You DON’T Have To Gain Weight during the Holidays!

Blog by John Ulrich

You DON’T Have To Gain Weight during the Holidays!

(or ever)

I had been a steady 165# since I was 16 years old. In the winter, I lived in Alaska, I would gain a few. Come summer they would shed off, every year without fail. Then I turned 50. I would gain some in winter, and lose half of that in the summer. I stabilized at 170. Then I sustained an injury in 2010 that required extensive surgery and 18 months of rehab. At the end of that, I was 188 lbs and felt it. Using USANA meal replacement shakes, taking a full regimen USANA Vitamins, and being conscious of what and when I ate other foods my weight dropped to and stabilized at 175. As I approach 60, I have been making an effort to lose more excess weight. I have been losing a healthy 2 pounds per week. But Thanksgiving was upon us! The morning of Nov. 27th, Thanksgiving day, I weighed in at 167.4. The next morning after eating more than enough to be satisfied on Thanksgiving Day, I weighed in at 168.2. Whew, not nearly as bad as I thought it was going to be. Back on track with more sensible eating, and on Nov 30th I was at 166.8. Let the trend continue!

What are my secrets to losing weight during the Holidays?

My first trick is to start a sensible routine before the season is upon you. I like having a USANA meal replacement shake for breakfast, another for lunch with a USANA snack bar midway between meals. I follow that with a sensible low glycemic, low fat dinner with vegetables. I would expect you to have positive results after just a few days of this routine.

The second trick, is to plan ahead. We know what foods we like. We generally know the ones that are less good for us. If not, now is the time to talk to someone who genuinely knows about cellular nutrition. Lora Ulrich for example. She can help you with this trick, which boils down to substitution. I love to stuff the turkey with my homemade stuffing. It is full of all the things that help me stay overweight. Pork sausage, potatoes, bread of course, walnuts, you get the idea. I substituted with turkey sausage, wild rice and quinoa, gluten free bread. I did throw in a handful of walnuts, but not nearly as many as usual. One more creative substitution. Mashed white potatoes. I love them, but they are not that good for me. So, 1 potato, 1 plantain, 1 head of cauliflower, three carrots, 1 large onion. Boil all until soft, mash together. Looks like potato, but has less of what is bad for me and more of what isn’t. Okay, 1 more. Apple pie. Normally the crust has lots of shortening (fat) and white flour. The apple mix has lots of sugar. We bought a gluten free pie crust for starters and blended a dozen dates in a few ounces of water. I stirred the dates in with the apples, added one teaspoon of maple syrup (because I’m a rebel) and cinnamon. Poured it in the pie crust and baked. The crust was a little disappointing, but the apples were amazing!

The third trick. STOP EATING! For the Thanksgiving day meal, I stopped when I was full. That’s a big deal for me.  We traditionally eat around 2 pm. I had a shake for breakfast and a snack bar around noon. This way, I wasn’t starving at mealtime. Then I ate. Then I had about a half serving for seconds. I was full and stopped. WOW. We had apple pie after a couple of hours and a light snack for dinner. It was plenty of food and I didn’t feel deprived in the least. I love leftovers. I reminded myself that I could have them for lunch the next day. So, a shake for breakfast, a bar for snack and turkey leftovers (moderate portion) for lunch, a bar for snack and a shake for dinner and I’m done eating for the day. My past Holiday pigouts were nothing like this. But hey, the goal is to eat what I want and still lose weight. Something has to change. I continue with my shake, bar, sensible meal theme until the leftovers are gone. The transition to the original shake, bar, shake, bar, sensible meal is easy and seamless.

There you have it!


To contact Lora about the USANA products mentioned visit or scheduling a coaching session email


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