Give yourself the gift of health this holiday season.

Oh, the holidays! The fun, the food, the family gatherings, the traveling, the blown budgets! Oh, and did we mention the food?! Don’t panic.

Now is the perfect time to organize a plan to get you through the holidays without sabotaging your weight management goals. Schedule a meeting with your Ideal Protein coach to organize a customized Holiday Survival plan that will work!

Tune into FB LIVE with Dr. Z every Wednesday @ 8pm  (Nov. 7-Dec. 26). Need a recap? See Dr. Z’s holiday tips below.

Dr. Z is helping us navigate the slippery slopes of the holidays with special FB Live segments featuring lifestyle tips that work. Holiday eating is not about perfection. But it is about understanding there are strategies to help you stay on track in situations that tempt you to veer off course.

Our healthy holiday recipes will delight everyone in your family and help you make the healthiest food choices and avoid the worst offenders on the holiday table.

Together we can do this, and keep our spirits bright!

Follow us on Facebook and attend our weekly Facebook Live segments. See below for a recap of each weekly segment.

Nov. 7 – Make A Plan For Dieting During the Holidays: The Best Gift To Yourself

Did you know that more than half the weight an average person gains in a year is put on during the 6 weeks from Thanksgiving to New Years? And those who are already overweight tend to gain the most. It’s hard to ignore the over abundance of edible temptations during the holiday season. The problem is the accumulation of temptations. It’s not a one-time indulgence contained by a few days of restraint. It’s a continuous bombardment of sweets, appetizers, finger foods, alcohol, and other high carb energy dense food.

The best way to keep your weight in check during “The Most Edible Time of the Year” is to make a plan for yourself, and vow to stick with it. Think of it as a pre-season gift to yourself. You are a wonderful person and you deserve to be at the weight that makes you feel great. Give yourself a plan for dieting during the holidays that will help you move in the right direction.


Some of you are recent grads and some are only weeks from graduating to maintenance. I guarantee some of you will choose the “Iron Will” approach, eating nothing that would compromise your fat burning. Good candidates for this “Iron Will” approach would be individuals who are very new to the program and haven’t mastered a strong set of healthy eating habits yet. Also, those of you with only a few weeks left on the program, following the “Iron Will” approach will ensure you meet your goal when expected. Otherwise, you will extend your time on the program by 1-2 weeks by eating foods that would compromise your fat burning. So, keep that in mind. Plan to succeed or you’re planning to fail. So, if you’re traveling to someone else’s house, bring a large platter of veggies and some Walden Farms or bring a big mixed greens salad or some other creative side that’s safe on your program.

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 choose to eat:

The Crafty Dismissal: “Ooh, that looks delicious! I’m stuffed so I’ll just have to take it home for later.” (then store it in your freezer ‘til graduation, pitch it in the dumpster, give it to your dog…)

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

The Medical Excuse: “My doctor recently told me I am pre-diabetic. I really have to watch out for foods that spike my insulin. I’ll have to pass.” Guess what?! If you’re overweight, you really are pre-diabetic.

The Allergy Excuse: “I recently found out I am violently allergic to that! No thanks!” I have used this many times 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 this. “You don’t even wanna know!” That’ll stop the conversation right there.


Thanksgiving comes once a year and there will e a number of dieters who feel they’ve earned a day off from Ideal Protein. If you choose this approach, here’s how I’d like to you to proceed if you choose to eat things that will compromise your fat burning.

1. Moderation is KEY. Let’s not undo all the healthy habits we’ve built on this program. Practice regulating portion sizes- eat only 1-2 teaspoons of your favorite holiday foods and do not go back for seconds.  Skip the cookies and pies- they’re so full of fat and fast-acting sugar that it’s not worth it. Plus, if you don’t moderate, you may feel very sick the next day… ew.

2. 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 the new healthy habits you’ve worked so hard to build- don’t undo all your hard work!

3. If you use the “One Day Pass” you must go to bootcamp the next 3 days following Thanksgiving. This means ultra low carb veggies and NO restricted food items (bars, puffs, ridges, etc.) Your pancreas needs to rest and recuperate from the abuse of the holiday foods, PLUS this will get you back into ketosis quicker.


