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Holiday Success Tips
For many, the holidays mark a time for celebration, friends, family and food. Unfortunately, traditional holiday fare can be high in fat and calories. Not to worry, it is possible to enjoy holiday cuisine without going overboard. Take the focus of the holiday off food. Instead, take time to reunite with friends and family and enjoy the pleasures of the holiday.
While food is an important element of celebrating the season, it’s not the only part. Know that you can entertain for the holidays and still stay on track with your weekly action plan.
To set yourself up for success, plan your entertaining events to include a combination of food and non-food activities. One benefit of hosting a seasonal celebration is that you can be in charge of both. This will make is easier to follow your menu and activity plan and to create some new traditions to model for family and friends. After all, holiday celebrations are people events at which food happens to be present – not the other way around!
Use these tips to get you started:
The key to successful entertaining is planning, and it helps to simplify, both in terms of meal planning and recipes.
- Prepare your grocery list in advance and shop on a full stomach.
- Chew sugarless gum while preparing and serving food and when storing leftovers.
- Create hors d’oeuvres trays using colorful, seasonal fruits and vegetables, such as grapes, figs, wild mushrooms, artichokes, chestnuts and acorn squash. Partner veggies with a low-fat dip served in scooped out bell peppers.
- For a festive flair, plan to offer your favorite stew or soup served in a hallowed out mini-pumpkin, acorn squash or Yukon Gold potato.
- Add fun and flavor to your menu by preparing some dishes from Jenny Craig cookbooks or recipes from the Jenny Craig Website.
With careful planning and a little creativity, you can enjoy traditional holiday foods with a healthy flair.
- Begin your meal with a vegetable salad or a Soupitizer® Soup.
- Fill your plate with a variety of roasted, seasonal vegetables: carrots, mushrooms, acorn squash, eggplant and zucchini. Top vegetables with a splash of lemon juice or fresh herbs instead of butter.
- Serve low-calorie beverages, such as sparkling water, iced tea or diet soda in fancy goblets. Add a splash of light cranberry juice to these drinks to give them some pizzazz.
- Prepare a fresh fruit plate or salad for dessert. Festive winter fruits include pears, pomegranates, grapes, cranberries and clemetines.
- Trade butter sauces for healthier fats – sprinkle vegetable dishes with sliced almonds, chopped hazelnuts or olive halves.
- Substitute lower-calorie ingredients when preparing your favorite traditional foods (refer to chart below).
- Have Free Foods handy, such as calorie-free beverages or non-starchy vegetables, to snack on if you are tempted to nibble while preparing food.
If you are like many, you think of the holidays as a time to take a break from your typical healthy habits. Often people tend to indulge in a bit of excess, and then try to make up for it with a new rigorous routine in the New Year. You may be surprised to know that it’s actually consistency of activity and diet, rather than a pattern of highs and lows, that supports long-term success.
To help you keep consistent in the midst of holiday chaos, use these tips.
1. Don’t Skip Meals:
You may be tempted to skip breakfast and “save” all of your calories for the big feast but you could be setting yourself up to overeat. Remember to have your Jenny’s Cuisine® breakfast, lunch and snack, and follow your menu for the day so that when dinner comes around, you won’t be starving and be more likely to overdo it.
2. Plan for Social Situations:
You can still enjoy social events while following your weight loss plan; it just takes some pre-planning. When going to a holiday party, offer to bring a vegetable platter so that you will have plenty of Free Foods to munch on. If you are going out to eat, plan what you will eat ahead of time with your Dining Out Success Guide. For more tips on pre-planning for social situations, refer to pages 52-56 of your Weight Loss Manual and talk with your Jenny Craig Consultant.
3. Simplify Meal Planning:
Use the Winter Holiday Menu or select other menus or recipes from the Jenny Craig Website to simplify meal planning. Some of the holiday recipes featured on the website include: Apricot Glazed Ham, Beef Brisket with Carrot and Prunes, Herb Mustard Turkey Breast, Garlic Rosemary Mashed Potatoes, Lemon Herb Green Beans, Maple-Mustard Carrots, Bread Pudding, Crustless Pumpkin Pie, Gingerbread House, Spiced Pears and Cranberry Wine Spritzers. The recipes include nutritional information and take the guesswork out of figuring portions and food groups.
