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Monday’s With Mike: Enjoy A Holiday Dinner Without The Holiday Weight Gain

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It’s Christmas Eve and I’m here at Whole Foods to show you how you can enjoy your family dinner without regretting what or how much you ate.

I’m going to show you how to navigate the h’dourves, mains, sides, and desserts without feeling like you missed out on anything!

Maybe you’re headed to your parents place for dinner, or perhaps this year to a significant others, or maybe even a friend’s house… regardless of your destination it’s always great to bring a dish!  Why?  I’m glad you asked!  Here’s why:

1.  You control the ingredients

2.  You can opt for something that gives you more bang for your macro buck (like a healthier green bean casserole; or a lower fat dessert)

3.  No one will be mad at you for bringing extra food. Plus it’s a sign of generosity and gratitude to the host (the same way people bring a bottle of wine)

So now you’re going to make a dish, but what do you make?

You can ask the host if there’s something in particular, or opt for an appetizer, side or dessert. Those are safe bets.

A winter staple in our house is my wife’s Butternut Squash Soup. It’s SO GOOD, and SO SIMPLE to make.  Just 5 ingredients! Check out her amazing recipe here on the DH blog!

Also, the internet is FULL of healthy recipes. Whether you’re paleo, low fat, low carb, or vegetarian, you’ll have plenty to choose from.

In addition to the great recipes on the DH blog, my wife loves the Paleomg, where there are TONS of awesome recipes.

Regardless of what you decide to make, you’ll now know that you can freely enjoy this item without wondering if it’s going to blow your dinner plan up in smoke.




1.  Try to stay gluten free
Gluten causes bloat, inflammation, and is hard to digest.  Do yourself a favor and avoid the gluten at Christmas Dinner.

2.  Get in a good long workout in first!
This will help minimize the damage of any indulgences you’d like to have.

3.  Don’t show up to dinner starving.
This will prevent you from stuffing yourself with appetizers or filling up on the wrong items.  Kind of the same reason it’s not a good idea to go grocery shopping hungry.



1.  Avoid Cheese & Crackers
You’re just going to fill up on these high fat, high carb snacks when there are better things to spend your calories on.

2.  Keep Fruit to a Minimum
Would you rather have dessert or fruit?  Exactly.  Save the sugar intake for the treat you’d really like to have and skip the fruit appetizers.

3.  Stick to Veggies & Meat
If you really gotta eat something before dinner, stick to meat and veggies.  They aren’t empty calories, and they are very low cal.

A great item to bring would be a shrimp cocktail platter!  It’s great for snacking and appetizers and there’s no need to limit yourself here since shrimp is just about all protein and nothing else.  You just thaw and serve with some cocktail sauce and you’re good to go.


SKIP IT! It’s an easy way to save some calories for the more tasty and indulgent items I’m sure you’d enjoy more…  But if you must, just keep it to 1 piece.


It helps with digestion and gives you a full feeling at the end of your meal.  It’ll keep you from wanting to go in for seconds and overdo it with the desserts.


Go easy on the mashed potatoes and stuffing (keep it to a portion the size of your fist).  Avoid creamy / saucy dishes as they are usually full of fat.  Load up on steamed or simply prepared veggies.


Here’s where you want the largest portion!  Protein is the most satiating of the macronutrients.  It’ll fill you up in the best way possible.


Ok… You’ve got to have a plan when it comes to the desserts… If dessert is what you love, agree to only try 1 or 2 things, or just 1 piece of pie and no ice cream.   Eat slowly and savor your bites. Keep the portion size to 3 bites.  And definitely no seconds here.


Round up some people and go for a walk after dinner.  Walking after a meal assists digestion and will leave you feeling good.


Even if things don’t go exactly as planned, don’t beat yourself up about whatever happens.  The last thing you want to do after indulging a bit is to stress!  Nothing good will come from it.  It’s just 1 day and the best thing you can do afterward is to hit the gym the next day!


I hope these tips help you enjoy your holiday meal without putting on unwanted weight and undoing all the hard work you put into staying healthy and fit throughout the year.

Happy holidays and see you next week for another episode of Monday’s with Mike!

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