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Dieting around the Holidays

The Holiday Season comes around every year.  And it makes most of us reflect on many things and celebrate many things.  Regardless of your religious affiliation, there are many gatherings and events during that time of year.

First of all Thanksgiving gives us pause to reflect on the things we all have to be thankful for in our lives.  While everyone has different circumstances in their lives, at Thanksgiving we can all find something to be thankful for.  We live in a pretty good country even though sometimes folks disagree and squabble.  The Holiday Season is the time to put aside those differences. 

Most of us spend Thanksgiving surrounded by family and friends and…

FOOD!!!  OMG!  Huge Turkeys (Oven Roasted, Fried, Smoked), Hams,  Mashed Potatoes, Gravy, Stuffing (with more Gravy), Candied Yams, other Vegetables covered with so much sugar, cream and marshmallows that they can pass for dessert rather than Vegetables.  Oh and speaking of dessert…  Pumpkin Pie, Cherry Pie, Pecan Pie, Cheesecake, all piled with whipped cream. 

Then, after weeks of holiday parties, the same thing happens just one month later… whether you celebrate Christmas, Hanukkah, Kwanza, Festivus, or any other holiday, one of the common themes is usually a celebration feast.  Tablefuls of food, glorious food… 

And there at the end of the table is you… sitting there with your little packet of ITG protein, 6 ounces of water in your ITG shaker, just waiting to dig in.

Is this realistic?  Of course not!!

So how do you get though the Holiday Season?  The first thing to do is get the proper mindset.  You know these stumbling blocks are there, so you must plan for them.  If you prepare yourself, then the Holiday Season can be just as enjoyable for you without sabotaging your diet.



Let’s see some examples of what you can do.


Thanksgiving or other large Holiday Meal

Even if you have no input whatsoever into what goes on the Thanksgiving table, if you look around, you’re bound to find some things that won’t throw you off your diet.  Use the main Thanksgiving meal as your “regular” meal for the day.  White meat turkey is usually very healthful and certainly falls within the acceptable protein category.  You really should skip the stuffing, potatoes, and gravy, but you already knew that. Right?  Look around and see what veggies are available.  You already know what you can have.  Just make the best choices.

Here’s a better scenario: let’s say you DO get some say-so as to what’s on the menu, or better yet, you’re hosting the meal.  Well, that opens all sorts of possibilities, doesn’t it?  Salads, allowable veggies, the possibilities are endless.  And don’t think you can’t have good stuff.  Grilled Asparagus, Portabella mushrooms sautéed or grilled.  Grilled or sautéed sliced squash. 

Don’t skip breakfast on the day of your big meal.  Eat your normal ITG breakfast, whatever it might be.  Also, don’t skip your evening snack.


Office/Work Parties

If you can’t skip these, again all you need to do is plan ahead.  If your party is being held at a restaurant, it is certainly acceptable to ask for an alternative selection.  Most restaurants these days are prepared to be accommodating.  Don’t be self-conscious about asking.  Remember, baked or broiled lean protein (fish, shrimp, scallops, chicken, lean pork or beef), green salad and non-starchy veggies.  Avoid cheeses, gravies, sauces, and sweets and alcohol.


Office/Work Snacks

This is probably the worst trap around the Holiday Season.  There’s no real solution for this either.  No substitute for Betty’s famous “Does this make my butt look big?” Brownies, or Mary Lou’s Oatmeal Raisin Caramel Fudge-Dipped “low fat” Cookies.  Just say NO!  Don’t walk by them, walk around.  Keep some ITG Protein Bars in your desk or lunchbox.  Even if you eat an extra ITG Protein Bar one day, it isn’t the end of the world.  I don’t recommend it, but I’d rather see you eat an extra protein bar.  Better yet, take some celery sticks, or slice some cucumbers in one of those disposable bowls or even a zip-lock bag.  It isn’t going to be sweet, but it’ll be crunchy and sometimes that’s all you need.  Be sure to keep some Walden Farms dressing at work for times like this.


Is It Easy?

No, it isn’t easy; at least, not at first.  But you didn’t sign up for Easy, did you?  No, you signed up to lose weight and get healthier.  You really need to look at this over the long run, not just for one meal, or one Holiday Season.  As you progress, it will become easier and easier.  By the time next Holiday Season comes around, more than likely you won’t have to face these kinds of dilemmas.  You will be able to go to Holiday dinners and eat the right foods in the right combination without even thinking about it. 



What To I Do If I Slip?

If you slip up during the holidays, DO NOT waste time beating yourself up and thinking that you just can’t do it.  Get back on the ITG Diet ASAP!  If you’ve already moved on to Step 2, or Step 3, you might need to go back to Step 1 for a week.  Talk to your Coach.  Your Coach is not going to belittle you for slipping up.  Your coach is going to encourage you, and tell you exactly what you need to do to get back on track.

Author: Tom Ferguson

Happy Holidays from ITG Diet




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