4. Learn to Say “No”:
Throughout your weight management program, you will have a variety of social occasions that require you to make decisions about food. It’s okay to say “no” to an offer of food. In fact, when you practice saying “no” to others, you begin to say “yes” to yourself – to the choices that serve your interests and take you closer to your goals. Keep your explanation short. Use the words “polite, reason, polite” as your mantra to close to door on any well-meaning, but potentially sabotaging, persuasion.
Practice the PRP
“Thanks for offering, that dessert looks delicious!”
Reason for Refusal:
“Dinner was perfect and I couldn’t manage another bite.”
“Maybe I’ll have to try that delicious looking dessert next
5. Lighten Up Recipes:
Modify your favorite recipes using some of the low-fat cooking techniques below:
Drippings, giblets and whole milk in your gravy
Fat-free broth, mushrooms and skim milk
Butter and cream in your mashed potatoes
Evaporated skim milk, fat-free sour cream, garlic and parsley
Sausage, butter, egg and chestnuts in your stuffing
Broth, egg whites, water chestnuts and dried fruit
Butter, cream or cheese in your vegetables
Roasting vegetables with olive-oil flavored spray and herbs
Butter, brown sugar and marshmallows in your candied yams
Orange marmalade, orange juice and cloves
Butter/margarine in cookies and quick breads
Replace 1/2 with applesauce, nonfat yogurt or fruit purée
Eggs and evaporated whole milk in your pumpkin pie recipe
Egg whites and evaporated skim milk
Whipped cream, sour cream and walnuts in your fruit salad
Nonfat vanilla yogurt, fat-free sour cream and raisins
Regular store-bought egg nog
“Light” store-bought egg nog
6. Enjoy a Splurge:
When combined with a Meal On My Own, a splurge may be just enough indulgence for that special occasion. A splurge is equal to 250 calories. You can enjoy an occasional splurge and still continue to maintain consistent weight loss. To balance out a splurge, add a “spurt” of extra activity. See the table below for ideas to keep your weight loss on a consistent path throughout the season.
Here are some examples of foods and activities that can count as a splurge during this holiday season:
All of these foods contain ~ 250 calories
All of these activities will burn ~ 250 calories (based on a 200 lb person)*
Brownie (4” square, unfrosted)
Dancing – 50 minutes
2 oz piece of fudge, no nuts
Swimming – 25 minutes
1 slice (1/8 of pie) light pumpkin pie
Mall walking (4 mph) – 30 minutes
Tall nonfat mocha w/whipped cream
Running (6 mph) – 15 minutes
1 dinner roll w/ 1 tsp butter or margarine
Skiing (downhill) – 25 minutes
1/2 cup low-fat egg nog with 1 1/2 oz rum
Ice skating – 20 minutes
5 oz white wine and two 2-inch pieces bruschetta
Walking the dog (3 mph) – 50 minutes
1 oz or 10 potato chips and 12 oz light beer
Raking leaves – 40 minutes
2 (4 oz) glasses of champagne
Playing tennis – 30 minutes
*Blair SN, Dunn AL, Marcus BH, et al. Active Living Every Day: 20 Steps to Lifelong Vitality. Champaign, IL: Human Kinetics, 2001
The Jenny Craig Program is designed to help you throughout the year, whether it is saving you time with preplanned menus or giving you ideas for incorporating healthier holiday recipes into your busy schedule. Use your consultant as a tool for success. Despite all of the chaos of the season, be sure to keep your weekly consultation appointments to help you stay on track. With whatever area you may need assistance; your Jenny Craig Consultant is a great source of support, offering more strategies for success, helping with menu planning and joining in to celebrate achievements and success. We are here for you 24/7 at 1-800-JennyCare or via online support at www.jennycraig.com.
All trademarks are owned by Société des Produits Nestlé S.A., Vevey, Switzerland, or used with permission.
VOLUMETRICS® is a federally registered trademark of Barbara Rolls, PhD, used under exclusive license by Jenny Craig, Inc.
Rolls BJ. The Volumetrics Eating Plan. New York, NY: Harper; 2007.
Rolls BJ, Barnett, RA. The Volumetrics Weight-Control Plan. New York, NY: Harper 2000.