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Provided Courtesy of Where health care professionals go for information. Holiday Eating Survival Tips. Review Date 10/09 G-1103. Contributed by Shawna Gornick-Ilagan, MS, RD, CWPC. Weight Gain During the Holidays.

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Trick or treat

Provided Courtesy of

Where health care professionals go

for information

Holiday Eating

Survival Tips

Review Date 10/09 G-1103

Contributed by Shawna Gornick-Ilagan, MS, RD, CWPC

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Weight Gain During the Holidays

  • Does the average American really gain 5-10 pounds (lb) over the holidays?

  • How does weight gain occur?

    • 3500 food calories=1 lb of fat

What does 500 calories look like
What Does 500 Calories Look Like?

Bob Evans: One Slice of Pumpkin Pie

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No Such Thing as a ‘Bad’ Food

  • How much and how often you eat higher-calorie, higher-fat foods is what is bad

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Two Ways to Manage Weight

  • Portion Control


  • Substitution


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How Important Is It?

How important is it for you to manage your weight during the holidays?


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Are Trick-or-Treaters Growing?

  • About 30% of children ages 2-19 are overweight or obese

  • Approximately 30% of adults in the United States are either overweight or obese

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Help Children Maintain a Healthy Weight

  • Offer treats such as stickers, pencils, Play-Doh, glow sticks, or miniature candy bars

  • Introduce the Switch Witch, who comes at night like the Tooth Fairy and replaces the child’s candy with toys

  • Have children sell back their candy (to their parents) for money or books

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16 oz canned pumpkin

½ C Egg Beaters®

12 fl oz canned evaporated skim milk

½ C sugar

½ tsp salt

1 tsp cinnamon

½ tsp ground ginger

¼ tsp ground cloves

4 squares of graham crackers, crushed

Low-Fat Crustless Pumpkin Pie

In a medium bowl, mix pumpkin, Egg Beaters, sugar, and spices. Add evaporated milk and mix well. Pour into 9″ pie pan sprayed with nonstick coating. Bake in 350º F oven for approximately 1 hour. Sprinkle graham crackers over cooled pie.

Serves eight. Per slice: 7 g fat, 25.4 g carbohydrate

Pick your turkey wisely
Pick Your Turkey Wisely

Dark Meat Dark Meat White Meat With Skin No Skin No Skin

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Valentine’s Day

  • One regular box of Sweethearts®=110 calories

  • One sugar-free box of Sweethearts=70 calories

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Valentine’s Day (cont’d)

  • Think of nonfood alternatives:

    • A teddy bear

    • Flowers

    • Jewelry

    • Cologne

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Easter or Passover

  • Jelly beans (1.4 oz)

    • 15 large or 35 small

  • Save 67 calories

Reunions and parties
Reunions and Parties

Did you know…

2 Tbsp icing=150 calories

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The 3 Ts

  • To help manage your weight during the holidays:

  • Tips

  • Tricks

  • Techniques

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Holiday Recipe Modification

  • Alter recipes to reduce fat and calories

  • Substitute skim milk and low-fat sour cream for higher-fat products

  • Look at the calories and fat you can save by making small changes

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Holiday Recipe Modification (cont’d)

  • Try switching from:

  • Evaporated milk (whole) to evaporated milk (skim)

    • Save 191 calories and 24 grams (g) of fat for 12 fluid ounces (fl oz)

  • Heavy cream to evaporated skim milk

    • Save 600 calories and 80 g fat for every cup

  • Butter or margarine to fat-free butter spread

    • Save 95 calories and 10 g fat/tablespoon (Tbsp)

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Holiday Recipe Modification (cont’d)

  • Try switching from:

  • Regular cream cheese to lite or fat-free

    • Save between 40-70 calories and 5-10 g of fat/1 oz

  • Regular ground beef to 93% lean ground turkey or 92% lean

    • Save 180 calories and 22 g fat/4 oz

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Holiday Recipe Modification (cont’d)

  • Try:

  • Reducing oil in recipes

    • Saves you approximately 110 calories and 13 g fat for every tablespoon reduced 

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Little Extras Add Up

  • Cutting a mere 100 calories/day will allow you to lose (or not gain) 10 lb in 1 year

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Drink, Drink, Drink

  • Drink often—you will eat less

  • Choose calorie-free fluids

  • Think about it—are you hungry or thirsty?

