Monday, December 13, 2010

Holiday Weight Loss Tips from Dr. Oz

Let's be real, who doesn't gain a few pounds during the holidays? Despite my best intentions and the fact that Brandon and I had our engagement pictures Saturday that I wanted to look extra-svelte for, I've gained five pounds in the past month. Five pounds isn't a big deal but at only 5'3", it's a lot more noticeable on me than a woman standing at 6 feet.

Below are some great tips from my favorite Dr. Oz, who appeared on this morning's Good Morning America.

Keep a Food Diary, and Weigh Yourself
Oz always recommends that people keep track of what they eat, but said it was especially important at this time of year when people may be surrounded by temptations. A bite here and a taste there will add up, so document everything -- even if it's a spoonful of pudding or a single chocolate chip. This will help you think about what you're eating.

You should also make a date with your scale twice a week. Oz said he usually recommends that people weigh in once a week, but said people need to be more diligent over the holidays. Early detection of creeping weight gain can allow you to react quickly by throwing in an extra workout or passing on that second helping at your next meal.

Beware the Buffet and Those Passed Appetizers
Those buffets and appetizer trays present a tempting trap.

Oz recommends that you snack before you arrive at the party. That way, you'll be less likely to overindulge on those tempting little calorie-laden treats. His favorite snack is a small bag of nuts and low-fat string cheese. The nuts and cheese are high in protein, so they'll keep you filled well through the end of the party.

Avoid Homemade
If you're asked to bring a dessert to a party, Oz recommended that you buy something at your local bakery rather than baking it yourself.

He reasoned that if you baked it yourself the night before, you may be too tempted to sneak bites of the treat, but if you buy it on the way to the party, you won't have had that opportunity and you'll arrive with a much fresher dessert.

Watch Your Alcohol Intake
Fancy cocktails of any kind tend to be bad for your health, and holiday drinks are the worst of them all, Oz said. Eggnog, the most popular, has a whopping 450 calories per glass. That's the equivalent of nearly one full meal.

You can certainly indulge in one or two drinks but make sure they're healthy options, he said. He recommended that you stick to 100-calorie drinks. Any hard alcohol on the rocks or mixed with club soda will likely come in at under 100 calories, as will most light beers or a glass of wine, he added.

Even better, make a wine spritzer using half wine and half soda. That way, your 100 calories will last through two drinks.

Bear in mind that alcohol itself not only adds calories, but it lowers your inhibitions, making it more likely that you will reach for those diet-destroying buffet treats as the night goes on.

Alternate alcoholic beverages with a glass of water in order to remain hydrated, stave off hangovers and keep calories in check, he added.

Tuesday, December 07, 2010

Oatmeal Rolls

These are just plain GOOD. They're great for breakfast, as a snack or dessert.

Oatmeal Rolls

1 cup oatmeal (1/2 cup each quick and old-fashioned)
3 tablespoons soft margarine
2 cups boiling water
2 packages yeast, dissolved in 1/3 cup warm water with 1 teaspoon sugar
2/3 cup brown sugar, packed
1 tablespoon white sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
5 cups all-purpose flour

Instructions In a large bowl, pour the boiling water over the oats and margarine. Stir and cool to lukewarm. Add sugars, salt and dissolved yeast to oatmeal mixture. Knead in the flour, a cup at a time. Allow dough to rise in a warm place for one hour. Punch down. Form into rolls and place in greased 9-by-13-inch baking pan. Allow to rise again for 20 to 30 minutes. Bake in a 350-degree oven for 20 to 25 minutes, until golden brown.

Tips from the Test Kitchen
Tips From Our Test Kitchen: This is an excellent basic recipe for cinnamon rolls. Roll the dough out 1-inch thick after the first rising. Sprinkle with cinnamon and brown sugar. Roll into a pinwheel and cut into 1 1/2-inch rolls. Bake and glaze with icing.