Health Chats
How To Lose Weight During the Holiday Season
Wednesday Oct 20, 2010, 12:00PM - 01:00PM (EST)
Registered Dietitian
Cleveland Clinic Foundation
Center for Human Nutrition, Cleveland, OH
Just as we are getting used to pumpkins and brightly colored leaves, dietitians are flooded with questions from health conscience individuals on how to navigate the holiday season without gaining weight. Some even dare to dream of waking up on New Year's Day a bit thinner than they are now. Can this be accomplished? Yes, you can make it through the holidays unscathed, happy, and hopeful. Your resolution can start now, and continue on through the New Year! Join this web-chat and Beth Czerwony, M.S.R.D. L.D, will help you stay on track and provide you with tools to promote success and overcome obstacles.<br><br> Nearly half of adults set goals to lose weight and start exercising. According to the Center for Disease Control, over the last 20 years there has been a dramatic increase in obesity in the United States. And in 2009, the overall self-reported obesity prevalence in the United States was 26.7%.<br><br> Making a commitment to lose weight is a commendable first step in fighting the rise in obesity. Maybe you have even started to lose some weight, and want to stay on track during this indulgent, calorie-rich time of year. It is important to stick to your plan!<br><br> Join us to learn about tips that will help you to easily and effortlessly navigate the holiday season, without feeling deprived, and without adding on pounds.<br><br> Beth Czerwony, M.S. R.D. L.D., is a Registered Dietician within the Digestive Disease Institute’s Center for Human Nutrition at Cleveland Clinic.<br><br> Cleveland Clinic Digestive Disease Institute (DDI) is the first of its kind to unite all specialists within one unique, fully integrated model of care - aimed at optimizing patient experience. At DDI we offer patients the most advanced, safest and proven medical and surgical treatments primarily focused on the gastrointestinal tract. Our Institute includes:<br><br> • Colorectal Surgery<br> • Gastroenterology & Hepatology<br> • General Surgery<br> • Hepato-pancreto-biliary and Transplant Surgery<br> • Human Nutrition<br><br> Cleveland Clinic Digestive Disease Institute has been ranked second in the nation by U.S. News & World Report’s Best Hospitals Survey since 2003, and highest in Ohio since 1990.
Welcome to the How to Lose Weight During the Holiday Season Health Chat!
A special Thank You to Beth Czerwony, R.D. and all members for joining us here today!
Beth Czerwony, MS,RD,LD:
Hi everyone!  Thanks so much for joining me.  I look forward to answering your questions.
What tricks can I use to stay satisfied around all the yummy food for the holidays without eating it and if i do slip, without overdoing it?
Beth Czerwony, MS,RD,LD:
First things first- don't deprive yourself!  If you have 3 favorite foods you only get during the holidays, enjoy them!  Have small portions and compliment with whole grains, fruits and vegetables.  Don't forget the exercise!
I want to know how to eat healthier during the holiday season.
Beth Czerwony, MS,RD,LD:
Focus on the food guide pyramid- enjoy all the food groups and watch out for heavy desserts and drinks!
what is the best way to loose weight during the holiday season and not be tempted by all the sweet things.
Beth Czerwony, MS,RD,LD:
You may always be tempted by the sweets- I know I am.  The trick is to monitor the portion and exercise.  If you over do it, then you need to step up the exercise a bit.  Try getting a pedometer while holiday shopping and have a goal of at least 10,000 steps.
My husband is vegan and I am trying to not eat foods with sugar. What suggestions do you have for us during the holidays?
Beth Czerwony, MS,RD,LD:
Using sugar subs is a great way to enjoy foods without the extra calories.  
It's taken me about a month to lose my sugar and carb cravings.  How do I resist temptations like these during the holidays when the scrumptious foods just STARE @ you, trying desperately to break you down?
Beth Czerwony, MS,RD,LD:
Be strong!  Try other activities that don't surround you with food.  Pumpkin carving, playing outside and enjoying the beautiful weather are ways to avoid a stare down!
My schedule is hectic around this time of year...I only have 30 minutes to exercise.  What type of exercise would maximize calorie burning during this 30 minute window?
Beth Czerwony, MS,RD,LD:
The best type of exercise is the one you will do consistently.  Any type of cardio is going to burn fat, but you also want to strength train to keep the muscle tone.
Hi there - any good tips for gluten free kids during the holidays?  My nephew is 5, and was diagnosed a couple of months ago.  He already misses out on so much (cupcakes for school birthdays, etc), and I would love any tips for the holidays for him.  Thanks!
Beth Czerwony, MS,RD,LD:
You can find recipes on line to help making food gluten free.  Using various types of mixes and flours can help you enjoy the sweets.  Bobs Red Mill and Betty Crocker make products that are gluten free (brownie mixes, cake mixes, etc)
Are there any low carb alternatives for mashed potatoes and stuffing on Thanksgiving?
Beth Czerwony, MS,RD,LD:
You can try pureeing cauliflower and adding parmesan cheese to it to mimic the mashed potatoes.  Ways to make stuffing healthier are to add more veggies and lean protein (ground turkey or lean sausage) to help displace the bread.
how do you pre plan your ability to stick to a diet or food plan when faced with a concentrated set of days of family and travel?  especially when you are not in charge of the menu?
Beth Czerwony, MS,RD,LD:
I use a calendar the size of my refrigerator during the holidays and write everything out!  If you know how things are made, it's easier to navigate the good choices from the bad.  When you can, plan your family's meals, when you can't, be a good guest and bring a healthy side dish or salad.
I have a constant craving for sugar.  If I don't eat something by a certain time, I get very weak and shaky.  Does this mean I might have diabetes?  My glucose level on a fasting blood test is I am not sure what is causing this.
Beth Czerwony, MS,RD,LD:
Many people benefit from eating small frequent meals throughout the day.  If blood sugar is something you are concerned about, there are tests your MD can perform to help you with this.  Always have a protein (cheese, egg, meat) and carb (fruit, dairy, starch) with meals.
How can I make something "low fat" but still taste good? What are good substitutes for the fattier ingredients, such as butter, sour cream, whipped cream?
Beth Czerwony, MS,RD,LD:
When making dips, you can substitue lower fat cheese, cream cheese, mayo or sour cream instead of full fat versions.  
What foods should be avoided on the buffet and what are safe choices?
Beth Czerwony, MS,RD,LD:
Avoid the fried, sauced, or gravied foods- they all will have extra calories.  Sticking with veggies and fruit, non-dressed salads, and small portions of protein (fish, chicken, lean beef) will be your best bets.
what types of food can i load up on and what types of food should i moderate....besides sweets.
Beth Czerwony, MS,RD,LD:
Load up on fresh veggies and fruit; try to stay away from heavy cheeses and dips.
Beth Czerwony, MS,RD,LD:
You can never spot reduce when restricting calories or exercising, but overall calorie deficit and increase in cardio will help you lose weight.  Eating small frequent meals will help increase metabolism.
What are the best ways to reduce my waist circumference?
Beth Czerwony, MS,RD,LD:
You can never spot reduce when restricting calories or exercising, but overall calorie deficit and increase in cardio will help you lose weight.  Eating small frequent meals will help increase metabolism.