Originally created 11/21/00

Holiday season can be a threat to dieters' resolve



After eight months of slow and steady weight loss, Sabrina Sanchez has gained 1 pound, and she still has to get through the holiday season.

"I'm not so much concerned about the 1-pound gain because a lot of things can contribute to that," Mrs. Sanchez said. "But I have been looking at my own behavior for why I am not losing."

Kim Gaddy, program manager at University Health Nutrition Center, said that people who maintain their weight through the holidays can consider it a success, not a failure. She advises her patients to keep up with all the extras by recording what they eat. It makes them accountable, Ms. Gaddy said.

When Mrs. Sanchez began the Weight Loss 2000 project, she weighed 201 pounds. Her current weight is 164. She wants to lose seven more pounds. She said increased holiday activity has distracted her.

Even her cooking has been affected.

"Lately I haven't been measuring things. I've been eyeing them. And every little bit, here and there, adds up," she said.

Another obstacle has been her work schedule as a substitute teacher.

"I am substituting more, so I am exercising less," she said. "When I work, I need to figure out how to build an exercise time into my day."

Working out in the evenings is not an option because she reserves that part of the day for time with her husband and two children.

This month, Mrs. Sanchez has only been able to exercise two to three days a week, rather than the five to six days she was working out before.

During the Thanksgiving holidays, Mrs. Sanchez will have family around. With a flexible schedule and additional eyes to watch the baby, she hopes to squeeze in a few more workouts to balance the less-than-healthful eating she'll be doing.

"It's just making the decision to do it," she said.

Mrs. Sanchez's calorie limit is 1,500 per day.

Mrs. Sanchez also is making a conscious effort to get more fiber into her diet.

After a class at University Health Care System Nutrition Center, she found out she wasn't getting nearly the 37 grams her body requires every day. Mrs. Sanchez has traded in her bananas for fruits with edible peel, such as apples or pears. Instead of boiling or mashing potatoes, she bakes them in their skin. She snacks on sunflower seeds for an additional 4 grams of fiber.

About the series

The Augusta Chronicle is following four people who volunteered to go public with their battle of the bulge by participating in a weight-loss program. We offer an update on a participant's progress every Tuesday.

Today is our 10th follow up with Sabrina Sanchez, 41, a mother of two. Her beginning weight was 201 pounds. Her current weight is 164. She is working with University Health Care System Nutrition Center. As we follow our participants' progress each week, we'll provide information that you can use in your own battle to lose weight.

Health tip

Go nuts this holiday season.

Almonds, peanuts and pecans are only a few of the many nuts that are good sources of protein, calcium, phosphorus, zinc, copper, selenium, carbohydrates, folate, vitamins E and A.

The American Dietetic Association suggests adding nuts to vegetable dishes, salads, pastas or flavor nut loafs or burgers. But be cautious to balance the fat in nuts with low-fat foods. If you use nuts to top your pasta, leave off the cheese. For salads, use fat-free dressings.

Or combine nuts with dried fruit for a quick and easy snack on the run.

Reach Lisa M. Lohr at (706) 823-3332 or lisalohr@augustachronicle.com.