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Health & Wellness

Trimming the Holiday Fat

Easy tips from SAR’s Joan Salge Blake


Indulging during the holidays is hard to avoid. There’s turkey and all the fixings at Thanksgiving, eggnog and all those calorie-packed cocktails at holiday parties, and Christmas cookies and candy to tempt you wherever you turn.

According to a study in the New England Journal of Medicine, the average adult gains about one pound between mid-November and mid-January each year. And while that may not sound like much, the study also found that most adults fail to shed that weight, which tends to add up over the years.

Experts say that it’s important to find strategies to keep from gaining weight in the first place. With that in mind, we consulted noted nutritionist Joan Salge Blake (SAR’84), a Sargent College clinical associate professor, for some tips about enjoying the holidays without having to let out your waistband in the New Year.

Among Salge Blake’s recommendations: reduce your plate size, don’t go to a holiday party hungry (she suggests eating a low-cal salad beforehand), and avoid using food as a tool for coping with academic or work stress.

Salge Blake reiterates the findings of the New England Journal of Medicine study and says that going into one holiday season a pound heavier than the year before adds up. “The cumulative effect of holiday weight gain could be a problem,” she says.

So take to heart the advice she offers in the video, and enjoy your holidays!

Check out Joan Salge Blake’s blog Nutrition and You! for more holiday tips.

Alan Wong

Alan Wong can be reached at alanwong@bu.edu.

8 Comments on Trimming the Holiday Fat

  • Anonymous on 12.13.2010 at 5:12 pm


    I love Rhett, the terrier puppet….I wish there were a stash of all of the videos with him in them.

    • Overlord of the Underclassmen on 12.11.2011 at 2:03 pm

      I tried looking too….I can’t find anything….. :[[[

  • Anonymous on 12.14.2010 at 8:03 am

    pregame at my place! bring your own salad

  • Anonymous on 12.14.2010 at 10:17 am

    Hey, the message of this feature is awful.
    To me, this doesn’t focus on healthy eating but says “hey ladies, don’t be a fattie just cuz you’re stressed out or cuz it’s the holidays– we’re always watching you.”
    it plays on women’s insecurities about gaining weight and not having the proper waist size to fit into some crappy feminine ideal.
    “waist-friendly” holidays? stuff your face with salad before you go to a party?
    Eating some veggies is cool; obsessive calorie counting is not.

  • Anonymous on 12.14.2010 at 4:00 pm

    I appreciate the types from Joan. The first commenter may think these are obvious and degrading tips, but I think one may often be surprised at just how many people don’t think of such simple things at putting away the giant sized bag of potato chips while breaking open a book.

  • Anonymous on 12.15.2010 at 10:53 am

    The Rhett puppet in this video made my day!

    • Overlord of the Underclassmen on 12.11.2011 at 2:04 pm

      His other appearances are 50438520730945720 times more funny. This “cameo” was quite bland….

  • Anonymous on 12.15.2010 at 12:55 pm

    Thanks Ms. Blake

    For the last 2 years I have been “spoiling my appetite” by snacking 30-60 before dinner. IMO it helps. Thanks Ms. Blake for no nonsense, no guilt advice.

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