Published on 11/20/14

UGA Extension helps Georgians avoid holiday weight gain

By Ashley Tucker

UGA College of Family and Consumer Sciences

The average American gains about one pound during the holiday season. It doesn’t sound like much, but over the years those single pounds start to add up.

University of Georgia Extension aims to help Georgians avoid that slow, steady weight gain by inviting them to take the Zero Weight Gain Holiday Challenge.

Connie Crawley, a nutrition and health specialist with UGA Extension in the College of Family and Consumer Sciences, launched the Zero Weight Gain Holiday Challenge in 2012. It has since gained a following across the state.

“It’s something that can help keep people on track during the holidays,” Crawley said.

According to Crawley, 70 percent of participants reported they usually gain weight during the holidays. About 50 percent of the participants who signed up for the program met their goal of gaining no weight between Thanksgiving and New Year’s.

This year participants can sign up to receive a newsletter, emailed twice a week, and can view blog posts, published three times per week, or both, beginning on Nov. 23 and ending the week after New Year’s Day.

The newsletter as well as the blog will include healthy tips, a weekly low-calorie recipe and advice on how to stay on track during the holidays. Each post and newsletter topic is different, “but we know there’s some core knowledge that people want,” Crawley said.

There are 14 different topics, including “How To Control Calories In Festive Drinks,” “How to Lose 30 Pounds,” “Loving Your Body” and many more strategies for eating well and staying active during the holidays.

Participants simply sign up and receive new articles through the holidays. They also get access to last year’s articles through the website's archives.

To sign up for the challenge, visit the website or call 1-800-ASK-UGA1.

(Ashley Tucker is a student writer with the UGA College of Family and Consumer Sciences.)