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12th Annual “Eat Smart, Move More, Maintain Don’t Gain Holiday Challenge”

By Bob LaMendola, Florida Department of Health in Broward

Would you like an activity that helped 91 percent of participants maintain their weight – or even lose pounds – during the holiday feasting season?

If you said yes, join the 12th Annual “Eat Smart, Move More, Maintain Don’t Gain Holiday Challenge,” a seven-week, email-based event that helps people avoid the bulge of holiday overindulging. The Florida Department of Health in Broward County encourages everyone to sign up.

It’s free. You do it in the privacy of your home. And it works.

Surveys show that many people gain one to five pounds over the holidays and may never lose it. Sounds small but it adds up over time. But suppose you didn’t gain it?

The point of the Holiday Challenge is not necessarily to lose weight (although who would complain). The point is to maintain your weight amid all the temptations, feasts, family parties, soirees and end-less bowls of sweets that we all encounter over the holidays.

Last year, of those who reported their results after the Challenge, 64 percent maintained their weight, 18 percent lost three to five pounds and 9 percent lost over five pounds.

The motto of the challenge is: “This year, the only thing that should be stuffed for the holidays is the turkey.”

Think of the Challenge as a friend encouraging you to be strong. Until December 31, your “friend” will email you daily tips, a weekly newsletter, a weekly challenge, recipes, social media posts and logs for you to track your food, weight and activities. With balance and moderation, you can enjoy the holiday festivities and remain healthy.

Choose fresh fruit instead of candy. Limit fat, salt and sweet foods. Find fun ways to stay active, such as dancing to your favorite holiday music or going for a brisk walk after holiday meals. Make it a goal to be active for at least 30 minutes a day.

The Challenge gives you tips on how to:

  • Survive a holiday party;
  • Manage holiday stress;
  • Be a healthy host;
  • Fit physical activity into your day;
  • Prepare quick and healthy meals; and
  • Serve healthy holiday recipes.

Last year, 28,618 people participated nationwide – 56 percent more than the previous year. That includes 3,471 Floridians through Healthiest Weight Florida (second largest state behind North Carolina).

More than 85 percent of the participants reported they were confident they could keep off the weight or lose more after the holidays were over, using the tips they learned from the Challenge.

     Get more information and enroll:

www.healthiestweightflorida.com/activities/holiday.html or https://esmmweighless.com/holiday-challenge-live.

 

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