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The Sleepy Eye Herald Dispatch - Sleepy Eye, MN
  • SWAPing prevents weight gain during the holidays

  • November propels us into the holiday season. For many that means attending parties, family gatherings and celebrations focused around food–rich and savory food. So is now really the time to focus on 100 calorie SWAPs?
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  • November propels us into the holiday season. For many that means attending parties, family gatherings and celebrations focused around food–rich and savory food. So is now really the time to focus on 100 calorie SWAPs?
     
    Yes, it’s the perfect time to think about SWAPing to prevent weight gain this holiday season. What it doesn’t mean is totally giving up your favorite foods. Instead, SWAP in smaller portions in place of larger ones. Jeanne Moeri of New Ulm did just that and lost 39 pounds and kept them off for more than two years.
     
    Jeanne’s used lots of different strategies to control portions. When eating out, she and her husband often split a meal. Or she’ll immediately get a box and put half of her meal away. At home, they dish up at the stove instead of serving at the table, and leftovers make their way into the fridge right away.
     
    “It’s all about portion size. I really think it’s one of the biggest changes that you can make that has a huge impact on your weight,” Jeanne said.
     
    Plus, when she eats five fruits and vegetables a day, she finds she’s not even hungry for snacking on things like chips and cookies that she used to crave.
    Jeanne explained what motivated her to start making better food choices and lose weight.
     
    “I was diagnosed as having Type 2 diabetes. I remember one time when I got weighed, I had gone from being considered overweight to obese. That was a pretty scary word for me. A huge part of our population is overweight, so when you’re overweight, you’re like ‘yeah, so is everybody else.’ But when you hear the word ‘obese,’ it’s pretty scary.”
     
    When asked what else besides portion control makes it easier for her to make healthy food choices, Jeanne explained, “I like all kinds of fruits and vegetables. I like lean meats — we eat almost exclusively chicken and turkey. Very seldom do we ever have any beef. I just enjoy lean meats and fish. And I love fruits and vegetables, so you know, how easy is that?”
     
    With the holidays coming up, Jeanne knows she’ll face some eating challenges. “I have 11 grandchildren and I love the candy at Christmas. I do find the holidays to be a little bit of a challenge.”
     
    She stays focused on what keeps her motivated to keep making healthy choices.
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    “I like the way I look now,” she said. “Even though I’m 53, I think I look younger now than I did when I was heavier.”
     
    Check out a grocery store to get started on your holiday SWAPs!
     
    Jeanne is an inspiration to start making small SWAPs to lose weight. Saving just 100 calories a day by making small changes in what you eat can add up to a 10 pound weight loss in a year. It’s that easy. Every SWAP counts. Ready to get started?
     
    Check out local grocery store and convenience stores for tips when shopping. In addition, registered dietitians will be conducting regular tours at grocery stores to help people learn how to shop with heart health in mind, answer questions and see how they can make food and beverage SWAPs to save calories.
     
    Sleepy Eye convenience stores participating in the campaign include Casey’s, Cenex and Freedom. Schutz Family Foods is also participating.
     
    Schutz Family Foods will host a grocery store tour for recipes and tips on how to make healthy SWAPs. The next tour is scheduled for Nov. 18 at 8 a.m. Tours last approximately one hour and people should meet the dietitian at the front of the store.
     
    For more information on the SWAP IT to DROP IT campaign, visit www.heartsbeatback.org and click on “SWAP IT to DROP IT” under the “Brown County” tab.
     
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