Enjoy holidays, maintain weight

Soon it will be time to go back to Jenny Craig, Slim Fast and Weight Watchers after you stuff yourself at your Christmas party.

You can avoid all of these weight-loss programs if you eat smart.

A Kansas Department of Health and Environment study showed that the average student gains 10 pounds between Thanksgiving and New Year’s.

Watching your weight during the holidays doesn’t have to be as hard as it seems. Taking the time to watch what you put in your mouth can pay off in the long run.

“The main reason students gain weight is because they are around certain foods only once a year, so they think it’s OK to eat them. It is OK to eat them, but you don’t have to pig out,” said Amy Huelle, dietitian at the Kansas State University Lafene Health Center.

“I eat three times as much food over the holidays as I normally would because everyone at home eats a lot so I begin to eat a lot,” said Sheneta Ervin, a fourth-year political science student from Fort Lauderdale.

According to Huelle it is also important not to skip meals as a means of losing weight.

“Don’t try to lose weight over the holidays, but strive to maintain your weight by balancing party eating with other meals,” said Wendy Bumgardner, a Jenny Craig specialist in Aventura.

“Eating small portions of food every four hours has helped me to keep my weight down when I go home,” said Edwin Burns, fourth-year sociology student from Austin, Texas.

According to Bumgardner, “Doing simple things such as moving away from the buffet table while socializing can eliminate unconscious nibbling and weight gain.”

The key is to know your limit.

“Know when to say no. Listen to your body. If you’re full and you’re offered another helping or a drink, politely decline and compliment the host on the first serving,” said Huelle.

“Increasing your daily exercise is crucial because any calorie reduction you do will slow your metabolism,” said Bumgardner. “If you are time-impaired, turn your exercise into holiday fun for yourself by walking with friends or relatives.”