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Nov 8, 2008

Eat, Shrink & Be Merry!

Cover of cookbook entitled Eat, Shrink, and Be Merry
Back in the mid 1990s, two Canadian sisters named Greta & Janet Podleski co-authored Looneyspoons--the #1 all-time best selling cookbook in Canada (now out of print). The sisters have sold more than 850,000 cookbooks in Canada and currently host the highest-rated show on that nation's Food Network. We may be hearing more about them here in the USA in the next few months as they promote their new cookbook: Eat, Shrink & Be Merry! Great-Tasting Food That Won't Go from Your Lips to Your Hips!

Meanwhile, here are a few dandy weight-maintenance tips from Greta and Janet to get you through the holidays (my favorite is “Dress for Success”):
  • Eat before you meet. A half hour before a party, dilute your appetite with a hard-boiled egg, some yogurt, or some nuts.
  • Make it splurge-worthy! When you get the urge to splurge on calorie-laden indulgences (and we all do!), rate the indulgent food on a scale of 1 to 10. If it isn’t a 9 or 10, don’t bother—it’s not worthy! There’s nothing worse than having to loosen your belt after eating a food that you didn’t really enjoy. Talk about waisting calories!
  • Use small plates, small portions, and small talk. At social gatherings, have everything you like, but have a little of it. Whatever you do, do not exceed the feed limit! Studies suggest that exceeding 500 calories at any meal may cause your body to shift into fat-storage mode.
  • Be a double-fisted drinker. During the holiday season, alcohol’s empty calories can pack the pounds on just as much as over-eating can. Try having a glass of water for each alcoholic beverage you drink.
  • Arrive in mint condition. At cocktail parties, use a breath mint strip before you hit the appetizer table. It’ll dull your taste buds, plus it’ll make you a more popular guest!
  • Gobble white turkey meat. It contains tryptophan, an amino acid that increases the feel-good neurotransmitter, serotonin, which not only improves mood but also helps you resist cravings for starches and sweets.
  • Be a mover and a shaker! Bump up your physical activity level so you can afford to enjoy the great food. You know you’re going to be eating more than usual, so this is the time to move more than usual. During the holidays, make a point of doing some brisk walking every single day.
  • Dress for Success. This might sound far-fetched, but during the holiday season, wear your snuggest clothes that don’t allow much room for expansion. That’ll remind you not to overindulge. It works! Honest!
  • Remember that healthy eating isn’t all or nothing. One rip-roaring, high-calorie meal or indulgence won’t make or break your waistline. It’s what you do consistently, over the long haul, that matters most. So enjoy yourself, have a small portion of those special holiday treats, then get back on track with healthy eating the very next day.
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