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Get the skinny on holiday weight gain Elena L Serrano, PhD, Assoc. Professor/Extension Specialist Department of Human Nutrition, Foods, & Exercise Virginia.

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Presentation on theme: "Get the skinny on holiday weight gain Elena L Serrano, PhD, Assoc. Professor/Extension Specialist Department of Human Nutrition, Foods, & Exercise Virginia."— Presentation transcript:

1 Get the skinny on holiday weight gain Elena L Serrano, PhD, Assoc. Professor/Extension Specialist Department of Human Nutrition, Foods, & Exercise Virginia Tech

2 Outline Weight gain and maintenance over the holidays Tips for a happy, healthy, weight-gain free holiday Q & A

3 From Candy to Christmas… A Cornucopia of Food

4 A high risk situation More eating occasions - parties, gatherings, celebrations Cookie exchanges More high calorie, high fat foods and beverages More time pressures, colder weather Less exercise Weight gain may be an unwanted consequence…foodborne illness too

5 Fact or Fiction? Yanovski et al. (2000) reported that healthy weight individuals gain an average of 0.9 pounds, overweight individuals an average of 5 pounds Change in weight and body composition was assessed over a six- week holiday period among 13 men and 21 women ranging in age from years. Most ‘thought’ they gained weight, but there was no difference between pre-holiday weight and post-holiday weight or body fat percentage (Wagner, & co-workers, 2012) In another study, 65% of men and 58% of women gained ≥1.2 pounds and 50% of both gained ≥1% of preholiday body weight (Cook & co-workers, 2012)

6 So, why is holiday weight gain a concern? Past research indicates that holiday weight gain may explain 51% of annual weight gain

7 Who is less likely to gain weight over the holidays? People who continued to: Pay attention to weight and eating Exhibit great stimulus control, including dietary restraint Exercise People who plan ahead and stick with the plan

8 10 STRATEGIES FOR THE HOLIDAYS

9 Make a plan for yourself Whether it be a formal written plan or a mental plan, consider which of these strategies you will embrace

10 1. Try to maintain your weight The holidays are not a realistic time to try to lose weight Many of our favorite holiday memories surround food

11 2. Don’t go to a party when you’re hungry 3. Don’t skip meals Eat a snack beforehand Drink several glasses of water before you go to a party

12 4. Place the healthiest options on your plate and eat those first Filling up on healthy foods will help reduce your temptation to eat more than you need, especially unhealthy foods Leafy green salads Vegetable dishes Raw vegetables, like baby carrots Fruit Lean meats or beans

13 5. Select only small samples of high- calorie, high-fat foods and beverages Scan the options and decide what you will and won’t take before you get to the table Hot artichoke dip – usually made with mayonnaise Caramel corn – replace with popcorn Potato latkes – consider baked, not fried Mashed potatoes– choose mashed cauliflower or replace whole milk and butter with low-fat milk and chicken broth Sweet potato casserole – roast sweet potatoes instead of dishes requiring butter, marshmallows Pecan pie – substitute nuts Eggnog – typically made with cream; choose low-fat

14 Check out choosemyplate.gov Supertracker Daily Food Plans Calories from Physical Activity Empty Calories Solid Fats

15 6. Offer to bring something that you like that is healthy Fruit salad Vegetable tray

16 7. Put yourself out of harm’s way Reduce temptations Sit far away from the buffet table Stand away from the munchies – at least an arm’s length away, preferably in another room Remove candy bowls from common areas – kitchen counter, desk – so you don’t see them Sit next to a healthy eater If you feel like you need something in your hand, hold a glass of water Chew gum

17 8. Start new traditions In place of cookies, suggest exchanging healthy(ier) food gifts Homemade soup mixes Fruit or pre-made fruit kabobs Granola Fancy coffee Flavored cooking oils and vinegar Spiced nuts Homemade trail mix with dried fruit Plan physical activities as part of family celebrations, such as group walks

18 9. Maintain exercise Aim for at least 30 minutes of (moderate) physical activity each day If you have a hard time limiting rich, holiday foods, try to compensate by exercising more

19 9. Ask for Help Tell your partner, spouse, and friends what your goals are and ask them to support you by Helping prepare healthy meals, snacks Providing encouragement

20 10. PRAISE YOURSELF FOR YOUR SUCCESSES, EACH AND EVERY ONE

21 Q & A Thank you


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