You can prevent holiday weight gain by eating more.
Instead of running around like a crazy person skipping meals so you can binge at parties, relax a little.
Take a positive approach to eating. Combine cereal grains, nonfat dairy foods, and fresh fruits for about 400 calories. That's enough to carry you to lunch time without falling off the doughnut wagon.
Lunch could be about 500 calories of soups, salads, breads, fruits, and vegetables.
That leaves about 600 calories for a quick, well-balanced supper. You'll be well within 1,500 calories daily, low enough for most women to gradually lose weight. With a slight deficit each day, you'll have a small margin for enjoyment.
At parties and special events, choose well, and really enjoy. Select the most tempting treats, but don't waste calories on mediocre items. Eat slowly, savoring each bite. Stop eating the second you begin to feel full. Don't feel obligated to clean your plate. When you've had enough, move away from the food. Go find someone really interesting to talk to.
Below are 10 10-minute suppers within the 600 calorie range. They're inexpensive, cholesterol-lowering, high fiber, low fat and nutrient-packed.
* Pizza party: Healthy Choice Deluxe Pizza, two medium raw carrots, 8 ounces nonfat yogurt, 4 pitted prunes, 4 dried apricots.
* Tuna tuneup: Water-packed tuna, low-fat mayo, chopped celery, Romaine leaf, two slices 7-grain bread, canned vegetable soup, 8 ounces skim milk, fresh tangerine, two ginger snaps.
* Turkey pita: (4 ounces deli-sliced turkey, 1/2 ounce Swiss cheese, lettuce, tomato, sprouts, whole wheat pita pocket), raw broccoli florets with low-fat ranch dressing, golden delicious apple.
* Vegetarian: 1/2 cup canned black beans over 1 cup quick-cooking brown rice, chopped raw onions, 1/2 ounce reduced-fat Cheddar cheese, -- of Tabasco, one slice French bread with 1/2 tablespoon margarine, fresh orange, two low-fat oatmeal cookies.
* Italiano: 1 cup vermicelli (very thin spaghetti) 1/2 cup commercialspaghetti sauce, 1 cup frozen Italian vegetable mix, 2 tablespoons Parmesan cheese, sourdough roll, packet of dried fruit.
* Spuds: Large baked potato (microwaved) topped with 1/2 cup canned chili and 1/2 ounce reduced-fat Cheddar cheese, one juicy D'anjou pear, 2 ounces whole wheat pretzels
* Noodle-oh!: 1/2 package Ramen noodle soup, prepared with 1 cup frozen vegetable combination, and one chopped chicken breast, vanilla non-fat yogurt with 2 tablespoons yellow raisins.
* Diet daze: 1 cup beef noodle soup, 4 Triscuit crackers, 1/2 cup low-fat cottage cheese, canned peach and pear halves packed in light syrup, two Fig Newtons.
* Breakfast for dinner: 1 cup muesli cereal, 1 cup skim milk, fresh banana, whole wheat English muffin, 2 tablespoons all fruit spread.
* Midnight special: Grapefruit half, two scrambled eggs, pumpernickel bagel with low-fat cream cheese, Alba low-fat hot chocolate.
Colleen Pierre, a registered dietitian, is the nutrition consultant to the Union Memorial Sports Medicine Center in Baltimore and director of Eating Together in Baltimore