If this year is like any other, 40 percent of Americans are planning on starting some sort of diet on January first. Though, with most New Year resolutions all but forgotten by February, why even bother?
Experts are now discovering that the “super-sizing” of American portions isn’t completely to blame for the high obesity rate. And, it’s not the huge, high calorie, holiday meals that are packing on the pounds either. For many of us, our emotions are to blame for being overweight, whether it’s overeating to cope with stress, or to avoid feeling depressed, lonely or bored. If this rings true to you, promise yourself that you’ll get off the diet cycle once and for all in 2008 by looking into the REAL reasons you are unable to get rid of those extra pounds.
So, now that we’ve sworn off dieting for good, here are some tips for how to make it through the holidays without picking up the five to seven pounds the average person gains during this merry time of year.
Practice Eating for Your Ideal Weight
“Learn to eat for the weight you’d like to be,” advises Paulette Lambert, director of nutrition at the California Health and Longevity Institute  in Westlake Village. “For example, if you’re a 160 pound woman and your goal is to weigh 130, figure out the difference between 160 that you’re doing now and what you need to do to weigh 130. And, practice eating for your ideal weight.”
Lambert promises, if you make the corrections, you will get there. “It will be slower than an extreme diet, but you have a much better chance to get there and stay there, because you practice behavior that you have to live with.”
Learn Portion Control
Restaurant portions are getting bigger. So, experts suggest splitting entrees whenever you can, skipping high-calorie appetizers and choosing grilled items instead of fried.
And, reposition the food on your plate. Ideally, Lambert suggests having half of your plate made up of salad, fruit and vegetables, one quarter (plate) of protein and one-quarter carbohydrates.
“You still have a full plate of food, but …it can cut the calories by one-third to one-half. You still get your volume and you get better nutrition,” adding, “The concept is to eat less of the high calorie foods, the protein and the carbohydrate, and really to eat a lot of the healthier things, basically the fruits and vegetables.”
Cultivate the Art of Moderation
“The concept of deprivation … is not going to work for many of us long term,” says Lambert, who urges us to learn to eat less. “Can we split entrees with someone that we’re with? Can we cook less at one time?”
She suggests taking things slowly, because anything too drastic isn’t going to work for the long term. “Give yourself a period of a couple months to bring down your portion sizes.”
And, figure out what’s causing the extra twenty or thirty pounds. “Is it the two glasses of wine every night and your food’s fine? Or, is it that you have way more sweets in your week that you need to have?”
“We need to look at where the problem is with the other food groups, and make the correct corrections,” said Lambert, adding “We need to really pinpoint what the weight problem is about, and correct those behaviors.”
For more healthy eating tips from Paulette Lambert, plus tips for how to avoid over-indulging at holiday parties, listen to my talk with her at www.Lisa.fm. 
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