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Buice column: Pound away: New Year brings a fresh start to diet after holidays

Here I go again. Another new year. Another diet.

It wasn’t supposed to be this way.

Actually, I figured last year by making the big-time sacrifice to ultimately lose 30-plus pounds — and also taking the additional step of turning it into a New Year’s resolution — wouldn’t require more action in 2020.

But then Thanksgiving, Christmas and the deluge of gatherings came along, and I caved.

Well, not totally, but enough where I must commit to a lesser diet to open the new decade.

I can’t say I was totally surprised with what happened at the end of 2019. I knew I was up a few pounds going into Thanksgiving and realized it was going to difficult to dodge the many traps of the holiday season.

It’s not like I didn’t know it was coming, but as December progressed, I purposely avoided the scales, perhaps figuring ignorance was bliss but also knowing the number had to be climbing since some of the loose-fitting clothes had become a bit tighter.

When the ball dropped at Times Square in New York to welcome the New Year last week, I knew it was time to see how much damage was done — figuring I had given up about a third of what I lost over the first five months of 2019.

And that’s exactly what it turned out to be. Ten pounds doesn’t sound like a lot, but just try walking around holding a 10-pound bag of sugar for a little while.

Anyway, the diet of the new year is on again. At least I know what to expect this time and know I don’t have as far to go.

My wife joined me in the diet journey last year and did a much better job of maintaining while I expanded during the holidays.

But she still wants to drop a few pounds in the new year and will join me in this endeavor, which always makes things easier, in Diet Phase II.

One of the biggest challenges when we were starting last year’s diet was trying to decide which one or what combination to try. We wanted to lose weight but wanted it first to be the right diet for our overall health, ultimately settling on a common-sense approach.

Our diet didn’t have a name, but it came down to this in a nutshell — try to eat more protein but not totally eliminate the carbs, just do everything in moderation, reduce the portions on the plate and eliminate those late-night snacks. Drink more water, and keep moving — including more exercise.

Luckily, we’ve already made a couple of significant changes that won’t need to made again.

The first is sweet tea. I never dreamed I would be able to give it up, but it happened — at least on a daily basis. The only times I gave in was on some of those “combo deals” when the drink was included in the price.

Hey, if it’s free…

But it was only occasional.

One doctor told me that by cutting out sweet tea alone I could lose 10-15 pounds a year.

Another favorite has always been buttered popcorn at the movies. We would always go to a movie with our bucket waiting to be filled to brim and layered with butter.

Last year, anticipating the diet, we didn’t buy the annual bucket but often took in our own popcorn in a plastic bag with no butter. We actually got used to it, and picked a movie based on its merits rather than just going for the buttered popcorn and hoping that the movie was OK.

And speaking of the start of a new year and the inevitable resolutions that seem to go along with it, I’ve noticed quite a few new faces at the gym that I regularly attend.

It’s that way every year, and it seems like most newbies don’t hang around very long. Perhaps that’s why I’ve always been so skeptical about making resolutions.

That makes me more committed than ever to reach — and maintain — my latest weight goal in 2020 so I don’t have to start another new year making another resolution to be broken.

So it’s time to get busy.

Happy New Year!