  • Reward yourself with the many benefits of drinking water

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Take Time to Plan

  • Plan what you will take to parties

  • Pick your ingredients wisely

  • vs

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Learn About Food Substitutes

  • Bring your own salad dressing, diet soda, and low-fat or low-salt condiments

  • Reduce those calories by understanding how many calories and how much fat you can save

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What Does This Mean?

  • Switching from 2 Tbsp regular ranch dressing to 2 Tbsp fat-free Italian dressing saves you 265 calories

  • Walking 1 hour at 4 mph, 8000 steps, burns 273 calories for a 150-lb person

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What Does This Mean?

  • Switching from regular soda to diet will save you about 150 calories/12-fl-oz can

  • Walking 30 minutes at 4 mph (4000 steps) burns 136 calories for a 150-lb person

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Acceptable Daily Intake (ADI)

  • ADI: The US Food and Drug Administration says it is the amount that you can consume over a lifetime that will not result in injury, even after a lifetime of exposure

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No People Pleasing

  • Eat only what you desire

  • Do not eat as an obligation to others, even if they have cooked your favorite dish

  • Make sure you make your own decisions—you are the one who will have to live with the consequences

  • Stand up for yourself—others may actually respect you for it

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Practice Assertiveness Skills

  • Turn down certain extra helpings of food without feeling guilty

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Portion Distortion

  • We do not need as much as we may think

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Strive for a Healthy Plate

  • One fourth plate protein

  • One fourth plate grain

  • One fruit

  • One dairy

  • One half plate nonstarch vegetables

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Carry Food on a Napkin

  • Which would you put more food on?

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Eat Smaller Portions

  • Allow yourself to taste what you want in smaller portions, so as not to feel deprived

  • Avoid binges—once you start to feel deprived, you may set yourself up for bingeing

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Choose to Eat Healthy Ahead of Time

  • Focus on fruits and vegetables

  • Do not forget to eat breakfast

  • Do not think: “I already blew it. I might as well blow it more.”

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No Skipping Meals

  • This will only result in a binge at mealtime and a spiral of guilt and hopelessness

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  • Visualize yourself eating healthy prior to attending the holiday meal

  • Walt Disney once said, “If you can dream it, you can do it.”

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Stay Focused

  • Know what you are doing

  • Keep a journal

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The Consequences of Nibbling

  • Watch what you eat before or after the main meal

  • For example, look at what was consumed at this graduation party:

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Chew Slowly

  • Take your time

  • Allow yourself to taste your food—different areas of the tongue have different taste buds

  • Enjoy the flavor and texture of food

  • Put your fork down between each bite

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Mint-Flavored Gum And Mouthwash

  • While preparing food, chew gum

  • Instead of seconds, try some mouthwash first

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  • Exercise more often or a bit longer and harder for a week prior to the holiday meal to compensate for the additional calories you may consume

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No Guilt Attached

  • Make a conscious effort to choose what you are eating without having guilt attached

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Manage Your Emotions

  • Have a plan for what you will do if strong emotions arise when faced with certain situations or family members

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Eating Because of Emotion

  • Lonely: Call, e-mail, or text a friend

    • Do not make food a companion

  • Bored: Find a hobby

    • Understand that eating is not an extracurricular activity

  • Sad: Write in a journal or talk with a friend

    • Identify why you are sad

  • Upset/frustrated: Identify the source

    • Acknowledge that eating will not change feelings and frustration

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Eating Because of Emotion (cont’d)

  • Happy: Learn to celebrate without food

  • Tired: Get some rest

    • Caffeine overload will not replace sleep

  • Stressed: Take “10” for yourself and find a relaxing activity

  • Worried/anxious: Remind yourself that many things in life are beyond your control

    • Use positive self-talk

    • “Do not anticipate trouble or worry about what may never happen. Keep in the sunlight.”— Benjamin Franklin

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Stop Eating

  • Stop eating when you are physically full

  • Start learning how to recognize the difference

Physical Hunger

Emotional Hunger

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Take Time-Outs

  • Take a time-out when you think things are getting out of control

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Know the Truth

  • Putting a couple of pounds on will not cause you to go back to square one

  • You have already learned what is healthy

  • No can take that away from you

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After the Holidays

  • Resume your lifestyle of balance and wellness just after the holiday has passed

  • Change you thinking, if you need to

  • Do not think, “I already blew it, so I might as well blow some more.”