Panagos World

Dieting through the Holidays

by Dec 4, 20180 comments

Reading Time: 5 minutes

Trying to lose weight during the holidays can seem IMPOSSIBLE!!!

I don’t know, there is just something about gathering together with your family and sharing some of the dishes that you only have during the holidays.  You are looking forward to this meal all year long!

Now, we love to go all out for our Holiday meals.  We are not your traditional family, so when cooking our Thanksgiving meal, we will always do something a little different.  We normally don’t have a Turkey.  We will have a bacon-wrapped pork loin, or beef ribeye roast or  Greek souvlaki.  Something different every year.  When it comes to the side dishes, that’s where we have our family favorites.  Roast potatoes, green beans sauteed in with bacon and shallots, corn casserole (my favorite), and a homemade sage and sausage stuffing that is not really that traditional. Of course, we always have a tray of deviled eggs and my mom’s green jello recipe.  Sometimes I will make other casseroles, it just depends on what we want that year.

When it comes to desserts, I’m a Pumpkin Pie Girl!!!

Pumpkin pie is my W-E-A-K-N-E-S-S.  I will eat several slices on Thanksgiving day and even have some for breakfast the next day.




 But this HOLIDAY  we are still in our weight loss stage and I can not return to my old habits this year or ever!! I have to be disciplined!

For Thanksgiving Day, my brother and his family came to our house for dinner.  I had warned them that we are on a diet and so I will be making a lot of vegetables and would not be making any stuffing or desserts. We planned the menu and informed my family what we were having and told them that they are free to bring any dish or dessert that they wanted!

We smoked a turkey and brisket!  Andrew is now an official Texan!  He makes a great brisket!!!   I also had some ham as well. For the veggies, I made some scalloped potatoes and a corn casserole.  I figured scalloped potatoes would be a little healthier than our roast potatoes.    I also had grilled zucchini and green beans cooked with a little bacon, glazed carrots, and a side salad.


Time To Eat

It’s dinner time and now the real test comes!!  What will our plates look like?

No pictures were taken as I was too busy cooking!!  But I will be honest and share what I had.

We normally weigh our meat out so we have the correct portion, but not today.  I put one slice of turkey and ham on my plate and a few slices of brisket!  I ended up not eating the slice of turkey… the brisket was to die for!!

I had a small spoonful of scalloped potatoes and corn casserole and then I had a larger spoonful of zucchini and green beans.  I put TWO carrots on my plate and a deviled egg (I think I had three deviled eggs the entire day). I did not have any side salad.

So I sit down at the table with my plate and Andrew glances at my plate and notices that my spoonful of scalloped potatoes was larger than his!  He did a better job at getting smaller portions, plus he had a side salad as well.

I did not finish all the food on my plate!  I put too much on my plate as we tend to do this time of year, but I stopped eating when I was full.  The temptation is to keep eating, but I had enough and was satisfied and there was no need to finish my plate or go back for seconds. (Doing that is the hard part of our retraining and establishing NEW habits)

Dessert Time

When desserts were served, I joined in with the family!

We had two different pumpkin pies, so I had a small sliver of each and also a small piece of caramel apple cake!

OH MY!!!

That tasted so good! I savored each bite of my dessert!

I also had half a cup of my mother’s lime green pineapple cream cheese jello recipe.  The jello salad was sugar-free and low fat, so I made it the healthiest version possible.

Again, I was satisfied!  I didn’t need to have any more.

My brother and his family graciously took all the leftover desserts with them when they left!  I didn’t need the temptation in the house. I’m not sure my kids appreciated that, but they didn’t need it either!!!

Come Friday, we had our leftovers.  Our plates looked similar to Thanksgiving day, but just a tidbit smaller serving size.

Some people refer to these days as “cheat days” where you allow yourself to eat something that would fall under the category “not good for you”.  I don’t feel like we cheated.  We enjoyed the food that God provided for us.  We did our best to cook the healthiest version of each dish.  Some dishes were healthy and some were not.  We chose not to stress over every ingredient!!


What was different this time around?

We were purposeful in what we ate!  We had just reached a milestone in our weight loss journey.  Andrew had just lost 100 lbs and I just made it under 200lbs.  There was NO WAY we were going to mess that up!!  When selecting our food to put on our plate, the portion size was KEY!!!  We stayed on our eating plan the entire week, so NO snacking throughout the day.  Only our Lean and Green meal was the only meal were we deviated off plan for Thanksgiving and Black Friday.

In the end, we both lost weight Thanksgiving week!  Man, I had I know I would have lost weight,  I could have had a larger piece of pumpkin pie!!!!

Looking Ahead

What this tells us, is that we can still enjoy the holidays and all the trimmings that come with it. We just don’t need to be stuffing our self-silly.  We filled up on some lean meat and veggies and had smaller portions of our desserts and high-calorie casserole dishes.

Making it through Thanksgiving has given me a fresh new outlook for Christmas.  We will continue to have the same discipline and hopefully, we will lose weight over Christmas.

I will give another update after Christmas and I promise to take pictures of our food!

Thanks for following our journey. Sharing our story to the world is not easy and posting our pictures is WAY out of our comfort zone.   We realize the struggle is real for many and we wanted to document what we are doing for two reasons.

One, to help hold us accountable!   We are at the beginning of our journey and we know that we have a long road ahead of us.

Two, we want to encourage others to help take their health back!  It’s never too late! The hardest part about starting this journey is just saying YES to a healthier YOU!!

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