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e-Briefing | GADGETS & GIZMOS

Holiday Cheer for Struggling Dieters

November 22, 2001|P.J. Huffstutter

It's holiday time, and with it, the beginnings of the seasonal belly bulge. Mounds of ham and turkey. Piles of stuffing with rich gravy. Mountains of cookies and pies.

Instead of being afraid to slip into that swanky little holiday outfit, pick up some technological help and start counting your calories now.

Palm and Handspring owners can check out DietLog (http://www.healthetech.com), a $29 software application that lets you track the eggs at breakfast, the salad at lunch and the chocolate chip cookies in the afternoon.

It takes time to customize, and its database of foods is limited, meaning you will have to spend a fair amount of time entering information on foods you eat--whether it's a Big Mac or fresh soybeans.

In addition to the usual beverages, meats and breads, the program also includes breakdowns for specialized foods, both in calories and the "points" system used by the Weight Watchers program: a homemade peanut butter cookie (95 calories, or 2 points), fried tofu (274 calories, or 6 points), cheese nachos (345 calories, or 8 points).

If you need a quick, free pep talk, head over to Ediets (http://www.ediets.com) and sift through its bulletin boards dedicated to seasonal snacking support.

One of the best is Holiday Survival, which includes tips on avoiding the crab cakes and how to politely say "No, thanks" to your platter-toting, size 4 hostess.

Of course, all this planning and scheming is depressing, particularly during a season of festivities.

Who wants to eat before going to a party? Or drink a big glass of water or indulge in an oh-so-tame wine spritzer?

For inspiration, head over to a great site with a horrible name: 3 Fat Chicks on a Diet (http://www.3fatchicks.com). Launched by a trio of sisters, the site is part recipe haven, part support group.

Thousands of dieters fill the bulletin boards with cheers for successes and consolation for the slips. The mantra is simple: Make a goal and ask for help to stick to it.

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