"Maintain, No Gain" Holiday Challenge

by Julie O. York

Turkey and stuffing. Cakes and pies. We crave and dread the holidays at the same time because of all the treats we encounter at our celebrations, and it’s common to gain extra pounds during this time. AgriLife Extension can help you prevent that holiday-related weight gain, so you won’t be afraid to hop on the scale.

This year, AgriLife Extension is offering a Free online version of the “Maintain, No Gain” Holiday Challenge, which encourages Texans to maintain their weight during the holidays. The program begins on November 19, 2018 and lasts for six weeks with weekly weigh-ins. Every other week programs will be offered face-to-face at the Extension Office in Gilmer.

“We realized a need for a program that promotes healthy eating, physical activity, and stress reduction right now, because most of us do gain weight over the holiday season,” said Julie York, Upshur County Extension Agent.  Maintain No Gain provides motivational tools, healthy recipes, and fitness tips, with interactive activities related to nutrition, physical activity, stress and emotional eating, and social support.  AgriLife Extension has these tips to follow during the holidays:

Eat slowly, because your body needs time to realize you are full.

Eat mindfully, and really think about the color, smell, taste and texture of what you’re eating so that you can truly savor your food.

Stop eating when you feel slightly full. You don’t have to eat everything on your plate.

Don’t skip meals on the day of a big party, where you know you’ll eat more. Just eat a smaller portion.

Watch your alcohol intake and follow the recommended guideline of one drink per day for women and two per day for men. Drink water or sparkling water with a splash of juice.

Keep track of what you’re eating with a food journal. Research shows that those who keep a record of meals between Thanksgiving and New Year’s Day lose weight instead of gaining it.

To register, or if you have any questions about this program, please contact Julie York, County Extension Agent – Family and Consumer Health at (903) 843-4019 or

Texas A&M AgriLife Extension is an equal opportunity employer and program provider. Program created by the Texas Department of State Health Services.