- 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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Dec. 18, 2009
Tips for preventing holiday weight gain
By Jennifer Nelson, M.S., R.D. and Katherine Zeratsky, R.D.
It's commonly thought that the typical holiday weight gain is around 5 pounds (2.3 kilograms). In reality, it's probably less. The catch, though, is that even a small holiday weight gain is seldom lost — adding to the cumulative weight gain that happens over time for most adults. In past blogs we've talked about being mindful about holiday eating. Continuing in that spirit, I offer a few additional tips to help you enjoy the season and avoid holiday weight gain:
- Take it a day at a time. Strive to balance out your calories over the day or at least over a couple of days. If you'll be consuming extra calories at a social event in the evening, make adjustments earlier in the day. Focus on fruits and veggies, and add some lean protein and high-fiber grains to keep your appetite in check.
- Spurn the party snacks. Don't waste your calories mindlessly munching salty or sugary snack foods. Save them for the big event — dinner and dessert.
- Be selective. Buffets don't have to be all you can eat. Survey the offerings. What looks too good to pass up? What can you live without? Focus on what you'll enjoy, not how much you can squeeze on your plate.
- Decorate your plate. Fill half to three-quarters of your plate with colorful raw veggies, fruits or items that have these as their main ingredient. You know creamy sauces and cheesy toppings are going to add calories, so take smaller portions. Fill the rest of your plate with lean meat, shrimp or other seafood choices.
- Mind your manners and your portions. At sit-down affairs, graciously sample all foods — for your own experience and to please your host. However, you don't have to clean your plate to demonstrate your appreciation.
- Practice discretion. Identify the added calorie culprits, such as cheese or cream sauces and fillings, and discretely move some or all to the side of your plate. You'll still get the flavor just not all the unnecessary calories and fat.
- Plan for indulgence. If you want to indulge in a homemade holiday treat or luscious dessert, ask yourself what you're willing to give up in exchange — something at lunch or dinner, or your afternoon snack? Or are willing to put in the extra time at the gym?
How are you balancing your holiday food fun? Are you successfully navigating the season and avoiding the dreaded holiday weight gain? Share your tips.
- Yanovski JA, et al. A prospective study of holiday weight gain. New England Journal of Medicine.2000;342:861.