I’ve worked in restaurants on and off for quite a few years. One of the benefits associated with this is that you get to eat the food. I guess if you average it out, I haven’t really had a weight problem from this occasional employment-driven overindulgence, except for that one time back in my twenties when I worked at this fried chicken place. I ballooned from my normal weight of about 170 to some 220 pounds. I usually took a bucket of leftover chicken home at night and would snack on it throughout the evening while I was watching TV: real healthy.
Recent studies have shown that except in rare cases, most people are overweight because they simply eat too much and don’t get enough exercise.

It’s not because they are “big-boned” or have a “slow metabolism.” Sometimes they don’t even realize that they are eating as much as they really are. There may be some genetic reasons for this or a fault in the brain mechanism that tells them when to stop. Diet and exercise are still the best recommendations if you want to lose weight, but research continues for that magic pill that will allow you to remain slim and trim and still eat all that you want. Despite all of the “quick-fix” herbal weight loss claims on the TV nowadays, we still haven’t found one yet.

For a lot of people, winter is the hardest time of the year to keep the weight off. We tend to seek out higher calorie foods when the weather gets cold and stay inside more and get less exercise. Then we have the holiday season upon us with its extra stress, too little time, and high calorie meals. A little planning now can help you keep off that holiday winter weight gain. It beats waiting and making it a part of your New Year’s resolution. Here are a few tips to help you eat, drink, and still stay trim and merry:

Have some healthy alternatives around the house to snack on. Fresh fruit, vegetable sticks, and low-fat crackers can be an alternative to the high-calorie snacks.

Try to use low-fat dairy products when cooking. Use skim milk instead of whole milk and substitute low-fat yogurt for ice cream.

Avoid the extra butter, margarine, oil and salt by seasoning your foods with fresh herbs and spices instead. You’ll find that the food actually tastes better, and you’ll save some fat and calories.

Use vegetable oils instead of the hydrogenated fat, lard, or butter when baking. Whenever possible, use a vegetable spray instead of frying in deep fat.

Trim visible fat from meats and use ones with less marbling. You can take a leaner (and cheaper) cut of meat and make it tender by cooking longer or marinating.

When you are eating out, order foods that are steamed, baked, stir-fried or broiled instead of fried. Get the high-fat salad dressing and sauces served on the side so you can control the portions. Ask for a to-go container ahead of time and set aside a portion of the meal to have later. Restaurant portions have become ridiculously large over the past few years. Sometimes you can make two servings out of one meal.

Do like your mom always said and chew your food slowly. This can have the effect of making you feel more full. If you’re eating at a buffet, use a smaller plate; you’ll eat less.

By becoming more aware of your eating habits around the holidays, you can welcome in the New Year with a slimmer, healthier you.

Just sincerely stick to the above pattern with discipline as it targets and cools unwanted fat cells and prevents unnecessary weight gain.