Don't Gain Weight During the Holidays
Moving to maintenance makes it easier to join the fun -- and stick to your plan for the long run
The 200-Calorie Strategy continued...
3. Weigh in regularly. Checking in with the scale at least once a
week is the true test for maintenance. Remember to do it first thing in the
morning, in your nightclothes, and after emptying your bladder. When the scale
notches upward, that's your signal to cut back on portions or rev up physical
4. Eat plenty of lean protein. Boosting your protein intake with lean
meats, skinless poultry, low-fat dairy, seafood, and beans will keep you
feeling satisfied longer. When you visit the buffet table, opt for these lean
protein choices and complement them with high-fiber grains, fruits, and
vegetables, which also help fill you up for relatively few calories.
5. Have a healthy breakfast. Study after study confirms that people
who eat breakfast end up eating fewer calories throughout the day. Successful
losers never skip breakfast because it powers up the brain, gets the metabolism
perking, and helps you perform any task better.
6. Put it on a plate. It's hard to keep track of how much food you're
eating when you nibble without using a plate. Serving meals and snacks on a
plate will help you avoid the mindless hand-to-mouth munching that can add lots
of extra calories.
7. If you don't love it, don't eat it. This is my golden rule. Why
waste calories on foods that don't knock your socks off? One bite is usually
enough to tell whether you love it. If not, don't worry about waste -- just
leave it on your plate. Use those extra calories for something you love.
8. Enjoy soup or a salad before going to a party. Studies have shown
that a first course consisting of a large green salad with a light dressing, or
a bowl of broth-based vegetable soup, can reduce the total calories you eat
during a meal. These super-nutritious foods take the edge off your appetite so
you don't arrive starving and dive into the nuts.
9. Satisfy a craving with a few bites. A piece of pecan pie or glass
of eggnog can set you back by more than 400 calories. To stay in maintenance
mode, enjoy just a few bites of such rich foods. Or choose lower-calorie
alternatives (like pumpkin pie or low-fat eggnog) so your 200 extra calories
will give you more to enjoy.
10. Savor every bite. Sit down, relax, and enjoy every bite of your
meal. Take your time and savor the flavors, textures, and aroma of each food.
Eating slowly will help you enjoy the meal and will give your brain time to
receive the signal that your stomach is happily full.
This season, make "social weight maintenance" your strategy, and
give yourself the gift of guilt-free enjoyment of the holiday bounty. Happy