Eat Healthy to Start the New Year

It’s the same old story year after year: you eat yourself silly over the holidays, then before you know it, summertime has arrived and you’re still carrying around those pumpkin pie pounds. The holidays are a triple threat. On Thanksgiving we stuff ourselves into a stupor. Around Christmas we consume copious amounts cookies, cakes and candied yams. And then there’s New Years Eve-a silent but diet-deadly calorie fest. If you didn’t think you could rack up on calories and fat by drinking “a few” glasses of wine and nibbling on dainty little hors d’oeuvres-then think again!

Hors d’oeuvres are tiny, unassuming delights that can pack large amounts of calories and fat and most people don’t stop at just one. Drinking your calories has the same effect on your body as eating them. Remember, a calorie is still a calorie no matter where it comes from. So if you’d like to walk out of 2005 the same size you walked in, keep these tips in mind.

âÂ?¢ Moderation is the key. The best thing to do is to pace yourself and have willpower. Have one or two hors d’oeuvres and move on. If all else fails, eat a little something before the party. You’ll be less likely to overeat if you’re not starving by the time you hit the buffet table.

� Try picking the healthiest choice you can find. When it comes to buffet tables, the vast majority are the same. Most offer grapes, crackers, cheeses, sliced lean meats and the list goes on and on. Forget the fried chicken wings and blue cheese (100 calories), the pate and little cakes. Choose grilled chicken, sliced meats and nuts instead. Your waistline will thank you in the morning.

âÂ?¢ Don’t drink your calories. Yes, it’s true-red wine has many health benefits but remember, 4 ounces of the antioxidant rich intoxicant contains a whopping 100 calories! A 12 ounce beer alone may contain as much as 145 calories. Get the picture? Try these tips to save lots of calories. Try a “lite” beer instead of regular beer. Try club soda instead of a screwdriver (200 calories) or a Gin & Tonic (also 200 calories). Skip the liqueurs. 1 Ã?½ oz. of CrÃ?¨me De Menthe contains a whopping 188 calories. Order simple instead of fancy. An 8 oz. margarita can pack a whopping 320-480 calories, while a rum and coke has 190. Skip the regular coke, opt for diet and you save even more calories.

One last tip: if you forget any of the tips listed above-just listen to your body and you can’t go wrong!

Source: Dr. Joanne V. Lichten, author of: Dining Lean: How to Eat Healthy in your Favorite Restaurants.

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