The National Institutes of Health estimates that during the 6 weeks between Thanksgiving and New Year’s Day, Americans gain an average of 0.8–1.4 pounds. With the lingering effects of Halloween candy factored in, that range could easily be higher. According to the NIH, this eating free-for-all over 40 or more days accounts for 51% of the typical American’s yearly weight gain.

One-and-a-half pounds doesn’t seem a significant amount of weight to shed post-holidays—if clients could adopt disciplined eating and exercise programs. But realistically, the extra baggage doesn’t always come off that easily. In fact, over the course of a decade or two—at that rate of gain—an insidious 15–30 extra pounds could creep onto a person’s unsuspecting frame. The frustrating part for fitness professionals is knowing that this is preventable with some mindful and realistic strategies in place.

The notion of presenting ideas for stopping the holiday food hangover before the damage is done was very appealing. It compelled us to produce this special print supplement issue of IDEA Food & Nutrition Tips, the newest periodical in the IDEA suite of publications. Bringing prevention concepts to life in a print format, we feel, puts tangible substance behind the fact that your clients will be a lot happier on January 1, 2013, if they can enjoy the holidays without gaining pounds than if you wait for the whole thing to blow over before enacting damage control. This way, on January 1, you and your clients can get on with attacking new ambitions rather than dealing with the “same old” hackneyed (and almost always unsuccessful) weight loss goal. Challenge your clients—and yourselves—to an ounce of prevention.

For this bonus issue, we have planned some wonderful, practical articles to inspire you to put a “holiday prehab” program in place for your business. With topics ranging from “Portion Distortion” and “Realistic Resolutions” to “Smart Apps for Smart Appetites” and a delicious healthy-holiday-recipe section, we hope you will find something useful. If you draw just one good idea or find a recipe to share with a client (or use yourself), then we’ll have met our objective. In the process, you can also earn 0.1 CEC from the quiz in this issue.

Please let us know if you find this supplement useful and if you have ideas for future bonus nutrition material that would help you serve your clients more successfully. In the meantime, if you haven’t yet signed up to receive your free, bimonthly digital copy of IDEA Food & Nutrition Tips, please do so at

From the IDEA offices to your studio or facility, we wish you a very warm and festive holiday season (sans the extra pounds!).


Sandy Todd Webster

Editor in Chief

[email protected]