Tuesday, November 15, 2011

What is your Personal Holiday Healthy Eating Plan?

I have so enjoyed all of your postings and e-mail about your plan for a healthier Thanksgiving and plan to use many of them. Thanks for sharing.

(For our last weekly challenge you have to read all the way to the end of this long post)

So it is the last week of our competition and what are you going to do next?

Many sources estimate that the average holiday weight gain between Thanksgiving and New Years is 7-10 pounds. Is that what you want for Christmas?

Regaining the weight you have lost through good habits and hard work on this competition is not inevitable: Recent studies show that some people are able to lose a substantial amount of weight and keep it off at least a decade. So what is their secret?

Researchers have been tracking successful dieters in the National Weight Control Registry, a group of 10,000 people who have lost 30 pounds or more and maintained that loss for a year or more. Participants fill out lifestyle questionnaires every year.

For the latest analysis, researchers reviewed the questionnaires of 3,000 members who have been in the registry for 10 years. About three-quarters are women; most are college-educated. Among the findings presented recently at a meeting of the Obesity Society:

1. Participants weighed an average of 224 pounds before their weight loss. They dropped an average of 69 pounds.

2. They had maintained an average of a 52-pound loss at five years and an average of a 51-pound loss at 10 years.

Some gradual regain over time is typical, but almost all participants maintained a substantial weight loss even after 10 years.



1. Track their daily food intake.

2. Count calorie or fat grams or use a point system (like weight watchers) to maintain proper portions.

3. Follow a low-calorie, low-fat diet. They take in about 1,800 calories a day and less than 30% of calories from fat (no gimmick here they continued to eat proper portions and amounts of food)

4. Eat breakfast regularly.

5. Limit the amount they eat out. They dine out an average of three times a week and eat fast food less than once a week.

6. Eat similar foods regularly and don't splurge much on holidays and special occasions.

7. Walk about an hour a day or burn the same calories with other activities.

8. Watch fewer than 10 hours of TV a week.

9. Weigh themselves at least once a week.

Does that surprise you at all? One of my favorite sayings is “If you do what you did you’ll get what you got!” That applies to the good habits we have worked on during this competition as well as the poor ones we may have had in the past.

We could all easily come up with the following list as well.


1. Stop keeping track of what I’m eating. It takes too much time and it’s too much trouble to keep doing that myfitnesspal.com.

2. Skip breakfast and other meals when busy with holiday preparation. Go hungry to parties and events.

3. Let yourself snack on dough and warm baked items when baking…. Don’t keep track of nibbles and bites.

4. Eat lots of meals out: fast food on the run, company Christmas party at a restaurant, church party, lunch out with friends. Go to these events hungry and tired and fill up on whatever. It’s Christmas time don’t worry about it

5. Fill up on foods at parties and events that you have no idea as far as calorie count etc. It’s yum- it’s party food.

6. Eat every holiday treat that is offered. Junk dropped off by the neighbors, leftovers hubby brings home from office party, treats from the visiting teacher. Gift baskets that come in the mail. Eat them all, eat them on an empty stomach and eat them before your family comes home to share in the eating.

7. Don’t worry about drinking your water. Egg-nog, holiday punch, hot cider, soda- mmmmm.

8. Don’t keep track of fruits and veggies. No worries there is always fruit cake.

9. Cut out exercise. It is the holidays and your to do list is a mile long. You have no time to exercise.

10. Wait to weigh yourself until the New Year. You don’t want to weigh yourself today as the party food you ate last night has probably caused bloating and won’t give you a truly accurate weight. So put it off until tomorrow, or maybe next Thursday or heck it’s stressful just wait until January 1.

I HOPE THIS ISN’T TOO SIMILAR TO LAST WEEK’S CHALLENGE BUT YOUR CHALLENGE FOR THIS WEEK IS TO DECIDE BEFORE HAND ON YOUR PLAN FOR YOUR HOLIDAY (Thanksgiving to New Year) HEALTHY LIVING. You very well may want to vary the habits we have been working on and perhaps choose a goal to maintain your weight rather than to try to lose during the holidays. Go over the reporting form and what we have been tracking and decide one by one what habits will you keep and which ones will you take a break from during the holidays.


There is no wrong answer here. Whatever you decide will be wonderful. You can even take the $5 a week you have been spending on our competition and continue to set aside that money to purchase a reward for yourself if you stick to the plan you make. Or you might want to continue your healthy habits for a charitable cause and donate the funds you earn through sticking to your plan to a wonderful charity (I’m so excited about the new fund to raise money for those that live very far from the temple to get to travel to complete their own ordinances.)

One of the things we need to overcome is all or none thinking as far as weight loss.

We can be moderate during the holidays. We can enjoy the best of the holiday treats but we need to learn to enjoy them with temperance rather than abandon!


Sunday, November 6, 2011

A healthier holiday season- Challenge for November 9-16

It's so easy to get swept up in an endless holiday season of poor eating choices. One can begin the week of Halloween with Peanut M&M's, mini-snickers and tootsie pops and roll right into weeks of Thanksgiving specialties including everything from stuffing to rich pies and home made breads. That can drop us right into an early Christmas holiday with cookies, candies, pies etc. etc. etc. If we try we can even stretch it through New Years and maybe even try to drag it on to Valentines day. A few holiday tips we can use to help us keep touch with reality during holidays:

1. Take some time to consider- How many days long is this holiday? While it may not seem like Halloween without a few Brach's pumpkins we really don't need to eat them (as well as any leftover Halloween candy) over several days. And while your favorite Thanksgiving treat might be Aunt Mabel's pumpkin roll you might be able to satisfy yourself with one slowly savored slice- rather than noshing on it for a week after the holiday. As we have tried to do throughout this competition- plan your sugar days and include those most scrumptious and special treats but don't let those traditional holiday goodies multiply into many days and thousands of calories.

2. Plan now how to include those things that can bring such peace if you make a spot for them in your busier holiday schedules: daily exercise, a clear glass of chilled water, fresh fruit and vegetables etc. etc.

3. While you will want to include the very best of your traditional holiday dishes spend some time thinking about whether any of those dishes can be modified to be a bit healthier or whether you can supplement your usual fair with a few healthy add ons.

And so what is our challenge for next week?

Make a plan for a healthier thanksgiving by either planning at least one healthy recipe that you will add to your holiday fare or by reworking and revamping a recipe you traditionally serve into a healthier format. Share the recipe or details or your new or revamped dish with the group through e-mail or on this blog. By completing this you will earn the entire 35 bonus points for the week!

And by the way I am planning to make the turkey pictured above. We are traveling to North Carolina for Thanksgiving and I know that if I buy all of the veggies to make this veggie platter I will be able to use them to supplement all of the dishes that will be served while we are traveling. It always helps me so much to fill up on raw fruits and veggies so that my hunger doesn't push me to overeat the more calorie laden dishes. I just like to be very full!