By Larissa Scott | email@example.com
The Thanksgiving and Christmas holidays are known as a time of year centered around food, which is why the Bay County Health Department is participating for the second year in the 'Maintain, Don't Gain!' holiday challenge.
"To discourage most American from the normal holiday weight gain. Usually during this time of the year we can gain between two and eight pounds and that's something that we would like to discourage this year," said Natasha Coleman with the Bay County Health Department.
In last year's challenge the health department says about 1,700 Floridians participated and about 76% of them maintained their weight without gaining any.
"It includes information about how to have a healthier holiday party, it includes information about how to stay motivated with being active, and it also gives information about some healthier recipes for the holidays," said Coleman.
Although it isn't always easy to resist the urge for a second piece of pie, the health department has some tips to help.
"Commit to drinking a full bottle of water before you actually go into your meal, that way you're already kind of already not as hungry so you won't indulge because you're hungry. Another good thing is to kind of maintain the MyPlate way of eating, to really kind of fill up your plate with half vegetables and mostly lean meat and really only eat the starches in very small moderation," said Coleman.
They say, keeping the weight off during the holidays keeps you motivated to stay on track going into the new year.
"During the holidays it's really important for us to enjoy family and to enjoy being around our family but to also remember that a healthy lifestyle is a year-long commitment," said Coleman.
The challenge ends December 31st. To sign up to participate in the challenge visit the Healthiest Weight Florida website or by clicking here
Copyright 2015 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.