The holiday season brings friends, family, and
loved ones together to celebrate. It can also be a
stressful time, wreaking havoc on our waistlines
and undoing our weight-loss efforts if we’re not
careful. This year, keep the commitment you’ve
made to yourself, your health, and your waist
by developing a
strategy to help you
successfully navigate those sometimes tricky
You’ll find tips to successfully navigate special events involving food—at home, at the office, or with friends.
Don’t go hungry!
It’s important to eat at regular times throughout the day
before attending your special event so you don’t go hungry.
Eating small frequent meals helps keep your energy levels
even, and your hunger at bay, and makes you less likely
to give in to temptations.
Enjoying a delicious MF Meal before attending a holiday party will help keep you satisfied and should be treated like a small frequent meal and not an eating frenzy. On the 5 & 1 Plan, plan to take a MF Meal with you or have your Lean & Green Meal at this special event.
Avoid portion distortion.
Use the smallest plate available for built-in portion control. Fill your plate with healthy choices first, like fresh vegetables, lean proteins, and salad. Limit or skip foods that are high in calories and low in nutritional value.
You don’t necessarily have to give up traditional favorites…just modify them. Stay on track on the 5 & 1 Plan by focusing on the Lean & Green
Meal recommendations: Roasted chicken, turkey, lamb, or lean beef paired with spinach salad and steamed green beans makes for a great holiday
meal and a healthy waistline without leaving you feeling deprived.
For those in Transition and Maintenance, sauté with broth rather than butter, use sugar-free gelatin rather than regular in Jell-O® molds, and
use low- or fat-free choices rather than higher fat versions, e.g., substitute low-fat sour cream for regular.
You don’t necessarily have to give up traditional favorites…just modify them. Stay on track on
the 5 & 1 Plan by focusing on the Lean & Green Meal recommendations: Roasted chicken, turkey, lamb, or lean beef paired with spinach salad and steamed green beans makes for a great holiday meal and a healthy waistline without leaving you feeling deprived. For those in Transition and Maintenance, sauté with broth rather than butter, use sugar-free gelatin rather than regular in Jell-O® molds, and use low- or fat-free choices rather than higher fat
versions, e.g., substitute low-fat sour cream for regular.
Ask for help
Remember, you don’t have to do it all yourself! Get your family and friends into the holiday spirit by assigning tasks for everyone. Send your spouse to the store (with a very specific list) while the kids clean assigned areas of the house. Don’t be afraid to ask friends and family to bring a dish for all to enjoy.
Develop a plan of action and you’ll be much more likely to enjoy the holiday season, confident in yo ur abilities to navigate those sometimes tricky scenarios. Use the My Plan of Action for Surviving This Event form on the next page to outline your plan of action. A plan of action is a written strategy detailing the steps you’ll take to keep yourself on track with your weight- and health-management goals. Take time to create several plans of action, individualizing them for the various situations you’ll be faced with this season—from family events to office parties to dining with friends. Learning to manage your caloric intake is no different than managing your checkbook, car maintenance, or kid’s schedules. It takes commitment to focus on your health goals.
My Plan of Action for Surviving This Event
Date and time:
Main goal for this event:
To stay committed to my overall health goals and weight-loss/maintenance program.
Other specific/personal goals:
Identify possible barriers to sticking to your plan that you may encounter at this event/
Identify a healthy strategy to put in place that will help you manage the specific barriers
you identified above:
Choose (non) tempting treats.
Choose to make or buy holiday treats that are easy for you to resist. If you’re a
chocolate lover, offer licorice or hard candy, or make fruit-flavored baked goods. Love all things sweet? Give out miniature packets of pretzels, peanuts, or sugar-free gum, or make personalized gifts that don’t involve food ( such as candles or spa treatments).
Chew, chew, chew!
It typically takes the stomach 15 to 20 minutes to signal the brain that you’ve had enough food. Savor each bite by eating slowly and allow yourself to hear when you are full. This is an important skill to learn. Skip second helpings (which could double your caloric intake) by standing away from the food, keeping yourself occupied, and enjoying the company of those around you.
There never seems to be enough time to plan, clean, shop, and cook. Manage your time by writing out your daily schedule before your events. Determine what you can do in specific time frames and only commit to what you know you can accomplish.
Make time for your body.
Exercise can help you burn and/or bank calories, which helps you to balance your calories consumed with your calories expended. Get your friends and family involved by suggesting group activities (such as walks or sports challenges) that focus on physical health and take the emphasis off food.
Focus on friends
Holidays are intended to be social gatherings with friends and family, not eating frenzies. Emphasize the social interaction. Plan activities to make the day special: Visit a local pumpkin patch, volunteer at a food bank, or attend local parades or other celebratory events. If possible, include group walks or sports activities so that you can burn calories while having fun. By focusing on the company of those around you, you can celebrate the true spirit of the holidays and make lasting memories with your family and loved ones.
Strut your stuff.
Use the holidays as an opportunity to be a role model for healthier living to those around you. Demonstrate the secrets of successful life-long maintainers by balancing moderate holiday indulgences with wise nutrition/food choices and increased physical activity.
Bring your own.
If your event is a potluck, bring a healthy dish that you can enjoy on your Medifast Program. A taco salad made with greens, tomatoes, scallions, green peppers, and taco-seasoned ground turkey is sure to be a hit, and makes a
great Lean & Green Meal. If your event is not a potluck, bring a hostess gift of fresh vegetables and low-fat dip.
location, location, location
Position yourself as far from the food as possible. Sitting or standing too close can be tempting and lead to overeating.
we don’t have to wait for a holiday to take the time to be thankful for the good things we have in our lives. By being thankful every day, you can learn to focus on the positive, and this positive thinking will help you stay healthy and well.
Enjoy the holidays!