Maintain, Don’t Gain This Holiday Season

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Believe it or not, it’s less than a month until Thanksgiving. While we all associate this holiday time with great food, it can be a time for many struggling to eat healthful. Our Holiday Challenge program can help! This on-line program helps prevent holiday weight gain. Each year many Americans gain between one and five pounds between Thanksgiving and the New Year. While this might not sound like much, the problem is most people never manage to lose those extra pounds and year-after-year it adds up.

The Eat Smart, Move More, Maintain, Don’t Gain! Holiday Challenge is all virtual and you can participate on your computer or cell phone. Best of all it is FREE. This seven-week program provides strategies and resources that can help participants maintain their weight during the holiday season.

Worried the Holidays will weigh you down?

The on-line Holiday Challenge has been offered since 2006. The goal is to share
healthy eating and physical activity strategies help us all have a healthy and happy
holiday season. Any adult over 18 years of age with a valid email address can join. The challenge is available on-line from November 13th through December 31. You can sign up anytime between now and the end of the year but the sooner you sign up, the more lessons you’ll receive.

As in the past, this year’s program features: weekly newsletters, daily tips, weekly
challenges and healthy holiday recipes. These will all be delivered to your email inbox when the program begins. Topics discussed include how to survive a holiday party, manage holiday stress and staying active during the winter. There are also
downloadable tools you can use such as weight logs, food and activity journals.

There is additional support through social media if you like. You can share your
progress through a private Facebook community. There will be recipes and tips on
Pinterest, X and Instagram. You can participate as little or as much as you like. The
past years have shown that the more people participate, the better their outcome.

Last year the Holiday Challenge reached more than 40,900 people from around the
world. Brunswick County had 196 participants. This year’s program will continue to
share strategies that have worked in the past and will offer new ideas, too.

Only the Turkey should be Stuffed

Evaluations from past years show that the program has been proven to help people.
When asked, 71% of last year’s participants reported they were able to maintained their weight during the holiday season. Some folks (21%) actually lost weight during this time! Overall, 83% of participants reported that the Holiday Challenge helped them to maintain or lose weight by using the strategies offered in the program.

You can sign up online. All personal information and addresses will be kept confidential. While you’re at the website, check out all the other wonderful tools and information available from the Eat Smart, Move More NC team.

The Holiday Challenge is provided by Eat Smart, Move, More Weigh Less and Eat
Smart, Move More, Prevent Diabetes, partnership programs between NC State
University, N.C. Cooperative Extension and the NC Division of Public Health. These
programs are part of Eat Smart, Move More NC, a statewide program working to increase healthy eating and physical activity opportunities wherever North Carolinians live, learn, earn, play and pray.

The Holiday Challenge is open to everyone – those with a few pounds to lose or those already at a healthy weight and just want to stay there. We are all in this together, let’s maintain and not gain this year!

Syracuse is a Family and Consumer Science team member and can be reached at N.C. Cooperative Extension, Brunswick County Center 910-253-2610 or by email at