The Holidays are a tradition filled with family, fun, food, food, food, alcohol and football. Leftovers consist of more food and about 2-5 extra pounds. The average person will consume approximately 3000 – 4500 additional calories during the Holiday eat-a-thon weekend.


How much exercise does it take a person to burn off a 3000 calorie Holiday meal?  

5 Hours of Cardio on an Elliptical Machine
Run at a moderate pace for 4 hours
Swim for 5 hours

Walk for 30 miles (what up Forest Gump)
Garden for 7 consecutive hours
9 Hours of Water Aerobics
5 Hours of Moderate to Intense Zumba

Most Nutritionists would tell you that Holidays are normal days and there is no need to indulge or overeat. While that might be true, it’s just not realistic for most people.

Accomplishing your weight loss and health goals means understanding how to balance your meals and enjoy your favorite holiday foods in moderation.

No need to worry…there is a way to enjoy the Holidays and still keep to your nutrition and exercise goals. In this Holidays Survival Guide you will learn.

  • 10 Nutrition Tips for the Big Day
  • Fat and Oils Substitutes
  • Holidays Food Swaps
  • Health Holiday Recipes

10 Nutrition Tips for these Holidays

1. DO NOT SKIP MEALS! Limit your intake of calories leading up to the big day. Eat breakfast and a protein-packed lunch before the big feast. If you starve yourself during the day, you could wind up SO hungry that by the time you sit down at the dinner table you eat WAY too much food.

2. Go for lean, white meat turkey to get the most bang for your calorie buck. Dark meat has about 15% more calories and 30-40% more fat than light meat. If you prefer the dark meat, then at least take off the skin since that is where most of the fat (added calories) is.

3. Start with the protein (animal or vegetarian). Start with your protein choice and then work on the vegetables. Leave the starchy carbs until the end. The protein will help slow the break down on the starchy carbs. All that chewing will help you to feel full before you get to the starch.

4. Pause and take some breaths. After you finish each dish on your plate put your fork down. Take a couple of slow deep breathes. Enjoy what you’ve previously eaten before starting on the next dish. The deep breaths don’t have to be obvious. Taking a pause and some deep breathes will also help aid digestion.

5. Choose calorie-free beverages. If you are going to be having alcoholic beverages then everything else you drink should be calorie free. Skip the pop, coffees, and juices. Drink lots of water to avoid the dehydration that comes along with drinking too much.

6. Ask if you can make a side dish – make it a tasty guilt-free dish so you will have at least one thing to splurge on. Veggie dishes don’t have to be boring. We’ve provided a couple of tasty and easy to make side dishes that are waistline-friendly that guests will still love to eat.

7. Burn calories! The more calories you burn with activity, the more food you can consume without feeling terrible about it. Do not skip the exercise leading up to the feast or on the day of. Make time to get to exercise and raise your heart rate. Your metabolism will thank you for it.

8. Wear form-fitting clothing and you will be less likely to overeat. No sweatpants or stretchy pants. No one wants to see you with your pants unbuttoned after the meal.

9. Use a salad plate instead of a regular dinner plate. If your plate is smaller you will not have as much room on it and won’t overload it with too much of the stuff you shouldn’t have a lot of. Also, this helps trick your eye; no one likes to see half their plate empty.

10. Keep your goal in mind! Although you may only overindulge a couple times over the holidays – a little plus a little plus a little adds up to a whole lot. Remind yourself why you are choosing to lose weight and keep that goal in the forefront of your mind.

BONUS TIP: Have a hard boiled egg or 10 nuts about 45 minutes prior to the main meal. Having approximately 70 – 100 calories will help you to minimize your level of hunger so you can better control your portion sizes.

Instead Of

1 cup of butter in baking

8 ounces of cream cheese

1 cup crème fraiche

1 cup heavy cream (in recipes, not for whipping)

1 cup sour cream

1 cup fat for sautéing

1 egg
1 cup oil or fat for basting


Fat and Oil Substitutes


3/4 cup applesauce + 1⁄4 butter

8 ounces of plain yogurt

1 cup yogurt cheese made from low fat or nonfat yogurt

2 teaspoons cornstarch or 1 tablespoon flour whisked into 1 cup nonfat milk

1 cup low fat cottage cheese + 2 tablespoons skim milk + 1 tablespoon lemon juice

4 cups low fat stock, fruit juice or wine and sauté until liquid evaporates

2 egg whites

1 cup fruit juice or low-fat stock

  • Replacing all of the fat doesn’t usually work. You can replace approximately 3⁄4 of the fat. Keep 1⁄4 of the fat that the recipe calls for.
  •  Avoid over baking, since lower fat content can cause your baked goods to dry out quicker. Reduce oven temp by 25*F and check for doneness before the end of usual baking time.
  • Coconut oil is a great replacement to regular oil in certain recipes. The taste is very mild. You can also use it instead of margarine or Pam to grease baking pans.

    Use parchment paper instead of greasing baking pans. Silicon baking pans are a great alternative as there is no need to grease prior to use.

