Ali's holiday weight challenge

Philadelphia - November 26, 2009

Weigh yourself before Thanksgiving dinner, write your weight down on a peice of paper and post it somewhere you'll see it every day.

Registered dietician Courtney Schoepe of the Aquatic and Fitness Center also suggests starting a food log to keep track of what you eat.

"So you're aware of what you're eating, when you're aware you're mindful at least of better choices," she said.

Your goal over the next 37 days is not to lose weight, but to maintain your weight. To do that Schoepe says remember the holiday or a holiday party should be one day to indulge. "It's not a week, it's not two days, it's not a weekend, it's not an entire season so when you approach it that way, the chances of gaining weight when only indulging one day is slim to none," Schoepe said.

She says while at parties, it's okay to eat your favorite food but just have small portions. And don't go to a holiday party hungry. "If you go starving and you're saving all your calories all day long for when you get there, of course you are going to gorge yourself," Schoepe said.

But even if you do over-do-it at the dinner table, just get back your usual workout routine the next day. "Start over the next day," Schoepe says, adding, don't be a slug for four days and chatise yourself for eating too much because that will only lead to more over-eating.

The challenge ends on January 2nd. That's when you have to step on the scale. Again your goal is to maintain your weight, get the same or a number close to your original weight taken in November. Remember, the only thing you should really gain over the holidays is warm memories.

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