SURVIVING THE HOLIDAYS ON IP: PLAN AHEAD!
The Iron Will Approach
Whether you are already in Phase 4, 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
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.”
The Allergy Excuse: “No thanks – I recently found out I have
food allergies, so I’ll have to pass.” Many dieters have used
this, 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, “You don’t even wanna know!” That’ll stop the
conversation right there.
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
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 foods, PLUS, this will get
you back into ketosis quicker.
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!
MORE HELPFUL HOLIDAY SUGGESTIONS FOR YOU:
1. Drink 3 liters of water per day during the holiday season.
It will help you stay full and hydrated, both of which can
ward off unhealthy cravings.
2. Eat before you go to a party.
3. Keep a bar or another IP snack with you in your purse or
jacket pocket if you feel you may need to snack at a party.
It’s better to have two restricted foods than it is to cheat with
a sugary treat.
4. Get plenty of rest during the holidays since a lack of sleep
causes cravings for carbohydrates and can interfere with fat
5. Take an IP-approved food to parties, such as a veggie tray,
meat tray, shish kabobs, cauliflower mashed potatoes, IP
Deviled Eggs, or IP Chocolate Cake.
6. Have a holiday meal, not a holiday week! Try to stick with
proteins and veggies, but if you absolutely can’t resist, pick
your favorite carbohydrate and have TWO bites.
7. ABSOLUTELY NO ALCOHOL IS ALLOWED! It could cause a
severe incidence of hypoglycemia and make you pass out.
8. Remember, the holiday is about RELATIONSHIPS, NOT
FOOD! The focus should be on spending time with those you
love, not eating.
9. Get creative with using IP products in place of traditional
10. If you host dinner, have plenty of “to go” bags that you
can use to send leftovers home with every guest so that ALL
leftovers are out of the house by the end of the day.
11. Avoid people who trigger you to eat, such as a family
member who is critical of you or anyone you find draining to
12. Make yourself an IP “mocktail” so you feel like you’re
getting a treat and people won’t ask why you aren’t drinking.
13. Make a plan for any holiday event or party that you have
to attend so that you know EXACTLY what you are going to
eat. Be prepared!!! Have an extra IP product in your purse
and/or an extra Walden Farms to go packet.
14. Remember that you don’t have to go to every single party
that you are invited to.
15. Stay busy at the parties you do go to. Offer to help the
host seat guests, wash dishes, play games with the kids, etc.
16. Look at old pictures to remind yourself why you are doing
this program. Review your personal goals as a reminder.
17. You may practice the concepts of Phase 2 on this one day
where you can have your own protein at lunch and dinner.
18. Swap your lunch and dinner if you need to.
19. If someone asks you why are not eating and drinking
everything, DO NOT SAY YOU ARE ON A DIET! This inevitably
leads to them encouraging you to “just enjoy the holiday and
restart your diet tomorrow.” Instead, say you are following a
doctor’s treatment plan to stabilize your blood sugar.
20. Remember, this is ONLY ONE DAY that you have to
sacrifice for a LIFETIME of holidays when you can eat what
you want to eat after you reach Phase 4.
21. If you are going to someone else’s house, offer to bring a
salad and a side or dessert. Make sure both are IP compliant.
22. Be creative when you make your IP compliant dessert.
It’s ok to use flavorings. For instance, you can use cherry
flavoring for your vanilla pudding.
-Article Courtesy of Ideal Protein
Dionne is a certified Ideal Protein coach who lost 25 pounds following the protocol way back when. Since then she's learned to cook healthier meals (and actually eat them), get a daily dose of iron in the form barbells and kettle bells and is usually training to improve her time in an upcoming half marathon.