BirthDay, BirthWeek, BirthMONTH

How to keep your health and weight loss goals on track for your birthday

By Shani Petroff

My birthday is coming up, and it is so easy to let that birthDay turn into a birthWeek or even a birthMonth. That wouldn’t be a bad thing, except as history has taught me, I have a tendency to overdo it when it comes to my eating at these kinds of celebrations.


Since I don’t want that to happen this year, I’ve come up with a strategy to keep on track during my birthday:


1. Make it Worth it
If I’m going to splurge on something high in SmartPoints® values, I want to really enjoy it. I don’t want cake just to have cake. So, if I try something, and I don’t love it, I’m going to put my fork down. Often I’ll finish something just because it’s in front of me, but cleaning my plate just so food doesn’t go to waste or because I’m mindlessly taking bites isn’t helping anyone. So the only treats I’m going to have are going to be ones that taste amazing!

2. Watch What You Eat
I’m not talking the actual SmartPoints here; I’m actually talking about paying attention to your food. When I’m gabbing with friends, watching TV, eating while working, sometimes I don’t even notice that I polished off a snack or even a full meal. So at these celebrations, yes, I’m going to definitely talk up a storm, but I’m also going to savor the food that goes in my mouth. I don’t want to shovel it down, I want to eat slowly and enjoy each bite.

3. Expect the Unexpected
I am hooked on the reality show Big Brother — and the phrase “expect the unexpected” is used all the time. When it comes to birthday celebrations, I find this statement is important to keep in mind. I may have tracked my day way in advance, and had the best intentions to stay within my SmartPoints budget. But then — surprise! Someone pops up with cupcakes, the waiter brings a free appetizer, or I get a last-minute invitation for drinks and voilà – I have gone over for the day. So now, in my planning, I accounted for that and put aside some of my Weekly SmartPoints for unexpected treats.

4. Foodless Festivities
Maybe the most important thing that I’m reminding myself is that not every celebration has to involve food! One friend and I are going to a pricey gym class to treat ourselves, I’m getting manicures with another, there are plans for a movie (where I will come prepared with healthy snacks), and I’m going to see family. We may hit a museum or a show or just hang around. But the truth is being around them beats any piece of cake. 

I’d love to hear from you. You can find me on Connect at @shani! 

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