South Beach Diet - Planning for Success During Winter Holidays

10-05-2009, 02:02 PM
Hey, Chickies!

Those holidays are coming! The Canadian chickies have already had their Turkey day, and we US chickies have another month to go, but it's probably starting to be on more and more of our minds. As so many of us have found, it's easier to stay OP if you think ahead of time about possible challenges and then plan for success, and this is certainly true of holiday season, when so many "traps" abound.

We've had some really awesome threads in this forum about various aspects of staying on plan during the holidays. I've compiled a list of them in the FAQ under the heading Emergency Handbook for the Holidays! (

Feel free to share your tips about the holidays here or in that thread. Either way, let's prepare each other for successful, fun, OP holiday celebrations! :yay:

FYI: Before you start a new thread about the holidays, you might want to check out the old ones to see if there are answers to your question in them. Of course, you're welcome to start new topics each year, but if you do, please post a link to them in the Emergency Handbook for the Holidays! ( so I make sure to include it. :thanks:

11-09-2009, 08:22 PM
I'm going to reread tonight. Thanks, Beachgal, for all the work you put into this.

11-11-2009, 04:27 PM
No problem, Debbie! The holidays seem like a big trap for many of us. It's good to have as much in our arsenal as possible! :jig:

11-15-2009, 03:15 PM
I've been thinking a lot about the holidays recently. I am reworking our Thanksgiving dinner plans so the dishes are healthier. We're nixing regular mashed potatoes altogether and instead will do a baked sweet potato casserole. I'm going to bake the potatoes and then mash the "innerds" and combine with some sauteed garlic and onions and then bake in a casserole dish. I'm replacing the Campbell's green bean casserole with sauteed green beans, oyster mushrooms, and garlic. That's as far as I've gotten, but I'm still thinking.

11-23-2009, 02:57 PM
bumping for this week...

12-07-2009, 01:31 PM
Here are tips on alcohol consumption from the Daily Dish (

Guidelines for Enjoying Alcoholic Beverages

If you’re following a healthy eating plan, what you drink is just as important as what you eat. And on the South Beach Diet, certain high-calorie beverages (like sugary sodas and fruit juices) can be diet busters. But what about alcoholic beverages like wine and beer? Starting on Phase 2 of the South Beach Diet, you can enjoy alcohol in moderation. It’s recommended that women limit their intake to one alcoholic beverage a day, and men to one or two a day. More than that not only adds calories but can also sabotage your willpower. Before grabbing a drink, check out our brief guide:

1. Don’t drink too early in the evening because you may be tempted to have several drinks, and the calories start to add up.

2. Do alternate with seltzer and water to stay properly hydrated. You can also add seltzer to your wine for a refreshing spritzer.

3. Do eat a nutritious meal or snack containing lean protein before you start drinking. The protein helps to stabilize blood sugar and prevent cravings.

4. Do opt for red wine over white. Red wine is a better choice because it contains higher amounts of the powerful antioxidant resveratrol, which is found in grape skins.

5. Don’t go for regular beer; stick with light beer and drink it with meals.

6. Do choose extra-brut champagne, which has no added sugar or very little added sugar. Brut and extra-dry varieties of champagne have only a little more added sugar and are acceptable second choices.

7. Do choose sugar-free mixers for cocktails. Sugar-free sodas, flavored waters, vegetable-juice cocktail, diet tonic, club soda, or seltzer are your best bests. Be sure to avoid regular sodas, regular tonic, and fruit juices. Another tip? Use sugar-free powdered drink mixes to make punch or other fruit-flavored cocktails.

8. Do top your drink with garnishes like lemon and lime wedges, olives, or celery, but skip maraschino cherries, which are packed with sugar.

Here’s a rundown of alcoholic drinks to enjoy and avoid:


* Red and white wine (one serving = 4 to 5 oz.)
* Champagne (one serving = 4 to 5 oz.)
* Vodka (one serving = 1 1/2 oz., which is a standard shot glass)
* Gin (one serving = 1 1/2 oz.)
* Rum (one serving = 1 1/2 oz.)
* Bourbon (one serving = 1 1/2 oz.)
* Light beer (one serving = 12 oz.)


* Regular beer
* Brandy
* Port wine
* Liqueurs (including Kahlua, Baileys Irish Cream, Amaretto, Grand Marnier, schnapps, etc.)
* Sherry
* Wine coolers (often contain a lot of added sugar)

12-07-2009, 04:59 PM
I'm not confident enough to be around holiday food. My students' parents will give me chocolate -- I'll give it away. I don't go to Christmas parties. I have no family, and so don't have to worry about Christtmas baking and Christmas treats. It's a coward's way out, I know :) (I'll go out to Christmas dinner with a friend and eat carefully and without desert.)

But these are all terrific tips!

12-11-2009, 01:06 PM
Xan, that's how I am on Halloween! I don't go to Halloween parties, don't have any goodies at work, and pass out toys to kids so there isn't candy in the house. :shrug: It works for me. :)

12-14-2009, 04:38 PM
From the Daily Dish (

...The South Beach Diet is a lifestyle, after all — one that makes sense during the holidays and throughout the year. But it helps to have an action plan in place before the edible gifts start to arrive, so you'll know how to best avoid them, which ones you want to sample — and what to do with the rest. Here’s how:

1. Find a festive serving platter, and bring tempting sweets you received to the next holiday party, where they can be shared and enjoyed by other partygoers. Or, bring the goodies into the office and share with your coworkers.

2. Consider a gift swap with a family member or friend. Did your neighbor receive a carton of fresh citrus fruits? Perhaps she'd be willing to trade it for your fancy box of petits fours.

3. If you can, plan a preemptive strike: Drop hints to your family and close friends. Is there something special you've had your eye on? Tell your aunt you've been admiring the latest wine opener — then hope that she takes the hint and sends it to you in lieu of her traditional candy tower!

4. Remember that the holidays come but once a year. It's okay to allow yourself a few bites of your favorite holiday pie or, best of all, a little dark chocolate (which has antioxidants that are good for your heart!) — as long as the rest of your meals and snacks are South Beach Diet-friendly. If you continue to follow the plan — which includes exercise — as best you can during the holiday season, you'll stay on track and avoid those excess holiday pounds.