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Hungry Girl Today: 1.2.13

Hi HG,

So... I REALLY overdid it during the holiday season. I kind of threw my diet out the window and gained about seven pounds. What do I do?!?

Holiday Hangover

Hi Holiday Hangover,

First of all, try not to panic. What's done is done. The best thing you can do is to put it behind you and move forward with a good attitude! That said, here are some ideas to get you back on track...

If you're hung over from holiday food, clear out your stash... a.k.a. your pantry and fridge! Get rid of those half-eaten boxes of chocolates, giant tins of decadent popcorn, leftover desserts, and whatever other tempting indulgent goodies are residing in your kitchen. You don't need 'em! Replace them with guilt-free foods so you're always prepared for a smart snack or meal. Need help? Click here for our most recent supermarket list!

Try a week of "clean eating." While I'm ALL about low-calorie craving busters as alternatives to fattening favorites, I'm also big on filling your diet with tons of nutritious stuff. Think lean protein (skinless chicken breast, shrimp, egg whites, etc.), fresh fruit (Fuji apples are fantastic), and lots of veggies (chopped romaine for salads, broccoli slaw, sugar snap peas, and steamable bags of frozen veggies). When it comes to carbs, go for fiber-packed versions like brown rice (watch those portions!) and high-fiber light bread. Sticking to these basics is a good way to shake off the excess eating you did over the holidays.

Eat at home more often. While there definitely are smart options you can order at restaurants, and the availability of nutritional info is helpful, you never really know how many calories and fat grams are in your meal. An extra tablespoon of cooking oil alone adds over a hundred calories and double-digit fat grams. If you want to kick-start your New Year's diet plan, dining out less often can really help. When you do eat out, keep it simple: salads without fatty toppings (light dressing on the side; dip, don't pour!), plain lean protein (like steamed seafood or broiled chicken breast), and steamed veggies. If you don't see what you're looking for on the menu, just ask! Even if the menu lists saut