Healthy Holiday


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  • This show will provide you with strategies to avoid gaining weight through the holiday season.
  • Speaker: encourage your audience to guess. The answer is in the next slide.
  • A study of 195 employees of the National Institute of Health, published in the March 23, 2000 issue of the New England Journal of Medicine, found that study participants gained, on average, only about a pound between the early fall and the middle of January to late February.
  • Most of this weight is gained between Thanksgiving and New Year’s Day
  • Preholiday period was from September or October to mid November Holiday period was from mid November to mid January Post Holiday was from late January to mid February or early March
  • When researchers weighed the majority of the volunteers a year after the study began, they found that the participants hadn’t lost the weight. "Because losing weight is so difficult, it is important to learn when and why people gain weight so that effective strategies to prevent obesity can be developed," said study co-author Susan Z. Yanovski, M.D., Executive Director of NIDDK's National Task Force on the Treatment and Prevention of Obesity. Fewer than ten percent of subjects gained more than five pounds over the holiday season. However, Dr. Yanovski added, overweight and obese volunteers were more likely to gain five pounds than were those who were not overweight, suggesting that the holiday season may present special risks for those who are already overweight. Those in the study who reported being less hungry or more active, gained the least during the holiday season. Conclusions of the authors “The average holiday weight gain is less than commonly asserted. Since this gain is not reversed during the spring or summer months, the net 0.48-kg weight gain in the fall and winter probably contributes to the increase in body weight that frequently occurs during adulthood. ”
  • The holiday season (from Halloween to New Years) brings more commitments and things to do for most people. This can have a negative effect on time spent preparing healthy meals and exercising. This year put yourself at the top of your gift list and give yourself the gift of health!
  • Always start your day with a healthy breakfast. Oatmeal, skim milk and fruit are your best bet. Make sure you eat a cereal that is high in fiber and not sweetened. Study participants who gained the least amount of weight said they were not that hungry. Eating breakfast will help you control your hunger better. Hunger tends to make you want to overeat.
  • Try to maintain your exercise routine during the holidays. Now is the time to evaluate the things on your to-do list – can you cross a few of the less important items off, such as holiday baking? Substitute exercise instead!! Study participants who gained the least amount of weight were more likely to exercise.
  • Walking during the holidays can be a fun activity if the weather permits. Consider adding a walk to your holiday activities. Looking at the lights is a good excuse!!
  • Did you know that an average weight person will burn almost 300 calories an hour if they walk at a moderate pace (17 minutes per mile) If weather is bad you may want to consider indoor gym classes or fitness videos.
  • Eating more healthy meals at home – such as soup and salad, a baked potato, vegetarian chili, spaghetti with a meatless sauce, etc will help you balance the increase in richer foods from eating out or going to parties. Eating more vegetables when eating out will help you feel fuller on fewer calories. Start with a big salad and order extra vegetables with your entrée. Larger portions should be split in half and the extra taken home for another meal. Sharing with a friend is another strategy that will help you consume fewer calories when eating out.
  • Avoid temptation – if you buy that package of cookies, do you really think you will be able to just eat one? Or do you think you are setting yourself up for a cookie binge? Make it a policy to keep plenty of low-cal, healthy food ingredients on hand. And if you really want a treat, go out for it and buy just one – or better yet, share it with a friend if portions are large. Keeping the right ingredients on hand will help you prepare a fast, healthy meal with ease – in less time than it takes to eat out.
  • Planning ahead is the key. When you are running a lot of errands and pressed for time, it pays to carry extra healthy snacks with you. Try to increase your intake of fruits and vegatables – this will help you lower your calorie intake.
  • Compare fruits and vegetables on the left with higher calorie mall-type snack foods on the right. An apple in your purse can save you quite a few calories if it helps you avoid the temptation of going to the food court.
  • Eating a healthy meal before a party puts you in control of your choices later on. Consider alternative beverages instead of alcohol – or if you must have a drink, switch to something non-alcoholic afterwards. Enjoy the people at the party instead of the buffet table.
  • Bringing a healthy dish to a party ensures that you will have at least one healthy thing to eat while you are there. Consider the following options listed here. Speaker: You may want to ask the audience if they have ever done this. Ask for their feedback on favorite healthy dishes they have prepared.
  • Here are some ideas of healthy dishes you can bring to a party. You can easily purchase any of these in the grocery store on the way to the party.
