Five Tips to Maintain Your Weight During the "Riskiest" Time of the Year

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World's Only Weight Loss Boarding School Offers Help for Healthy Eating over the Holidays

Academy of the Sierras, the world's only boarding school for weight loss, today announced five strategies its students and alumni will be using to maintain and continue their successful weight loss over the holiday break.

"Our students have been very successful at maintaining their weight or continuing their weight loss through the holidays. During a recent holiday break, our students averaged weight loss of 2 lbs.," said Phil Obbard, Executive Director of Academy of the Sierras. "So we wanted to share these practical tips with everyone who struggles with weight gain at this 'risky' time of year. By following these guidelines, almost anyone can get through the holidays without gaining weight."

Several studies have shown that overweight people gain more weight during the winter holidays than non-overweight people, according to Clinical Director Daniel S. Kirschenbaum, Ph.D. "The good news is that research demonstrates how to not only maintain your weight over the holidays, but how to continue losing weight," Dr. Kirschenbaum said.

The Academy suggests the following tips to students, alumni and the general public:

1. Plan exercise activities for high-risk days. The foundation of effective weight management is activity. So, when you have a big meal planned, begin the day with a brisk walk, bike ride or some other calorie-burning activity.

2. Avoid starvation before celebration. Starving before a big holiday meal or party can increase the chances of overeating. Starving produces deprivation and strong biological drives to eat anything. Instead, try controlling your eating in the morning with a high-protein breakfast (like an egg white omelet or fat-free cheese melted on an English muffin) and then eating low-fat, low-sugar foods throughout the day.

3. Study the food scene before munching down. After arriving at your holiday event, quickly survey available food options. Take note of fresh fruits or vegetables that will work for your eating plan. Make a mental note of things you should avoid eating, like high-fat chips, dips, nuts and other calorie-dense foods, and stay away from those areas where these foods are being served. Ask ahead about what will be served for the main course. You might decide to forgo the appetizers in favor of waiting for the leaner main course selections like turkey, green beans and cranberry sauce.

4. Monitor the details of your eating and activities. Research has shown that those who write down virtually everything they eat, along with their activities, are far more likely to lose weight during the holidays. If you set goals for your eating plan (like no more than 20 fat grams per day), then self-monitoring will help you reach these goals.

5. Have fun without food. The holidays are closely associated with food and eating. So try to think about fun family activities that don't involve food. Why not focus on your family and friends, games and special projects, and finding new ways to have fun and relax?

"Following these guidelines has been a key contributor to the unprecedented long-term weight loss outcomes achieved by our students and alumni," said Executive Director, Phil Obbard. "The average student loses 81 lbs. over the course of their enrollment at Academy of the Sierras."

Healthy Living Academies operates residential schools and summer programs addressing America's crisis of pediatric and adolescent obesity. Healthy Living Academies programs include Academy of the Sierras, Wellspring New York, Wellspring Adventure Camp, Wellspring Adventure Camp California, Wellspring Family Camp, Wellspring UK, and new programs Academy of the Sierras North Carolina, Wellspring Texas and Wellspring Hawaii. To learn more about Academy of the Sierras, Wellspring Camps or Healthy Living Academies, visit http://www.healthylivingacademies.com or call 866-364-0808.

Healthy Living Academies is a division of Aspen Education Group, the nation's leading provider of education programs for struggling or underachieving young people. With over 30 programs in 12 states and the United Kingdom, Aspen provides to students and families a comprehensive range of therapeutic interventions, including boarding schools, residential treatment and wilderness therapy. Aspen Education Group is a division of CRC Health Group, the nation's largest chemical dependency and related behavioral health organization. For more information, visit http://www.aspeneducation.com or call 888-972-7736.

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