Top 10 Ways to avoid the “Holiday 15”

1.) Eat at least 2 healthy meals per day

One bad meal does not have to derail the whole day!  It would be nice to eat healthy meals all day long, but if you have waffles and sausage for breakfast (not that there is anything wrong with that) then clean up your act for the rest of the day.  Don’t use that as an invitation to blow the whole day.

2.) Don’t starve yourself!

Say you know you are going eat shall we say, heartily, at dinner.  Don’t “save up” your appetite for the whole day and try to eat 2,000 calories at one meal and call it a reasonable day of eating.  Try to eat healthy but fulfilling meals the rest of the day so when you eat deep fried butter for dinner you at least only ate a normal human sized portion.

3.) Feast on Feast days!!!!

That is all… Easy and Fun!

4.) Grains are (brace yourself) the enemy

I know I am breaking some hearts here, but grains are not nice to what we in the medical community call the “beer belly” area. I am not talking about all carbs here, just the grainy and/or sugar carbs (read: the fun carbs). This is probably not a super popular sentiment, but try to keep your chin up and focus on tip #3.

5.) Drink water!

a.) Let’s examine the age old, traditional holiday drink of eggnog:

b.) But wait, you say, look at the hearty serving of Vitamin A, what is the problem?  Well, problem number one is that the fat/cholesterol/sugar in this serving is only ½ a cup!!  Which is 4 ounces of liquid.  Which is basically 2 and ½ shot glasses.  That is akin to a serving of Ruffles being 12 chips….never happens.  This brings us to the second problem which is that you will likely be adding 1.5 ounces of some bastion of health like Southern Comfort to this already calorie dense beverage.  So, to sum up, ok for approximately 1 serving per holiday season, but probably should not be relied upon for hydration.

c.) While we are talking about hydration, here is another beverage we should not rely upon:  SODA


d.) So at least we are looking at a serving size that is reasonable….but 56 grams of sugars???  We should be aiming for less than that per day.

6.) Drink water!

Okay, so I don’t want to sound like I am no fun at all.  Drink a glass of wine or two, shake up some of your favorite cocktails.  Enjoy the season!  But when you are not drinking your occasional treat, stick with water.  It will probably get you about 50% of the way to your holiday diet goals.

7.) Keep those mitts out of the candy/cookie/insert sugary treat here jar

This is another plea for moderation.  Now, I agree, moderation is one of the least fun words on the planet (like rectal exam, or airport security screening).  But this is one of those instances where it is really important.  Once you break the seal, it is tough to stop.  The way I abstain is to not buy it in the first place.

8.) Get Exercise (even if it’s just a little)

I know for some people exercise is one of those words like “rusty tong eyeball extraction” but it doesn’t have to be that bad.  I have a kettle bell I use while I cook eggs and then I do some squats and lunges without weights.  Kent does a pushup/pull up/plank/crunch something.  But whatever it is that floats your boat, try to get 15 or 20 minutes in, even if it is interspersed through your whole day, 5 days per week.  I have been known to do squats in the bathroom at work if I don’t get it in during the morning.  Whatever it takes, just something.  And then try to do something mildly exerting, but fun, on the other 2 days.

9.) Don’t buy candy/cookies/insert sugary treat here

Okay, so I am repeating myself, but this one is critical.  If you don’t buy it, you can’t eat it.  (Unless you are into burglary, which is generally not recommended)

10.) Supplements can help with sugar cravings

Ideal Day of Eating

  1. Start your day with a shake.  I like to use i5 energize (protein powder), but we have many great choices for you on the website. I’ve add in some Metagenics Phytoganix fruit and veggie powder, some kind of liquid, I use whole milk but feel free to use almond milk, coconut milk, or whatever floats your boat, frozen berries and a teaspoon of local honey.  There you go, breakfast in a cup!
  2. Okay, so in about two to three hours you will probably be starving, that is OK and normal!  But it is important to snack wisely here.  I usually have a “cheese emergency” which is a couple of slices of cheese, but any low carb high protein and fat snack will do.  Some ideas would be nuts (just not the honey roasted kind), a high quality protein bar, or some almond butter on celery or an apple.
  3. Two to three hours after that you will probably be super hungry again, it’s lunch time!  I like to get low carb bread (here is one I have found available in Colorado) and add cheese, tomato, lettuce, shredded carrots, sliced cucumber, and half an avocado.  Throw in a couple of organic tortilla chips (I like red, hot, and blues!) and you are pretty satiated until dinner.
  4. Our ideal meal is some kind of meat with a mixed veggie salad (remember, an easy way to get all you vitamins is to have lots of color in your salad….and don’t forget to add some cheese if you can tolerate dairy).  I find that if I can have a rib-eye, it is easy for me to forgo the bread  Here are some ideas for super delicious and super easy meat recipes:


Perfect Roast Chicken Recipe


  1. 1 whole chicken, quartered
  2. 2 TBS fat (either 1 tbs olive oil and 1 tbs butter, or (ideally) 2 TBS duck fat)
  3. Kosher Salt
  4. Pepper


  1. Set oven to 425 degrees
  2. Heat fat in cast iron pan on high heat
  3. Rinse chicken and pat dry
  4. Apply Kosher salt and black pepper liberally
  5. Once pan is hot, put all the chicken pieces in skin side down and cook on high for 3 to 4 minutes until skin is golden, then flip chicken to skin side up
  6. Place chicken in oven for 25-30 minutes
  7. Remove chicken from oven and put on paper towels
  8. Let cool and eat!
  9. Another go-to of mine is spaghetti Bolognese with spiralized zucchini…if you don’t own a vegetable spiralizer see below for the link. I would highly recommend purchasing one, I love mine. 

Okay, so we can’t eat perfect every day, but here is a good start, try to get as many meals like this in as possible.  Happy Holidays!

LINKS to Other Great Recipes and kitchen tools:

Spaghetti Bolognese Recipe

WonderVeg Vegetable Spiralizer ⇐ I love it!

Butter-Basted, Pan-Seared Thick-Cut Steaks Recipe