Instead Of

White potatoes

Mashed potatoes

Candied sweet potatoes

Canned cranberry sauce

Pecan pie

Cheese and cracker appetizers

Roasted nuts and trail mix


Regular stuffing

Butter or Oil for basting

Cream of mushrooms or celery soups for casseroles

Green bean casserole Apple pie

Holidays Food Swaps

Eat This

Yams with the skin on

Half white potatoes with half pureed cauliflower

Roasted butternut squash

Cranberry Chutney

Pumpkin pie

Cut up veggies, hummus, and roasted red pepper dip

Raw almonds, pumpkin seeds, walnuts and pecans

Dry red or white wine

Whole grain stuffing

Low sodium vegetable broth mixed with white wine

Low-fat plain yogurt with sautéed celery or mushrooms

Sautéed green beans Apple crumble

Healthy Holiday Recipes

Mock Mashed Potatoes

1 medium head cauliflower
1 tablespoon cream cheese, softened
1/4 cup grated Parmesan
1/2 teaspoon minced garlic
1/8 teaspoon straight chicken base or bullion (may substitute 1/2 teaspoon salt)
1/8 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/2 teaspoon chopped fresh or dry chives, for garnish


Set a stockpot of water to boil over high heat.

Clean and cut cauliflower into small pieces. Cook in boiling water for about 6 minutes, or until well done. Drain well; do not let cool and pat cooked cauliflower very dry between several layers of paper towels.

In a bowl with an immersion blender, or in a food processor, puree the hot cauliflower with the cream cheese, Parmesan, garlic, chicken base, and pepper until almost smooth.
Garnish with chives.

Hint: Try roasting the garlic and adding a little fresh rosemary to a whole new taste. SERVES: 4

Not So Sweet Cranberry Sauce


2 bags of fresh cranberries (they are usually 12-ounce bags)
3/4 cup pineapple juice or orange juice (pineapple is recommended) 1/2 cup of unsweetened applesauce (no sugar added)
1/2 cup of water
Juice and zest of one orange


  1. Put cranberries, pineapple juice, applesauce and water in a saucepan and bring to a boil.
  2. Keep on medium heat, stirring constantly until the cranberries start to explode (about 10-15 minutes).
  3. Reducetoasimmerandpourthejuiceandzestoverthecranberrymixture.
  4. Simmer10-15minutesandremovefromheat.
  5. Coolcompletelyandstoreinfridgeatleast4hoursbutpreferablyovernightbefore


NOTE: This is not as sweet as store versions. Taste at the end of cooking. It is naturally sweet from the fruit juice and applesauce but you can add raw honey to taste if needed.

Gluten Free Easy-Peasy Stuffing

2 loaves gluten-free bread, diced into one-inch cubes, double toasted and cooled 2 large ribs celery, finely diced
1 large yellow onion, finely diced
2 tbsp good olive oil
2 tbsp garlic, finely chopped
1 tbsp fresh rosemary, finely chopped
1 tbsp fresh thyme, finely chopped
1 tbsp fresh sage, finely chopped
1 cup organic low sodium chicken stock (Imagine brand)
1 egg yolk
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper


  1. Sautee the onion and celery in olive oil on medium-low heat until they are


  2. Add the garlic, as well as the rosemary, sage, and thyme. Stir these in and cook until

    you can smell the herbs, about one to two minutes. Remove from heat.

  3. Bring the chicken stock to boil on high heat. Place the egg yolk in a medium-sized bowl and carefully ladle two to three ounces of the chicken stock to the egg yolk, slowly, while whisking the mixture. Add the rest of the chicken stock to the egg mixture at this point. (Ladling a small portion of the stock into the egg first, and

    blending it, will prevent you from having scrambled eggs.)

  4. Add the cooled celery, onion, and herbs mixture into the stock and egg mixture.
  5. Toss the bread cubes into this mixture and stir it all around with your hands (or a

    spoon), to coat the bread.

  6. Addthesaltandpepperandtossthebreadagain.
  7. Place all of this into a greased casserole dish (big enough to hold three quarts) and

    cover it with aluminum foil.

  8. Bake for twenty minutes at 425°, then remove the foil and bake for another ten


  9. Take a toothpick and stick it into the stuffing. If it comes out clean, the stuffing is

    done. If not, bake until the toothpick comes out clean.

Serves six to eight people.

Sautéed Green Beans


2 tsp extra-virgin olive oil, divided 1 pound green beans, trimmed 1/2 cup water
2 cloves garlic, minced

1 1/2 cups halved cherry tomatoes
1 tbsp balsamic vinegar or rice vinegar Salt & freshly ground pepper, to taste 1oz feta cheese


1. Heat 1 teaspoon oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat.
2. Add green beans and cook, stirring often, until seared in spots, 2 to 3 minutes.
3. Add water, cover, reduce heat to medium and cook, stirring occasionally, about 3 minutes for tender-crisp or 6 minutes for tender.
4. Push the beans to the side; add the remaining 1 teaspoon oil and garlic and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds.
5. Add tomatoes, stir everything together and cook until the tomatoes begin to break down 2 to 3 minutes.
6. Remove from heat; stir in vinegar, salt, and pepper.
7. Just before serving, crumble the 1oz of feta and sprinkle on top

Apple Crumble (Gluten Free)



6 cups of apples, sliced
1⁄2 tsp of nutmeg – add to apples 1 tbsp lemon juice
1⁄4 cup of brown sugar
1⁄4 brown rice flour
1 tsp cinnamon


1⁄4 cup brown sugar, packed 1⁄2 cup brown rice flour
3⁄4 cup quinoa flakes
1 tsp cinnamon

2 tbsp butter
2 tbsp orange juice


  1. Combine filling ingredients and place in a greased (coconut oil)10” pie plate or Pyrex
  2. Combine topping ingredients and mix until crumbly
  3. Sprinkle over fruit
  4. Bake at 400F for 45 minutes, if necessary, cover loosely with foil to prevent browning

    (check at 30 minutes for browning)

Thank you for reading this free Holidays Survival Guide report.


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