VickiWelcome to our healthy lifestyle challenge lead by our program dietitian Vicki Bovee and her husband, Bill. Because we can always do better to live a healthier lifestyle Vicki and Bill decided to work on a weekly challenge together to provide support and accountability for each other and hopefully inspire you to make healthy changes. Follow along with them as they tackle a variety of challenges to eat better, eat more mindfully, and improve physical health and emotional well-being. Vicki and Bill invite you to participate and accept the challenges to improve your lifestyle too. Some of them may be difficult and please feel free to modify the challenges to accommodate your dietary needs and physical abilities.


Challenge # 20– Holiday Moves
The holidays are upon us and Bill and I are not immune to holiday weight gain. For years my goal has been to weigh the same or less than my baseline holiday weight. We weigh daily as part of our weight maintenance plan, but our “official” weigh-ins are on Saturday mornings when we start a new challenge. Our baseline pre holiday weigh-in was the Saturday before Thanksgiving and our post holiday weigh-in will be January 3. We may have days where we weigh over our baseline but what is important is where we end up on January 3. We will report in to you every week because when one makes a commitment to others one is more apt to follow through. Here’s our results for week 2, December 6th, from our baseline weight: Vicki + .6, Bill -2.4.#.

So just how much weight do people gain over the holidays? If you read the popular press they usually report people gain 5 to 10 pounds over the holiday season. But what does the research show? In a study done in 2000 with 195 adults, people averaged a weight gain of ¾ to 1 pound, not nearly as much as the press reports. But it is interesting to note that 10% did gain five pounds or more and people who were overweight or obese gained more weight than people of normal weight. This 1 pound gain may not seem like much, but the problem is that when the participants were weighed in over the following year, most did not lose the holiday weight gained. So this seemingly insignificant weight gain contributes to the creeping weight gain we experience over the years.

Now there are people who have lost weight and successfully maintain their loss over the holidays. So what do they do? They maintain their usual dietary routine (your stomach doesn’t know it’s a holiday) and exercise routine. They don’t veer off track only to get lost in the backwoods.

And so this week Bill and I decided to meet the US Department of Health and Human Services Physical Activity Guidelines for Adults.
 All adults should avoid inactivity (or the path of least resistance as I call it). Some activity is better than none. (Look for the path of most resistance when it comes to daily activities).
 Adults should do at least 150 minutes with a goal of 300 minutes a week of moderate-intensity physical activity.
 Adults should also do muscle strengthening activities involving all major muscle groups at least two days per week.

Vicki’s Observations:
• I generally don’t have a problem with meeting my exercise goals. I may have a busy schedule but I have no excuse since I work out downstairs from my office in St. Mary’s Center for Health and Fitness. This week we had the long Thanksgiving weekend so my schedule and the gym hours were changed so I had to make some different plans.
• I recently bought a Fitbit and synced it with My Fitness Pal to keep track of steps, exercise and food. I walked all seven days, did strength training three days, and Tai Chi one day. At the end of the week my Fitbit calculated I did 335 minutes of exercise, burned 2051 calories, and averaged 10,585 steps per day.
• I know for me one the most important things for me to do to maintain my weight loss is to exercise.

Bill’s Observations:
• I work from home so it was a bit tougher to get in 6 days of cardio but with Vicki’s encouragement I made it to the gym 5 days and walked one day. I used to love to walk on the seawall by the ocean when I lived in Canada but my left foot has become very painful and it has taken the fun out of walking. I’ve had to switch to the stationary bike for my cardio workouts.
• Doing three days of strength training was no problem. I feel much better when I ride the stationary bike for 30 minutes and do my weight training. As I get older it is very important to stay active and exercise is critical to feeling better.
• I have been doing good maintaining my weight (even losing some) during these 20 weeks of challenges, but I need to put more effort into working out on a consistent basis.

Fitness doesn’t take time off for the holidays. To help prevent weight gain, you need to burn more calories if you want to eat more. The research shows that even a small amount of weight gained over the holidays is generally not lost in the new year. Your challenge this week, should you choose to accept it, is to meet the above physical activity guidelines. Everyone can do something and any activity is better than no activity. For more holiday weight maintenance tips, click here.
Remember those successful weight loss maintainers from the above paragraph? They have more strategies to maintain their loss and next week we commit to one of those. We saved this challenge for the winter and it will be a real challenge for Bill.

Eat Smarter…
Vicki Bovee, MS, RDN, LD

Want to catch up on what you’ve missed?
The road to success is always under construction.
Challenge #1 Eat everything sitting down.
Challenge #2 Eliminate cheese as an ingredient.
Challenge #3 Walk sideways in your home.
Challenge #4 Include a fresh herb in your daily meal plan.
Challenge #5 If there is food in your mouth there should be nothing in your hand.
Challenge #6 Eat the MyPlate recommendations for fruits and vegetables.
Challenge #7 Stand (and walk if possible) while talking on the phone.
Challenge # 8 Don’t eat out of the package. Put your food on a plate or in a bowl.
Challenge # 9 Keep a food record.
Challenge # 10 Power down while eating.
Challenge # 11 Eating to reduce inflammation.
Challenge # 12 Eating to help our environment.
Challenge # 13 Switch it up.
Challenge # 14 The road to success is still under construction.
Challenge # 15 Little bites.
Challenge # 16 Drink your water.
Challenge # 17 Count your chews.
Challenge # 18 The 100 Bite Diet.
Challenge # 19 Start your day right.


Vicki Bovee is the Registered Dietitian for Western Bariatric Institute and leads the non-surgical weight loss program, "Health and Lifestyle Program."
Vicki Bovee is the Registered Dietitian for Western Bariatric Institute and leads the non-surgical weight loss program, “Health and Lifestyle Program.”