The holidays are a time for getting together with friends and family while enjoying all sorts of delicious treats, but it can also be a time weight gain and unsafe food.
“The average person gains around 1 to 2 pounds,” Mary Alice Gettings of Penn State Extension, a registered and licensed dietitian/nutritionist, said in an interview. “The unfortunate thing though is most people don’t take it off, so when you’re talking over 10 years, somebody can gain 10-20 pounds just by not taking off that 1 to 2 pounds that they gain at Christmas.”
Although there are no special diets or workout plans that are guaranteed to maintain or cause weight loss, healthy eating habits and regular exercise can help avoid weight gain over the holidays.
Food safety is also very important during the holiday season as many people are picking at snacks that have been sitting out or considering leftovers that may not have been chilled or heated properly.
“You want to make sure that your leftovers are put into the refrigerator as soon as possible,” she said. “What you’re trying to do is minimize the amount of time food spends out in the “Danger Zone.” That “Danger Zone” is 40 to 140 degrees. That is where bacteria grows most rapidly.”
For more information about rules to follow when preparing food, visit the Food Safety Inspection Service website at fsis.gov.