Sharp Advice: Holiday Weight - KCBD NewsChannel 11 Lubbock

12/10/06

Sharp Advice: Holiday Weight

We all love to eat, don't we and it's even more fun during the holidays. So does that mean that by January, we're looking a little more like Santa Claus?

That's the focus tonight for Marsha Sharp. Here's sharp advice from Texas Tech.

We've all heard the average American gains between three and seven pounds between now and New Year's. So, how do we make it through the holidays without putting on the pounds?

First, the good news is the amount of weight we actually gain during the holidays is much less than what was originally thought. In fact, according to research published in the New England Journal of Medicine, the average holiday weight gain is closer to just one or two pounds.

The problem is, that people are not losing those extra pounds during the following spring and summer, so, that's a big reason why we end up gaining 20 pounds or more between our 20s and 40s. But we can't blame all that on holiday parties.

Jan Fry, a nutritionist at Texas Tech, says with our fast paced lifestyle of eating out so much, we can enjoy our favorite foods and not gain weight if we make one simple trick a habit: "Ask for to go box when you sit down and divide your food before you eat." 

Jan says don't go to a party hungry because if you skip meals beforehand you'll just end up hungrier and fill up on high calorie party foods. If you're the party host, or taking a dish to another party, Jan says you'll be surprised at the sweet treats dished out in this American Heart association cookbook.

Remember we can avoid holiday weight gain and still enjoy our favorite foods, if we cut back on the everyday meals and cook smart when it's our turn to bring a dish. Aside from the Heart Association cookbook, the American Dietetic Association also recommends cooking light. A branch of Southern Living, it is loaded with great desserts and holiday dishes but light on the fat and calories.

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