sealPurdue News

November 1997

Holidays need not be torture for those watching their weight

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. -- Holidays can be a torturous time for those trying to maintain a healthy weight. Pumpkin pie, peanut brittle and Grandma's famous fudge are tempting delights. However, the next few weeks do not have to be torture, if you plan ahead, says a Purdue University nutrition expert.

Olivia Bennett Wood, associate professor of foods and nutrition, offers two options that can fit into any lifestyle. "You can plan to not gain weight by exercising, eating small portions and eating before going to holiday parties, or you can plan to indulge yourself to a limited extent during the holidays but lose the weight in January," she says.

If you plan to allow yourself to gain several pounds during the holidays, gain only the amount you know you can lose. Wood suggests keeping the indulgence in check so the amount gained can be shed within one month. She advises that you plan the ways you will lose the extra pounds, then set goals for weight loss each week and stick to them.

Avoiding weight gain can be as easy as adding 10 minutes to your regular exercise routine or taking the stairs instead of the elevator.

The abundance of food at many holiday parties can lead to over-indulgence. Here are some sensible eating tips from Wood:

Avoid alcohol. At parties, drink water, tea or coffee instead of alcoholic beverages.

CONTACT: Wood, (765) 494-8238; e-mail,
Compiled by Beth Forbes (765) 494-9723; e-mail.
Purdue News Service: (765) 494-2096; e-mail,

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