December 19, 2014

5 tips for enjoying the holiday party without a guilt trip

Weight-loss dietitian's guidelines help patients stay on track

MAYWOOD, Ill. (December 19, 2014) - The countdown for the holidays is on and so is the calorie counting.

“For many, the fear of gaining weight is significantly greater than the actual number of pounds that may accrue at holiday time,” said Lauren Zuro, a registered dietitian at Loyola Center for Metabolic Surgery & Bariatric Care. “Many of my patients are on long-term weight-loss programs and have become accustomed to the eating and exercise routine and the regular weigh-in that shows a loss."

Zuro prepares patients well in advance of eating events and helps tailor strategies and realistically manage expectations.

“If a patient misses a workout, attends a special dining event or gets out of their healthy comfort zone, they mistakenly feel they have not accomplished anything or that they have gained weight if they do not actually lose weight,” she said. “Maintaining a weight loss, or minimizing weight gain, especially during a food-intensive, stressful time, is a major accomplishment."

Zuro regularly counsels weight-loss patients at Loyola and specializes in bariatrics, or weight-loss medicine.

  • Here are tips from Zuro on how you can have a good time at holiday parties without sacrificing good nutrition:
  • Never go to a holiday party hungry. You will overeat. Have a protein-based snack (i.e., a half turkey sandwich, Greek yogurt, string cheese, quarter-cup cottage cheese and fruit) before going and this will keep you from overeating high-calorie appetizers and chips that have low nutritional value.
  • Select more vegetables and fruit options at parties. Vegetable platters are a common appetizer and fresh fruit is usually offered on dessert tables.
  • Use smaller plates (appetizer size) when selecting food items for meals. Fill your plate with “taste” amounts. This way you get a chance to try many dishes but not overconsume calories. Remember to enjoy what you are eating. Eat slowly; savor the flavors of the different dishes.
  • Consume water or other sugar-free beverages. By avoiding sugary or alcoholic drinks and high-fat beverages, such as eggnog, you will save on calories.
  • Remember the reason why you are getting together with family and friends during the holidays: not to eat, but to enjoy their company and share in the ambiance of the season. Make sure to catch up with family or friends you may not be able to see often and enjoy the time you get to spend with everyone.

The Loyola Center for Metabolic Surgery & Bariatric Care, located on the Gottlieb Memorial Hospital campus, is designated as a Level 1 facility under the Bariatric Surgery Center Network (BSCN) Accreditation Program of the American College of Surgeons (ACS).  To achieve this accreditation, Loyola had to meet a number of rigorous institutional performance measures.

The center, which opened in 2012, provides care with a multidisciplinary team of bariatric-certified professionals, including surgeons, psychologists, dietitians, exercise physiologists and physicians.

Surgical procedures offered by Loyola include laparoscopic adjustable gastric banding, Roux-en-Y gastric bypass and laparoscopic sleeve gastrectomy.

Free informational sessions and more can be found at or by calling (800) 355-0416.

About Loyola Medicine and Trinity Health

Loyola Medicine, a member of Trinity Health, is a quaternary care system based in the western suburbs of Chicago that includes Loyola University Medical Center (LUMC), Gottlieb Memorial Hospital, MacNeal Hospital and convenient locations offering primary and specialty care services from 1,877 physicians throughout Cook, Will and DuPage counties. LUMC is a 547-licensed-bed hospital in Maywood that includes the William G. and Mary A. Ryan Center for Heart & Vascular Medicine, the Cardinal Bernardin Cancer Center, a Level 1 trauma center, Illinois's largest burn center, a certified comprehensive stroke center and a children’s hospital. Having delivered compassionate care for over 50 years, Loyola also trains the next generation of caregivers through its teaching affiliation with Loyola University Chicago’s Stritch School of Medicine and Marcella Niehoff School of Nursing. Gottlieb is a 247-licensed-bed community hospital in Melrose Park with 150 physician offices, an adult day care program, the Gottlieb Center for Fitness, the Loyola Center for Metabolic Surgery and Bariatric Care and the Loyola Cancer Care & Research at the Marjorie G. Weinberg Cancer Center at Melrose Park. MacNeal Hospital is a 374-bed teaching hospital in Berwyn with advanced inpatient and outpatient medical, surgical and psychiatric services, advanced diagnostics and treatments. MacNeal has a 12-bed acute rehabilitation unit, a 25-bed inpatient skilled nursing facility, and a 68-bed behavioral health program and community clinics. MacNeal has provided quality, patient-centered care to the near west suburbs since 1919.

Trinity Health is one of the largest multi-institutional Catholic healthcare systems in the nation, serving diverse communities that include more than 30 million people across 22 states. Trinity Health includes 92 hospitals, as well as 109 continuing care locations that include PACE programs, senior living facilities and home care and hospice services. Its continuing care programs provide nearly 2.5 million visits annually. Based in Livonia, Mich., and with annual operating revenues of $18.3 billion and assets of $26.2 billion, the organization returns $1.1 billion to its communities annually in the form of charity care and other community benefit programs. Trinity employs about 129,000 colleagues, including 7,800 employed physicians and clinicians. Committed to those who are poor and underserved in its communities, Trinity is known for its focus on the country's aging population. As a single, unified ministry, the organization is the innovator of Senior Emergency Departments, the largest not-for-profit provider of home health care services—ranked by number of visits—in the nation, as well as the nation’s leading provider of PACE (Program of All Inclusive Care for the Elderly) based on the number of available programs.

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