Shared from the 2016-12-14 The Virginian-Pilot eEdition

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Experts offer advice on keeping trim this season

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DAVID MACAULEY | FOR THE VIRGINIAN-PILOT

Cynthia Simpson discusses healthy holiday eating during a Virginia Cooperative Extension event recently at the Churchland Library. Simpson is a food science nutrition major and a nutrition assistant at Lake Taylor High School in Norfolk.

The holidays can be a time of shrinking budgets and expanding waistlines.

Just a few extra pounds in December can take months to lose, so the Virginia Cooperative Extension offered some advice recently to help keep the weight off.

Representatives of the program held a free event on Dec. 3 at the Churchland library, which included advice on exercise and a sampling of low fat meals. A similar event was held last year.

Crystal Barber said people often fail to pay attention to the calories they pack in over the holidays.

“They feel like they cannot be mindful of their health,” said Barber, who specializes in nutrition and wellness at the extension service. “You still have to. All the parties don’t help.”

Jenny Powers, an extension volunteer, outlined holiday survival tips. She said overeating and failing to plan ahead were two of the biggest mistakes people make over the holidays.

Americans gain an average of.4 to 1.8 pounds over the holidays, she said. People who are already overweight may gain as much as five pounds.

“Over consumption can cause harm in the long term,” said Cynthia Simpson, who is a food science nutrition major and a nutrition assistant at Lake Taylor High School in Norfolk.

“It’s OK to eat the things you love but portion control is key.”

Hester Askew of Portsmouth recently lost 44 pounds, but attended the event as a way of bolstering what she’s been doing. Eating smaller portions has been her key to success.

“I found myself just getting just a tiny portion of everything and I was full and I didn’t feel like I was depriving myself,” she said. “That really helped me through Thanksgiving.”

David Macaulay, maccaz17@hotmail.com

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