If you’ve been struggling with your excess fat, the prospect of the upcoming holidays may well fill you with dread. You barely fit in your clothes as is. If things go the way they usually go during the holidays, you may have to join the post-holiday shopping crowds out of necessity! You won’t have a thing to wear – because nothing will fit anymore. I don’t know about you, but that prospect always makes me cringe. I’ve been there, and I’d rather not repeat it. Which is why I have occasionally approached the holiday season in a rather contrarian spirit when it comes to my intake of food. And I’m planning to do it again this year. How’s that? Easy. There are two major weight loss facts that work in my favor here: Every pound I lose between Thanksgiving and early January counts twice! It’s a matter of simple math! As you know, those of us already struggling with extra weight can easily add 10 pounds or more during a few weeks of reckless ingestion of cookies and eggnog. I’ve done it before, and I don’t care to repeat that particular feat. Now imagine this: Instead of adding 10 pounds, how would you feel if you were to lose 10 pounds instead. Or even “just” 5 pounds. You’d be way ahead of the game, wouldn’t you. Sure, it’ll be a bit of a hassle. Maybe even a big hassle. But just for a few weeks. Meanwhile, if you keep the pay-off in mind, it will feel so worth it. But it wouldn’t be half as good an idea if it weren’t for fat loss secret number two: Most people’s bodies seem to respond very nicely to alternating high and low calorie intake days. There are several diets that feature this technique, including renegade versions of traditional ones. Just check out the Wendie Plan, Wendie’s version of Weight Watchers, where she distributes the 35 extra “points” over just 3 to 4 of the 7 days, thereby creating quite some ups and downs. The weight though will just go down, down, and down some more because that kind of “weight cycling” prevents our bodies from turning into metabolic slugs. Imagine the potential of this little trick. You could work its magic by simply planning some diet days alternating with some less restrictive days – carefully scheduling the more generous allotments for the days with office parties, family Christmas celebrations, and so on. That’s exactly what I’m going to do. Yes, I know! It’s going to be hard with all the seasonal goodies around. So let’s review the benefits: If you DO lose weight NOW, it will count DOUBLE! Instead of gaining 10 pounds, you could LOSE 10 pounds! Net loss: 20 pounds, maybe even more! Wouldn’t THAT be worth a little awkwardness around the punch bowl? Imagine being that much slimmer come New Year’s Eve! Imagine the dress you’d be able to wear — the one that hasn’t fit you in ages! Imagine all your friends having piled on the pounds in the meantime, wondering how the heck you managed to actually get thinner! Go ahead. You deserve to look and feel great! Make that new and improved body your own personal Christmas present.