This is not an acceptable approach if you are serious about changing your body, your health, and your life. I will question your motivation to lose weight if you use this approach. Here are some things to consider before “Going Hog Wild.”

1. “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 expect different results. Binge-type eating and lack of portion control is part of what let many of you to the weight at which you started the Ideal Protein journey. It takes an average of 28 days to make a habit but only one minute to break it. Tread lightly.

2. You are likely to feel very unwell that night, the next day, or even for several days after. You may feel hung-over, even if you didn’t drink but overdid it with sugars.

3. You will start carrying excess water (bonded to the new carb molecules floating through your system), feel bloated, and probably guilty and have regret. Wow, it’s so not worth it!

4. That’s expensive!! “Going Hog Wild” will cost you an extra $100-$200 because it will stop our fat loss, waste at least 5 days of progress, and ultimately extend your time on the program as well as compromise your overall results. Again, is it worth it?

BOTTOM LINE, you have a choice to make about how you will approach the holiday eating. Please know that you still should write everything you eat down in your food journal. Make choices you can feel good about.

Nov. 14 – Beware of Beverages!

It’s easy to forget that many holiday beverages are high in calories. Can you guess how many calories are in one 12 oz. glass of eggnog? About 340! It would take more than 2 hours of brisk walking to burn off those calories.

Another common holiday beverage to watch out for is hot chocolate made with whole milk (about 290
calories per 12 ounces).

Instead opt for lighter alternatives, consider a skim latte (about 120 calories) or a small glass of white wine (about 80 calories). And stay hydrated throughout the day! Thirst is often mistaken for hunger — so stay hydrated with water and other low calorie beverages.

Nov. 21 – “Failing to plan is planning to fail.” Winston Churchill

Taking one-day-at-a-time mentality will help get you through ANY DAY. Thanksgiving is just ONE day. YOU can make doable plans and prepare for the choices you’ll face that day. Some temptations you can easily foresee, others will come up. You can handle them all.

On Thanksgiving Day (use this all the time) NEVER SAY “I can’t because I’m on a diet.” If you tell your loved ones (and all bystanders) you are on a “prescribed treatment protocol to help your pancreas and liver. It has been working wonderfully. Under my doctor’s care I’ve lost weight and I my choices are really paying off.” Most people and loved ones should kindly let you do your thing for the day (unless the wine has already kicked in).

BUT be prepared for others to pressure you to engage in the feasting, to beg, to get upset if you pass on ‘their dish’ ‘prepared just for you’, to be offended, to be mad, to not understand. They’ll say “you can take a break for just ONE day.” They do not know the science behind the diet, you DO. They have not done the hard work and emptied all the glycogen from their muscles, you DID. You do not have to feel guilty (perhaps temporarily deprived) for your choices to pass on any food this year and you will absolutely not have to feel guilty saying ‘yes’ to every dish on the table NEXT YEAR! Be thankful for the person that inspired you, that led you to make the CHOICE to start when you did. Perhaps they are getting to eat all the trimmings this year, be happy for them and for your progress so far. Ask them how awesome it feels to be done. How fantastic it is to face the holidays without the dread of gaining that year-end 5+ pounds. Those who have completed all four phases of the Ideal Protein protocol rely on their new daily habits. So, they can have whatever they want for this ONE day. There will be NO negative health or waist consequences for them if they did all 4 phases correctly. They’ll be out shopping and back to following their habit of making the good daily food choices the next day!


Get out your calendar, ask your significant other if there are plans you don’t know about, PLAN and PASS on the events of your choosing, choose to surround yourself with supportive people whenever possible, get all the info and details that you can. Get your Ideal Protein food order planned (and into the office well ahead of your scheduled appointment). Schedule your weekly progress appointments with your coach through the end of December.

Thanksgiving advice: Never attend ‘any event, party, festivity’ hungry.

