This time of year is the hardest to maintain healthy eating. Temptations are everywhere, and stress can be high. One thing I try to make very clear when helping clients achieve their goals is that cheating will sabotage that whole process… bottom line. I bet you could interview every Ideal Protein Weight Loss Coach in North America and they will tell you that it DOES matter. We see it with our own eyes every day: people who precisely follow the plan succeed, and people who resist it and alter the plan struggle much more. Here are a few tips to help you continue on your path to health and happiness.
1) Don’t plan on cheating… even if it’s just a little bit. If you plan to cheat, you will cheat. If you have a good plan about how to enjoy the day without cheating, chances are you will. Which leads me to the next tip…
2) Be prepared. A few weeks ago Ideal Protein asked their fans to describe their best tool for success on the Ideal Protein Facebook page. Over and over, people answered to “be prepared.” Bring Ideal Protein foods with you. If it’s a potluck, bring a dish you can eat. If you are going to ask the host if the food will be “healthy,” you must be specific about that. While the host always has good intentions, he/she doesn’t know the guidelines for Ideal Protein. There are many healthy foods that will prevent your weight loss. If you are not sure, bring a salad or veggies for yourself to go along with the turkey. And along those lines, don’t agree to make cookies for everyone because that is what you always do every year. It’s a new year, and there’s no time like the present to create new traditions.
3) Change the focus. Holidays don’t have to be entirely about food and wine. Most would agree that it’s really about being with family and friends. Make that your priority. A lot of families play games as part of their tradition. Why not get outside while you’re at it? Our friends have a 20-year tradition of inviting friends and family to play a game of football in what they call the “Toilet Bowl.” For them, Thanksgiving wouldn’t be the same without that.
4) Don’t drink alcohol. I know, being with family can be stressful. Or maybe we just love the ritual of having cocktails with our meal. It’s not worth it for many reasons. Instead, make an Ideal Protein drink– blend it with ice or add some sparkling water to make a spritzer, and put it in a cocktail glass so it feels special. I have a client who loves to make “Faux-jitos” on special occasions with club soda, lime, fresh mint leaves, and a little Stevia. This saves her on many occasions.
5) Get creative. Creativity makes the whole process more fun. How can you substitute your holiday favorites with Ideal Protein-friendly alternatives? Everyone seems to love the classic green bean casserole, and it is so easy to make. You won’t see that alternative here because I personally don’t like it, but it is a no-brainer. Cook some fresh green beans, and instead of using Campbell’s Cream of Mushroom Soup, use Ideal Protein Cream of Mushroom Soup. Cut the milk, and substitute some Ideal Protein Southwest Cheese Curls for the fried onions. Done.
6) While we are being creative, how about that gravy thing? A quick and easy option is to use the Ideal Protein Cream of Chicken Soup. If you want it to be a little different from the chicken soup you eat every day, why not use that as your base? For years I’ve made this turkey recipe (which would be best modified for Ideal Protein Phases 1-3.) This gravy is the bomb! You roast the turkey on top of onions, carrots, celery, garlic, sage, rosemary, thyme, parsley, and bay leaves. To make the gravy, you blend the veggies with the drippings, and the veggies thicken the gravy without having to add flour. Since you wouldn’t want to use the fat in the turkey drippings, why not take some of the celery and garlic (or any other “select” veggies you’ve decided to put under the turkey,) and blend it in with some chicken broth and/or some Ideal Protein chicken soup?
Up next I’ll tackle how to handle those mashed potatoes that we all love so much.
Remember, you are in control of the outcome. Set yourself up for success and enjoy all the great things the holiday has to offer. This isn’t just a diet, it is a life change.
What are your holiday survival tips?