You know the drill. You fully participate in the gluttony associated with the annual Thanksgiving feast, then repeat such behavior time and time again through the remainder of the year.

There’s always a handful of Christmas parties to attend, and way more than a handful of tasty, yet calorie-packed, foods are served at each of them. Then comes Christmas itself, which tends to include more than one gathering of family and friends. These gatherings are sure to feature an abundance of sweet treats along with entrées and side dishes.

New Year’s Day brings a another opportunity to indulge. By the time Jan. 2 arrives, you have 10 or more recent days of overeating under your belt, and your belly is protruding out on the other side of the buckle.

While the munching is frequent, the act of stepping on a scale scarcely takes place. But that out of sight, out of mind approach will bring a rude awakening when you finally do. Where exactly did those extra 15 pounds come from?

You are much better off if you notice the weight gain sooner rather than later, and that’s why the Maintain Don’t Gain Healthy Holiday Challenge organized by the Kankakee County Health Department is a novel idea.

Participants weigh-in just before Thanksgiving and are challenged to stay within two pounds of their starting weight through Jan. 3. Participants weigh-in every week and take part in weekly challenges to maintain a proper weight.

While you still can enjoy a hearty meal or two during the holidays, the program will establish goals to discourage indulgent excess. It also will discourage our tendency to make unrealistic New Year’s resolutions that can’t possibly be accomplished.

To receive weekly information about the challenge, visit the health department, 2390 W. Station St., Kankakee, email lwilson@kankakeehealth.org, call 815-802-9442 or find the department on Facebook.

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