  • Holiday baking is often a favorite activity. Check out the holiday magazines in your shopping aisle and see if you can find a crafty item to make that will satisfy your creative juices. Could you omit holiday baking this year and substitute exercise instead? If you love to bake, then minimize the calorie impact by baking less, joining a cookie exchange club so you get variety without baking it, or consider giving a lot of what you bake away to friends, neighbors, service people, etc..
  • Lighten your holiday meals without noticing the difference! In many cases, you can significantly lower the fat content of your recipes and the difference in taste will barely be noticeable. There are suggestions on this page and the following pages that will help you lighten your meals.
  • These mashed potatoes were made with skim milk, parmesan cheese and a little garlic powder. The flavor is so good that butter is not needed. Why not spruce them up with a little shake of paprika instead?
  • Use fruit juice and bits of pineapple for your sweet potato/yam dishes instead of butter, brown sugar and marshmallows. Top them with a shake of ground cinnamon.
  • This stuffing was prepared without the margarine called for on the package. Apple sauce was used instead.
  • Brown rice pilaf is an excellent holiday side dish. Follow the directions on the package and add bits of colorful vegetables – this one has cranberries added for color.
  • Make sure your meals have an assortment of fresh or frozen vegetables. They help lower calories and increase fiber. Additionally, they add a lot of color, texture and variety to your meals.
  • Fresh fruit is a good idea for dessert. Eat smaller portions of your favorite item and add a little fruit for color.
  • Turkey breast without the skin is very low in fat and calories – only .7 grams per 3.5 ounces. Roast it with the skin on and then remove the skin after carving – this makes for a more moist bird. Other tips to ensure a moist turkey breast include: Watch baking time and temperature – overcooking will lead to a dryer product Cover bird after it reaches the desired browness Wait a few minutes after roasting before carving Pour gravy over meat right after you carve it
  • You will save up to 50 grams of fat per cup by removing the fat in turkey or other gravy juices. This photo is an actual one taken from the pan drippings for one large turkey- note how much fat is in the top of this 1-1/2 cup gravy defatter. You can find one of these cups in grocery stores, cooking stores and discount stores. Alternatively, you can place the pan drippings in a shallow container and chill them in the freezer. The fat will float to the top and harden so it can be removed easily.
  • Here is a great way to lighten your pumpkin pie. Speaker: you may want to use the recipe handout for pumpkin pie – found on our website at – click on Holiday and then on Best Light Pumpkin Pie.
  • Instead of waiting until January 1 st , start making your New Year’s resolutions now!! It will be easier to get down to the size you want to be if you have fewer pounds to lose. Speaker: ask the class if they made New Year’s Resolutions last year. Then ask them how many people kept their resolutions. You might also ask them to share their resolutions from last year and for the year ahead.
  • Happy Holidays – see this Food Guide Pyramid to help you understand where all of your favorite foods fit!
  • Healthy Holiday

    1. 2. How Much Weight Does the Average Person Gain During the Holiday Season? <ul><li>3 pounds </li></ul><ul><li>1 pound </li></ul><ul><li>5 pounds </li></ul><ul><li>7 pounds </li></ul>
    2. 3. How Much Weight Does the Average Person Gain During the Holiday Season? <ul><li>3 pounds </li></ul><ul><li>1 pound </li></ul><ul><li>5 pounds </li></ul><ul><li>7 pounds </li></ul>
    3. 4. Weight Gain During Holidays <ul><li>Researchers at the National Institute of Health decided to study 195 employees during the holiday season </li></ul><ul><li>They found that most people gained most of their weight between Thanksgiving and New Year’s Day </li></ul>
    4. 5. Adapted from Yanovski S Z et al, N Engl J Medicine March 23,2000;342:861-867 Weight Gain During Holidays
    5. 6. Weight Stayed On <ul><li>Between February or March and the next September or early October, there was no significant additional change in weight for the 165 participants who returned for follow-up </li></ul>
    6. 7. 10 Strategies to Help You Avoid Gaining Weight
    7. 8. 1. Don’t Skip Breakfast <ul><li>Start your day with a healthy breakfast </li></ul><ul><li>Oatmeal, skim milk, and fruit make the best start </li></ul><ul><li>Whole grain cereal is a better choice than baked goods such as bagels, Danish and croissants </li></ul>
    8. 9. 2. Maintain Physical Activity <ul><li>Maintain physical activity and exercise </li></ul><ul><li>Shorter workouts are better than no workouts </li></ul>
