freestyle maintenance.

“I went on Level One Nov. 1 and Dec. 1, and I lost 4-6 pounds each time,”  she said. “I kind of worry that on the other levels I wouldn’t lose as much.“

As for the diet itself, she says she got “really tired of eating chicken,” though she did enjoy a couple of recipes from the book, one for fish and one for a yogurt-based smoothie.

“I can do anything for 17 days,” she said with her usual good humor. “I will say that I feel better on the diet than I do off of it.”

One of the antique tree toppers in Rick's collection.

One of the antique tree toppers in Rick’s collection.

Bob only shot a fraction of the vintage ornaments Rick and Jen had on display, like the tree in the den in the background. Next year they need to participate in the Markle Christmas home tour so we can get more pictures. (Hint, hint!)

Bob only shot a fraction of the vintage ornaments Rick and Jen had on display, like the tree in the den in the background. Next year they need to participate in the Markle Christmas home tour so we can get more pictures. (Hint, hint!)

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