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Holiday Challenge 2020

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This holiday season, the only thing that should be “stuffed” is the turkey. Many Americans gain between one and five pounds each year between Thanksgiving and the New Year. While this might not sound like much, weight gained during the holidays accounts for 51% of people’s weight gain for the entire year. The problem is most people never manage to lose those extra pounds and year after year it adds up. North Carolina State University and N.C. Cooperative Extension are offering some help to prevent this annual problem. It’s all virtual and you can take part in the challenge with just your computer or cell phone. Best of all, it’s FREE.

It’s the Eat Smart, Move More… Maintain, don’t gain! Holiday
Challenge. Rather than focusing on trying to lose weight, this seven-week challenge offers strategies and resources to help maintain your weight throughout the holiday season. This is the 14th year the Holiday Challenge has been offered. The Holiday Challenge starts on November 16th so you can be prepared for the big Thanksgiving feast. Sign up now to get in on the first week’s lesson. The 2020 Holiday Challenge officially runs from November 16 through December
31 and you can sign up anytime between now and the end of the year.
NEW this year in Brunswick County…our own challenge, support, and competition.

Holiday Challenge 2020

Sign up for the local component by contacting Megan Lassiter at the N.C. Cooperative Extension, Brunswick County Center in Bolivia. We’ll have weekly lunch-and-learn sessions with our local Extension staff, logs where you can record your efforts and prizes. Contact Lassiter at and she’ll email you all you need to join both here in Brunswick County
and statewide.

As in the past, this year’s program features: weekly newsletters, healthy holiday recipes, quick daily tips, and weekly challenges. These will all be delivered to your email inbox. 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. Holiday Challenge tips and updates can also be found on Twitter and Instagram. You can participate as little or as much as you would like to. The past years have shown that the more people participate, the more likely they are to maintain or lose weight.

The 2019 Holiday Challenge was the largest and most successful since the program began in 2006. Over 40,600 people from all 50 states, residents from all 100 North Carolina counties, and 26 additional countries took part in last year’s on-line Holiday Challenge. In 2019 Brunswick County had 104 participants, maybe we can increase that number and be in the top ten this year. Evaluations from past years show that the program works! When asked, 91% of last year’s participants reported they were able to maintain or lose weight during the Holiday Challenge. Some folks (16%) actually lost weight during this time. You can sign up two ways, by contacting Lassiter here in Brunswick County or sign up online and pull down on the Holiday Challenge tab at the top and then click “Holiday Challenge Registration.” Enter your email address. 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 open to everyone – those with a few pounds to lose or those already at a healthy weight and just want to stay there. The Challenge is provided by Eat Smart, Move, More Weigh Less and Eat Smart, Move More,
Prevent Diabetes, partnership programs between NC State University and the North Carolina 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. Locally, N.C. Cooperative Extension in Brunswick County is a partner in this program.

We are all in this together, let’s maintain and not gain this year!

Don’t forget, if you want to be part of our special Brunswick County Holiday Challenge, contact us to get your name on the local challenge.