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  • Writer's pictureTami Izzi, RN

'Tis the Season to be HEALTHY!

December is just around the corner and you may be considering how to best approach the holidays so that you don't compromise your weight management goals. Take a moment to consider the following 3 approaches...

1. The Iron Will Approach

Whether you are already on maintenance, about to graduate, or new to Ideal Protein, you have choices to make. In a perfect world, we would all choose the “iron will” approach to the holidays and other special occasions, eating nothing that compromised ketosis. Dieters who are new to the program and haven’t yet mastered a strong set of healthy eating habits are good candidates for this approach, as are those with only a short time left before they reach their goal since eating foods that compromise fat burning can extend their time on the program by up to two weeks. So, keep that in mind and remember that failing to plan is planning to fail. If you’re celebrating outside of your home, bring a large platter of veggies with Walden Farms dips to munch on and share.

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 want to:

  • The Crafty Dismissal: “Ooh, that looks delicious! But I’m stuffed, so I’ll have to take it home for later.” (Then store it in your freezer until graduation, pitch it in the dumpster, or give it to your dog.)

  • The Firm Hand: “Thank you for respecting the fact that I have some personal goals I am working on. That looks delicious, but it would compromise my progress, so I’ll have to wait.”

  • The Medical Excuse: “My doctor recently told me I am prediabetic/diabetic, so I really have to watch out for foods that spike my insulin. I’ll have to pass.”

2. The One Day Pass Approach

Since Thanksgiving and Christmas come once a year, many dieters feel they’ve earned a day off from Ideal Protein. If you choose this approach and decide to eat foods that will

compromise fat burning, here are some things to keep in mind as you proceed.

  • Moderation is KEY. Don’t undo all the healthy habits you’ve learned and established while on the program. Practice regulating portion sizes by eating only one or two bites of your favorite holiday foods and do NOT go back for seconds.

  • Skip the cookies and pies...they’re full of fast-acting sugar and fat and they’re just not worth it. More importantly, if you don’t moderate, you may actually feel sick the next day! If you plan to use the one day pass, talk to your coach about doing a modified phase-off to Phase 3 prior to the holiday or special event.

  • The “One Day Pass” is just that – ONE DAY ONLY. You are not authorized to spend the whole week of Thanksgiving eating this way. It’s not healthy and it’s destructive to all of the healthy new habits you’ve worked so hard to establish!

  • Offset the impact of your “One Day Pass”. Follow it up with three days of ultra low-carb veggies and NO restricted items (bars, puffs, ridges, etc.). Your pancreas needs to recuperate from the abuse of sugary holiday.

3. The Go Hog Wild Approach

This is not an acceptable approach if you are serious about changing your body, your health, and your life. In addition to the negative physical impact it will have, this approach can seriously interrupt your motivation to lose weight, so 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 see different results. Binge eating and lack of portion control are part of what has led many dieters to the weight they were when they began their 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 even feel hungover if you consumed a large amount of sugar, whether you drank alcohol or not.

  • You will retain excess water. Every gram of glycogen you replenish in your system will have 4 grams of water bonded to it, making you feel bloated along with guilty and regretful. It’s just not worth it!

  • It’s costly. Going “hog wild” will direct your pancreas to revert to its old habits, stop fat loss, waste up to five days of progress, and ultimately extend your time on the program as well as compromise your overall results. Again, is it worth it?

Whatever Approach You Choose...

You still need to write down everything you eat in your food journal, regardless of your approach. You have treated your body well up until now, so you should be proud of yourself for the progress you’ve made and continue the good work!

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