Plan to enjoy the company, be thankful, eat some delicious turkey and steamed vegetables and stick to the protocol. (Take a dish you can enjoy, prepare to send doggy bags, get a reliable taste-tester if you’re doing the cooking, use some IP recipes.) Please do not ask us for permission to cheat, or deviate, or go off protocol. This must be YOUR CHOICE not ours. Going on and off can be sooooooo hard. BUT If you are planning to NOT follow the prescribed protocol, let us know. We want you to be safe and suffer the fewest negative consequences possible. We will honor your decisions and efforts, let us help you plan for a great Thanksgiving Day and set a successful tone for the many special holiday days and eves ahead.

Get in the mindset of planning not only for tomorrow, but also for the Ideal Protein Phases ahead and ultimately for a lifetime of healthy habits and choices.

I hope you enjoy Thanksgiving Day and I hope it’s amazing for each and every one of you! I am truly grateful for all of you!

Nov. 28 – Love Your Look

Treat yourself to an outfit. Make evenings out during the holidays about what you’re wearing. Seeing family and friends and feeling great in an outfit you picked out for the holidays is a great focus – not the food.

Dec. 5 – How to Avoid Overeating During the Holidays: Play, Reflect, and Be Merry

The holiday decorations are out, holiday music streams from every station, children are getting excited, and we are bombarded by sweets, festive dinners, appetizers, finger foods, and alcohol. And don’t forget the fruit cakes and figgie pudding (whatever that is). Eat, Drink, and Be Merry. As if eating and drinking were the only means to merriment!

What we need is a new holiday mindset. One where eating and drinking are secondary to the many other merriments of the season. Below are some tips for how to avoid overeating by distracting yourself with the other fun activities of winter!
Here are some great non-edible ways to enjoy the holidays:

  • Watch “It’s a Wonderful Life” for the 100th time
  • Take evening strolls around your neighborhood, admiring the holiday lights
  • Go Ice-skating
  • Curl up in front of a crackling fire and read O’Henry’s “The Gift of the Magi”, or Dickens “A Christmas Carol”
  • Grab some neighbors and go caroling – Who doesn’t love to belt out “Frosty the Snowman”
  • Organize a stocking stuffer exchange instead of a cookie exchange
  • Shop for creative hostess gifts, while doing laps around the mall
  • Make your own holiday cards or pinecone bird feeders
  • If weather permits, build a snowman or have a snowball fight with the kids

What will you do to be merry this holiday season? Share your tips on how to avoid overeating and what you plan to do to stay distracted!

Dec. 12 – Made it Thru Thanksgiving. Plan for Setbacks. What’s Plan B?/Need a Tune-Up


Please do not ask us for permission to cheat, or deviate, or go off protocol. This must be YOUR CHOICE not ours. Going on and off can be sooooooo hard. BUT If you are planning to NOT follow the prescribed protocol, let us know. We want you to be safe and suffer the fewest negative consequences possible. We will honor your decisions and efforts, let us help you plan for a great holiday and set a successful tone for the many special holidays ahead.

  1. Never attend any event, party, festivity hungry.
  2. Plan to enjoy the company, be thankful, eat some delicious turkey and steamed vegetables and stick to the protocol.
  3. Take a dish you can enjoy
  4. Prepare to send doggy bags- if you’re the host – send the leftovers home with your guests.
  5. Get a reliable taste-tester if you’re doing the cooking
  6. Use IP recipes – many available at
  7. Mentally prepare yourself! Remind yourself of your goals – have far you have come and how temporary this phase is
  8. Love yourself more than food!
  9. Email your coach with any questions or for encouragement. We are a community! We have all been there and survived. You are not alone!
  10. If there is a certain dish that you just can’t resist – take it home and freeze it. Celebrate by eating it when you have reached your goals!
  11. Wear a new outfit or something you love that you haven’t been able to get into until now.

Dec. 26 – Keep Your Fitness Routine Going!

The holidays are a great time to stick with your fitness routine — or to start one if you haven’t been working out. Exercise will give you the extra energy you need for parties and shopping. It’s also a great way to deal with holiday stress in a healthy way. If you haven’t been physically active at all, always be sure to check with your doctor before starting a new fitness routine.

USE your Ideal Protein app, which lets you message with your coach, journal on-the-go, and access dieter resources.   SmartBand, which tracks your steps, calories burned, and more.. SmartScale, which syncs with the Ideal Protein app to track your measurements. Keep your fitness routine going!