By Melanie McGrice, AdvAPD

Weight loss and Christmas; they don’t have to be mutually exclusive themes. If you’ve got a client who is on a VLED regimen, there are ways that they can still get through celebrating the festive season without jeopardising their weight loss goals. Here are a few of my top tips that you may like to share with your clients:

1. Volunteer to host

Hosting the party means that your client is in control and will more often than not be too busy organising drinks or setting the table to snack mindlessly. It also means that they can decide what sort of food selection is offered to their guests. If it’s a BBQ or a roast, they can plan ahead and be sure to plate up a variety of low starch vegetable options (that won’t compromise their meal replacement program).

2. Offer to bring a plate

If they’re a guest at a party, advise them to offer to bring a plate or some snacks. They can make their own low starch vegetable salad, canapes or create a tasting plate of low starch vegetable crudités and dips. Even if there are other salads or snacks available, your client will be assured that at least they have some low carbohydrate options and won’t have to miss out.

3. Drink sparkling mineral water

This is the time when your clients will have to be strong and avoid the glasses of wine and soft drink and make a concerted effort to stick to water. But, water doesn’t have to be boring. Encourage your clients to drink sparkling mineral water instead of tap water, and to promote the festive feeling, serve it in a champagne flute or a special glass of choice with a party umbrella or wedge of lime.

4. Snack on low starch vegetables

Holidays can lead to mindless snacking if your client isn’t well prepared. Discourage your clients from buying unnecessary Christmas-related treats and encourage them to have low starch vegetables on hand to use as snacks. Carrots, snow peas, capsicum and celery are great options that can be munched on raw, but encourage your clients to be creative in the kitchen with their holiday time. For example, broccoli, zucchini, eggplant and kale can all be dry baked and served as vegetable chips for a delicious and satisfying crunchy snack.


5. Enjoy the summer sun

We’re blessed in Australia to have long holiday breaks over the summer. Nothing beats the feeling of warm sun and not having to rush for anything. Just because it’s holidays, doesn’t mean that your client’s exercise routine should go on vacation as well. Heading outside for a walk or getting the gang together for a game of cricket can be a great way to clear some headspace, relieve stress, help to reach exercise targets and sustain weight loss goals.

6. Use an OPTIFAST VLCD Dessert as dessert

Instead of the puddings or pavlova, why not encourage your client to settle back and have an OPTIFAST VLCD Dessert as their dessert. Encourage your clients to save these meal replacement options for special occasions so they truly become a ‘treat’ and they don’t need to miss out if everyone else is having something special after a main.

7. Focus on a deeper meaning

There is more to the festive season than just eating and drinking. Christmas can be a time of reflection and celebration, or an opportunity to spend quality time with family and friends. Encourage your clients to not only eat mindfully over the holidays, but to live mindfully and to avoid getting caught up in the hype of overdoing it at parties.


Without a doubt, the festive season is a time when most of our clients are out of routine. It is important for anyone aiming to lose weight to set themselves realistic and achievable goals. So, talk to your client and discuss their situation and the potential need to re-assess their goals. It may be that you aim for a slower rate of weight loss or even weight maintenance for a short period of time, however they shouldn’t need to give up on their longer term weight goals.