For Immediate Release
Contact: Kate Grusich 404-252-3663
Staying Slim Over the Holidays
Majority of Americans Think about Dieting Year-Round; Number of Dieting Attempts on the Rise
ATLANTA (December 18, 2007) – From Halloween candy to champagne toasts on New Years, the holiday season can be less than kind to the waistline. Winter parties and holiday activities are often accompanied by high-calorie treats, and it’s no surprise the number on the scale tends to rise as we head into the New Year.
The good news, according to researchers, most people only gain one or two pounds during the holidays – an improvement over the five to ten pound weight gain statistic frequently cited. The bad news, though, is that the extra weight rarely comes off.
So how do you prevent packing on the pounds while still participating in all the festivities? Consider using lower-calorie substitutes such as foods and beverages sweetened with sucralose as a simple way to enjoy favorite meals without the additional calories. For example, drinking a diet soda can save 150 calories a day. Over the course of a year, that daily calorie savings could result in a 15-pound weight loss. Choosing sugar-free chocolate will save you 50 calories a day – or five pounds – by year’s end.
“Consumers shouldn’t have to avoid their favorite foods and beverages this holiday season,” said Beth Hubrich, a registered dietitian and Executive Director of the Calorie Control Council. “By making simple substitutions, such as using low-calorie and sugar-free products, they can indulge in the festivities without the fear of having to squeeze into that special holiday outfit.”
Here are a few more tips to help you cross “weight loss” off your 2008 resolutions list.
- Stay active. A lack of exercise is one of the primary causes of weight gain during the holidays. Find time between social gatherings, errands and shopping for physical fitness – even if it just involves taking extra laps around the mall. A 30-minute workout every day will work wonders when it comes to weight maintenance.
- Portion control is key. Eat regularly throughout the day but practice moderation. Keep serving sizes on the smaller side and you can enjoy your favorite holiday treats without having to bust out the elastic waistband pants.
- Cook healthy. Make simple healthy recipe substitutions when baking to lower the calories. Choose fruit and veggies instead of high-fat appetizers or desserts and utilize low-calorie sweeteners such as sucralose (brand name SPLENDA®) in your favorite recipes. This alone can help cut significant from each meal.
- Don’t show up hungry. Before heading to a party or holiday dinner, take the time to eat a light, healthy snack. A small salad or cup of soup with help stave off hunger pangs. That way, you’re less likely to chow down later.
- Don’t diet during the holidays. Avoid starting a fad diet in an effort to lose ten pounds before that big holiday party. Stay healthy, but don’t be too restrictive. The focus should be on maintenance during the holidays rather than weight loss.
- Pre-make healthy meals for those hectic shopping days. Stock up on frozen dinners or make large batches of salads, pasta and other healthy, low-calorie meals so that leftovers can be easily and quickly reheated. This will help prevent any last-minute takeout orders or snacking on fattening foods.
Elegant Eggnog (Serves 15)
1 cup SPLENDA® No Calorie Sweetener, Granulated
1 tablespoon arrowroot or cornstarch
1 teaspoon ground nutmeg
7 egg yolks
4 cups milk
2 cups fat-free half and half
2 tablespoons vanilla extract* (if desired, 2 tablespoons of vanilla extract can be replaced with 1 cup dark rum.)
- Mix together first 3 ingredients in a large heavy saucepan. Set aside.
- Whisk egg yolks. Add to SPLENDA® Granulated Sweetener mixture whisking until blended. Gradually whisk in milk.
- Cook over low heat, whisking constantly until the temperature reaches 175 degrees approximately (5 to 8 minutes). Remove from heat and whisk in half and half; cool.
- Cover and chill 3 hours or up to 3 days. Stir in vanilla extract just before serving.
Total Fat: 4g
Total Protein: 5g
Chicken Cacciatore over Pasta (Serves 6)
1 pound skinless, boneless chicken breast halves
½ cup chopped onion
½ cup chopped green bell pepper
1 (16 ounce) can chopped tomatoes, drained
1 (8 ounce) can tomato sauce
2 tablespoons SPLENDA® No Calorie Sweetener, Granulated
1 ½ teaspoons Italian seasoning
1/3 cup sliced ripe olives
1/8 teaspoon black pepper
3 cups hot cooked noodles (or any favorite pasta), rinsed and drained
- Slice chicken breasts into 32 pieces.
- Spray a large skillet with olive oil flavored cooking spray. Sautee chicken, onion and green pepper for six to eight minutes. Stir in drained tomatoes and tomato sauce.
- Add SPLENDA® Granulated Sweetener, Italian seasoning, olives and black pepper. Mix well to combine. Lower heat and simmer for 10 to 15 minutes, stirring occasionally.
- For each serving, place ½ cup pasta on a plate and spoon 2/3 cup sauce over top.
Total Fat: 4g
Total Protein: 21g
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The 2007 survey findings are based on a nationally projectable sample of 1,200 Americans age 18 and older. The sample reliability is +/- 2.8 percent. The survey was completed in June by Booth Research Services, Inc., for the Calorie Control Council, a non-profit international association of manufacturers of low-calorie, reduced-fat and light foods and beverages.