- With Mayo Clinic nutritionists
Jennifer Nelson, M.S., R.D. and Katherine Zeratsky, R.D.read biographyclose window
Jennifer Nelson, M.S., R.D. and Katherine Zeratsky, R.D.Katherine Zeratsky and Jennifer Nelson
Jennifer K. Nelson, M.S., R.D., L.D., C.N.S.D.
Jennifer Nelson is your link to a better diet. As specialty editor of the nutrition and healthy eating guide, she plays a vital role in bringing you healthy recipes and meal planning.
"Nutrition is one way people have direct control over the quality of their lives," she says. "I hope to translate the science of nutrition into ways that people can select and prepare great-tasting foods that help maintain health and treat disease."
A St. Paul, Minn., native, she has been with Mayo Clinic since 1978, and is director of clinical dietetics and an associate professor of nutrition at Mayo Clinic College of Medicine.
She leads clinical nutrition efforts for a staff of more than 60 clinical dietitians and nine dietetic technicians and oversees nutrition services, staffing, strategic and financial planning, and quality improvement. Nelson was co-editor of the "Mayo Clinic Diet" and the James Beard Foundation Award-winning "The New Mayo Clinic Cookbook." She has been a contributing author to and reviewer of many other Mayo Clinic books, including "Mayo Clinic Healthy Weight for EveryBody," "The Mayo Clinic Family Health Book" and "The Mayo Clinic/Williams Sonoma Cookbook." She contributes to the strategic direction of the Food & Nutrition Center, which includes creating recipes and menus, reviewing nutrition content of various articles, and providing expert answers to nutrition questions.
Katherine Zeratsky, R.D., L.D.
As a specialty editor of the nutrition and healthy eating guide, Katherine Zeratsky helps you sort through the facts and figures, the fads and the hype to learn more about nutrition and diet.
A Marinette, Wis., native, she is certified in dietetics by the state of Minnesota and the American Dietetic Association. She has been with Mayo Clinic since 1999.
She's active in nutrition-related curriculum and course development in wellness nutrition at Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minn., and nutrition related to weight management and practical applications of nutrition-related lifestyle changes.
Other areas of interest include food and nutrition for all life stages, active lifestyles and the culinary arts.
She graduated from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, served a dietetic internship at the University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics, and worked as a registered dietitian and health risk counselor at ThedaCare of Appleton, Wis., before joining the Mayo Clinic staff.
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Sept. 25, 2013
Weight management mantra: Maintain, don't gain
By Jennifer Nelson, M.S., R.D. and Katherine Zeratsky, R.D.
It's often a message reserved for the challenges of the holidays when treats are plentiful and weight gain looks likely — maintain, don't gain.
According to new research, this may be better as a daily manta. A research team at Duke University worked with a group of nearly 100 overweight and obese African-American women (BMIs between 25-34.9) with the goal of making lifestyle changes to improve their overall health and maintain their body shape.
The goal was not weight loss, as it is with so many research, clinical, and personal efforts. Here the focus was weight gain prevention. At 12 months, 62 percent of the women had achieved that goal. Even better, at 18 months the average woman was down 3.7 lb (1.7 kg).
Here is a summary of some of the advice provided to these women:
- Make gradual changes. Start by making healthier food and beverage choices. For example, replace sugar-sweetened beverages, fast food and high-calorie foods with more fruits and vegetables. Walk 7,000 steps daily.
- Monitor your progress. Check in with someone who will keep you accountable. The research group had weekly phone calls to record their progress and a monthly chat with a dietitian
- Keep it interesting. Try new ways of tracking food intake, sign up for a nutrition newsletter, or read about healthier lifestyle choices.
Weight loss efforts can be frustrating — leaving some feeling hungry and defeated. The unfortunate reality is that most Americans gain 2-3 pounds a year. Perhaps a change in our focus is needed. Preventing weight gain by making small changes just might be the ticket to successful weight management.
If you have struggled with your weight, what are your thoughts? Is this approach more appealing?
To your health,