Staying healthy during the holidays can prove to be quite the challenge. As the Holiday Season comes into full swing, we wanted to provide some tactics for staying true to your health goals despite all the temptations. It boils down to three approaches:
- The Iron Will Approach
- The One-Day-Pass Approach
- The Hog Wild Approach
We break down how each of these approaches function – some help you more than others. Let us know which one works for you!
The Iron Will Approach
The Iron Will Approach is the one that I most strongly recommend if you’re serious about staying healthy during the holidays. This approach means eating nothing that would compromise your fat burning. Some of you are recent graduates of the lifestyle building phases, while others of you are rapidly approaching your own graduation date to maintenance. Following the “Iron Will” approach will ensure you meet your goal when expected. However, good candidates for this approach would also be individuals who are very new to the program and haven’t mastered a strong set of healthy eating habits yet. Otherwise, you will extend your time on the program by 1-2 weeks by eating foods that would compromise your fat burning. Keep that in mind! Plan to succeed or you’re planning to fail. If you’re traveling to someone else’s house, bring a large platter of veggies and some Walden Farms Dressing or bring a big mixed greens salad or some other creative side that’s safe on your program.
If you plan to use the “Iron Will” approach, here are some key phrases you can use to excuse yourself politely from eating things you don’t choose to eat:
- The Crafty Dismissal: “Ooh, that looks delicious! I’m stuffed so I’ll just have to take it home for later.” (then store it in your freezer ‘til graduation, pitch it in the dumpster, give it to your dog… )
- The Firm Hand: “Thank you for respecting the fact that I have some personal goals I am working on and, while that looks delicious, it would compromise my goals so I’ll have to wait. Thanks!”
- The Medical Excuse: “My doctor recently told me I am pre-diabetic. I really have to watch out for foods that spike my insulin. I’ll have to pass.” Guess what?! If you’re overweight, you really are pre-diabetic.
- The Allergy Excuse: “I recently found out I am violently allergic to that! No thanks!” I have used this many times and it works!! The one question you might get is, “Wow, what happens when you eat it?” and your response can be as simple as this. “You don’t even wanna know!” That’ll stop the conversation right there.
The One-Day-Pass Approach
Thanksgiving, Christmas, and other Winter Holidays come once a year and there will be a number of dieters who feel they’ve earned a day off from Ideal Protein. If you choose this approach, here’s how I’d like to you to proceed if you choose to eat things that will compromise your fat burning.
- Moderation is KEY. Let’s not undo all the healthy habits we’ve built on this program. Practice regulating portion sizes- eat only 1-2 teaspoons of your favorite holiday foods and do not go back for seconds. Skip the cookies and pies- they’re so full of fat and fast acting sugar that it’s not worth it. Plus, if you don’t moderate, you may feel very sick the
- The “One Day Pass” is just that- ONE DAY ONLY. You are not authorized to spend all of November and December eating this way. It’s not healthy and it’s destructive to all the new healthy habits you’ve worked so hard to build- don’t undo all your hard work!
- If you use the “One Day Pass” you must go to boot camp within the next 3 days. This means ultra-low carb veggies and NO restricted food items (bars, puffs, ridges, etc.) Your pancreas needs to rest and recuperate from the abuse of the holiday foods, PLUS this will get you back into ketosis quicker.
The ‘Going Hog Wild’ Approach
This is not an acceptable approach if you are serious about staying healthy during the holidays, changing your body, your health, and your life. I will question your motivation to lose weight if you use this approach. Here are some things to consider before “Going Hog Wild.”
- “If you always do what you’ve always done, you’ll always get what you always got.” Have you heard that before? Don’t expect to do something the same way you always have and expect different results. Binge-type eating and lack of portion control is part of what let many of you to the weight at which you started the Ideal Protein journey. It takes an average of 28 days to make a habit but only one minute to break it. Tread lightly.
- You are likely to feel very unwell that night, the next day, or even for several days after. You may feel hung-over, even if you didn’t drink but overdid it with sugars.
- You will start carrying excess water (bonded to the new carb molecules floating through your system), feel bloated, and probably guilty and have regret. Wow, it’s so not worth it!
- That’s expensive!! “Going Hog Wild” will cost you an extra $100-$200 because it will stop our fat loss, waste at least 5 days of progress, and ultimately extend your time on the program as well as compromise your overall results. Again, is it worth it?
You have a choice to make about how you will approach the holiday eating. Please know that you still should write everything you eat down in your food journal. Make choices you can feel good about.
Taking one-day-at-a-time mentality will help get you through ANY DAY. Thanksgiving is just ONE day. Christmas is just ONE day. YOU can make doable plans and prepare for the choices you’ll face that day. Some temptations you can easily foresee, others will come up. You can handle them all.
On the days that are particularly difficult, NEVER SAY “I can’t because I’m on a diet.” Instead, tell your loved ones (and all bystanders) you are on a “prescribed treatment protocol to help your pancreas and liver. It has been working wonderfully. Under my doctor’s care I’ve lost weight and I my choices are really paying off. ” Most people and loved ones should kindly let you do your thing for the day (unless the wine has already kicked in).
Be prepared for others to pressure you to engage in the feasting, to beg, to get upset if you pass on ‘their dish, prepared just for you’, to be offended, to be mad, to not understand. They’ll say “you can take a break for just ONE day.” They do not know the science behind the diet, you DO. They have not done the hard work and emptied all the glycogen from their muscles, you DID.
You do not have to feel guilty (perhaps temporarily deprived) for your choices to pass on any food this year and you will absolutely not have to feel guilty saying ‘yes’ to every dish on the table NEXT YEAR! Be thankful for the person that inspired you, that led you to make the CHOICE to start when you did. Perhaps they are getting to eat all the trimmings this year, be happy for them and for your progress so far. Ask them how awesome it feels to be done. How fantastic it is to face the holidays without the dread of gaining that year-end 5+ pounds.
Those who have completed all four phases of the Ideal Protein protocol rely on their new daily habits. So, they can have whatever they want for this ONE day. There will be NO negative health or waist consequences for them if they did all 4 phases correctly. They’ll be out shopping and back to following their habit of making the good daily food choices the next day!
Prepare to Make Successful Choices!
Get out your calendar, ask your significant other if there are plans you don’t know about, PLAN and PASS on the events of your choosing, choose to surround yourself with supportive people whenever possible, get all the info and details that you can. Get your Ideal Protein food order planned (and into the office well ahead of your scheduled appointment). Schedule your weekly progress appointments with your coach through the end of December.
Holiday advice: Never attend any event, party, or festivity hungry.
Plan to enjoy the company, be thankful, eat some delicious turkey and steamed vegetables and stick to the protocol. (Take a dish you can enjoy, prepare to send doggy bags, get a reliable taste-tester if you’re doing the cooking, use some IP recipes.) Please do not ask us for permission to cheat, or deviate, or go off protocol. This must be YOUR CHOICE not ours. Going on and off can be sooooooo hard. BUT If you are planning to NOT follow the prescribed protocol, let us know. We want you to be safe and suffer the fewest negative consequences possible. We will honor your decisions and efforts, let us help you plan for a great Thanksgiving Day and set a successful tone for the many special holiday days and eves ahead.
Get in the mindset of planning not only for tomorrow, but also for the Ideal Protein Phases ahead and ultimately for a lifetime of healthy habits and choices.
I hope you enjoy your holidays and that it’s amazing for each and every one of you! I am truly grateful for all of you!