    9. 10. Exercise Ideas <ul><li>Add a walk to your holiday festivities </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Can walk before or after a meal </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Great way to enjoy the lights and get moving </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Be creative – park far away, walk the mall, take the stairs, etc. </li></ul>
    10. 11. Exercise Ideas <ul><li>Here are calories burned in one hour: </li></ul><ul><li>Dancing 210 </li></ul><ul><li>Walking 290 </li></ul><ul><li>Low impact aerobics 362 </li></ul><ul><li>Aerobic dancing 500 </li></ul><ul><li>Running 10 minute mile 745 </li></ul>
    11. 12. 3. Eat Lighter at Home <ul><li>Eat lighter, more vegetarian meals at home to help make up for an increase in richer foods </li></ul><ul><li>Here are some ideas: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Baked Potato & Salad </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Soup & Salad </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Vegetarian Burger </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Vegetarian Chili </li></ul></ul>
    12. 13. 4. Keep the Right Ingredients on Hand <ul><li>Don’t keep higher-calorie, tempting foods in your house </li></ul><ul><li>Stock your kitchen with easy to prepare items that are based on whole grains, vegetables and beans </li></ul><ul><li>Meals will be faster and healthier </li></ul>
    13. 14. 5. Eat More Fruits & Vegetables <ul><li>Increase your intake of fruits and vegetables </li></ul><ul><li>Take them with you for snacking on the run: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Apples </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Carrots </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Pears </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Broccoli </li></ul></ul>
    14. 15. Compare Calories: <ul><li>Broccoli 24 </li></ul><ul><li>Carrots 52 </li></ul><ul><li>Apple 81 </li></ul><ul><li>Pear 97 </li></ul><ul><li>Banana 108 </li></ul><ul><li>Pretzel 214 </li></ul><ul><li>Cookie 260 </li></ul><ul><li>Muffin 340 </li></ul><ul><li>French fries 350 </li></ul><ul><li>Cinnamon bun 370 </li></ul>Mall/fast food snacks are significantly higher in calories than fruits and vegetables Per one-ounce serving:
    15. 16. 6. Survive the Parties <ul><li>Eat a healthy meal before parties </li></ul><ul><li>Limit or omit alcohol </li></ul><ul><li>Limit or avoid rich or calorie-dense foods such as desserts, nuts and fatty meats or appetizers </li></ul><ul><li>Focus on conversation </li></ul>
    16. 17. 7. Bring a Healthy Dish <ul><li>Bring a healthy dish to parties and get togethers </li></ul><ul><li>Ideas include: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Tossed salad with fat-free dressing </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Vegetarian chili </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Fruit salad </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Raw veggie platter </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Veggie side dish </li></ul></ul>
    17. 18. Bean Dip with Baked Chips • Fruit • Vegetable Platter Healthy Party Dishes
    18. 19. 8. Bake Fewer Calories <ul><li>Bake smaller and fewer cookies </li></ul><ul><li>Form a cookie exchange so you get variety without baking it </li></ul><ul><li>Bake or make crafty inedible items instead of cookies </li></ul><ul><li>Or omit baking this year and exercise instead! </li></ul>
    19. 20. 9. Cook Lighter for the Holidays <ul><li>Omit butter, margarine and oil in cooking – use broth instead </li></ul><ul><li>Defat gravy </li></ul><ul><li>Increase vegetable dishes </li></ul><ul><li>Serve light turkey without skin </li></ul><ul><li>Include fruit with dessert </li></ul><ul><li>Use fat-free dairy products </li></ul>
    20. 21. Lighten Your Meals! Use skim milk and seasonings for mashed potatoes
    21. 22. Lighten Your Meals! Use fruit juice to bake sweet potatoes instead of butter or brown sugar
    22. 23. Lighten Your Meals! Omit butter and margarine from stuffing recipes and mixes
    23. 24. Lighten Your Meals! Use brown rice in place of white rice; flavor with herbs and veggies
    24. 25. Lighten Your Meals! Include plenty of vegetables
    25. 26. Lighten Your Meals! Include fresh fruit for dessert
    26. 27. Lighten Your Meals! Serve white turkey without the skin
    27. 28. Lighten Your Meals! Defat your gravy
    28. 29. Lighten Your Meals! Use skim milk, reduce the sugar and use egg whites in place of eggs in your pumpkin pie
    29. 30. 10. Make Resolutions Now! <ul><li>Make your new year’s resolutions now and stick to them: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Eat better or eat out less often </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Exercise more </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Less or no alcohol </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Fewer foods with sugar </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>More fruits and vegetables </li></ul></ul>