Author: Dr. Gary Huber

Eat your favorite holiday treats and lose weight by New Years. Sound impossible? Well lets discuss how.

BOLD CHALLENGE! How would like to eat all of your favorite holiday treats and arrive on January 1st weighting less than you do now? Sounds impossible? No it’s entirely probable but it does require a positive attitude and a discipled approach. Before I tell you how to do this you have to search your soul and decide if you REALLY want to do this? Is this importantly enough to you and your health that you are willing to hold yourself accountable? Or is this just a blind, “heck yeah, as long as I don’t have to change anything or exert myself” response?


This is my “Rockin’ Holiday Plan”. I started this years ago with a group of friends with amazing results. Here’s the basic jist. The holidays bring two kinds of taste temptations. The really great high-end stuff that is truly a treat. And then there is the not so fancy, cheap garbage that lies around and we eat it anyway. Most of us blindly shovel bad cookies, cheap sugary caramel coated popcorn and dry cake into our pie hole simply because it is sitting there. At our office, in the checkout line and in our homes. So what if we gave ourselves permission to take part in the really good high-end stuff but in return we promised to bypass the crappy stuff.


For example, I love those little Buskin bakery tea cookies. But I hate those cheap supermarket sugar cookies with the plastic icing. I’ve eaten enough bad sugar cookies to float Santa sleigh. Didn’t enjoy them but I ate them, simply because THEY WERE THERE. Stupid and regrettable. So I gave myself permission to eat Buskin cookies anytime they presented themselves over the holiday but in exchange for this delicious exemption I swore off cheap flavored popcorn, bad cookies, crappy factory cakes and pies and other assorted Holiday treats that simply aren’t worth it.


I also agreed to work out more to burn off a few extra calories to make room for those cookies. I promised myself I would exercise 5 days per week even it was simply a 20 minute quickie on some days. This did two things. It increased calorie burn but more importantly it began to shape this habit into my weekly activities. I was strengthening a good habit that would carry over into the new year. Exercise improves your sleep and helps reduce stress so it is a game changer that makes the holidays more jolly.


So here are the ground rules:

  1. Declare 2 of your holiday favorites that you can look forward to and indulge at will. Very specific treats, write them down.
  2. Make a list of all of the common suspects that appear on your desk or in your path thru the holidays such as: coated popcorn, cheap cookies, little boxes of second rate candy, weak looking pies and cakes form industrial factories that aren't worth the time of day and whatever else comes to mind.
    • We are swearing off these cheap body wreckers and adopting a snobby “not good enough for prime time” stance.
  3. Schedule your workouts days in advance or write them all out on Sunday and enter them into your weekly schedule. This is a personal promise that will be rewarded with your special treat. Pavlov’s dog would be so proud.
    • Look forward to these workouts, they are private time away from hustle of the holiday helter skelter. I time for personal reflection.
  4. Clean water and tons of vegetables (5-6 servings) each and every day.
    • Go to the grocery and load up on good wholesome organic vegetables and salad fixins and quick grab and go treats like carrot sticks and hummus.
  5. All the protein you want. No limit. Hungry? Grab a hunk of ham and a stick of celery. Its worth it because you will feel cleaner and lighter and there are cookies to be enjoyed as your reward.
  6. Weigh yourself today, the day after Thanksgiving and again every week and the final weigh in on New Years Day should be 1 pound lighter.


That's right, the goal is to weigh one pound lighter on New Years Day. Now if you are thinking “only one pound?” then hold on. Most Americans gain 10 pounds over the Christmas holiday. By contrast you will arrive with:

  1. A new habit of working out 5 days per week
  2. A better habit of eating more vegetables and protein
  3. Have lost 1 pound
  4. ATE COOKIES FOR 5 WEEKS and enjoyed the holiday without feeling deprived.


If this sounds appealing then work with Chelsea, our dietitian, to get this ball rolling now so that New Years Day will truly be a celebration. Contact Chelsea at (513) 366-2123.


Please don't take from this post the erroneous message that wheat and cookies are good for you. They clearly are not. But for many of us a rolling start such as this one can be light years ahead of where your diet is right now. This is simply a tool, a mechanism to get you moving on the right direction and it works.