Feature Archive

When You Don't Need a "Diet"

Losing added holiday pounds is as simple as eliminating 100 calories per day.

By Gina Shaw
WebMD Feature

Reviewed By Brunilda Nazario

Maybe you put it all on in the last couple of weeks -- an extra helping of mashed potatoes here, a slice of pecan pie there, two or three holiday parties' worth of drinks and noshes, and you find yourself 5 pounds heavier on Jan. 2 than you were on Dec. 2. Or maybe you've been carrying an extra 5 or 10 pounds all year long, and you've made that classic New Year's resolution: It's time to take the weight off.

You don't need The Zone delivering meals to your door, a lifetime membership to Bally's, or a Bowflex in your living room, says Madelyn Fernstrom, PhD, director of the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center Weight Management Center, and associate director of the UPMC Nutrition Center. All you need is a little strategy -- and some patience.

"By cutting out 100 calories a day, you can lose about a pound a month, and by summertime you'll have all that weight off," says Fernstrom (remember, that's cutting 100 calories a day from your usual caloric intake, not the overstuffed holiday version). "That's by doing almost nothing. It's really not that hard."

Really? OK, so where do you find those calories, and how do you trim them? Fernstrom has a few tips: