HealthWatch: Holiday Nutrition


The holiday season is here and that means parties and lots of great food.
It can also mean gaining weight.
In HealthWatch Chelly Boutott has some tips on how to make sure you don’t put on those extra holiday pounds.

The holidays are a special time of year where friends and family gather and indulge in sweets and big holiday meals. But it’s important to not overdo it. 

Cheryl Stoeckigt Parra chooses what she eats very carefully.  She worked hard to get to where she is today, “I have lost in this last year a total of 70 pounds,” said Cheryl Stoeckigt Parra, Aurora BayCare Sports Medicine Center client.

Last November Cheryl decided it was time to lose weigh, “Fatigue, obese,” said Cheryl.

Cheryl needed to make a lifestyle change so she went to registered dietitian Carrie Taicher at Aurora Baycare Sports Medicine Center for help, “A registered dietitian can provide a personalized approach, we  set realistic goals and we give a safe timeline for those goals to be achieved,” explained Carrie Taicher, registered dietitian, Aurora Baycare Sports Medicine Center. 

Carrie personalized Cheryl’s nutrition plan to meet her busy lifestyle, “It did include some recommendations of increasing those fruits and vegetables choosing lean protein sources including fiber rich whole grains” said Carrie.

Some tips Cheryl learned from Carrie was how not to gain weight during the holiday season, “The most important thing is to not show up very hungry because that is when you tend to make bad decisions,” said Cheryl.

Carrie says on average, people gain about one to two pounds during the stressful holiday season, “Maybe over indulging it can be really easy to pack on that holiday weight,” said Carrie.

But there are things you can do to combat that weight gain.  Carrie says plan ahead and be prepared, “Bring your own dishes of food that you know are going to be healthy options. Watch the alcohol intake, and choose the healthy options when you can,” explained Carrie.

Before seeing Carrie when Cheryl went to holiday parties her food choices tended to be “Rice crispy treats, some cookies definitely dips,” said Cheryl.

Now Cheryl is making better choices, ” I would say some of my sweet treats are dates I had never known how good they are.” 

Having Carrie in her corner helped Cheryl change her eating habits, reach her goal and change her lifestyle, “She had the answers that I needed to balance what I thought was good for me and what really is good for me,” said Cheryl.

Carrie says you can also cut calories while cooking by substituting ingredients in holiday dishes– like swapping sour cream for non fat Greek yogurt. 

To learn more you can call AuroraBayCare at 866-938-0035 or email

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