Here's a checklist to help you get ready for the Holiday Challenge:
1. Assemble your tool kit. To get yourself moving a little more and control what you eat, make sure you have the following, as appropriate:
* comfortable walking or workout shoes
* workout clothes, including outdoor wear if appropriate
* measuring cups and spoons
* a kitchen scale
* a clear space to work out at home
* a pedometer, if you like
* a tape or CD player for listening to books or music while working out
* any exercise equipment you plan to use: jump-rope, exercise bands, dumbbells, stability ball, yoga mat, exercise videos, etc.
2. Check your starting weight. Use the form at left or download it at www.washingtonpost.com/ leanplateclub .
* Weight: ________ pounds
* Waist: _________inches
* Body mass index: _________
3. Find your caloric balance.
* Check the calories you need online at www.dallasdietitian.com/rd/calorie.htm.
______________ calories per day
(Or multiply your weight by 10 to find "baseline" calories. Add 20 to 40 percent more for a rough estimate of daily calories needed to maintain your current weight.)
4.Track what you eat. Use a notebook or the form available on the Holiday Challenge Web site to jot down your intake and estimate the calories consumed.
5. Take stock of your pantry.
* Eliminate needless temptations.
* Load up on great-tasting healthy food when you shop this week: fruit and vegetables; low-fat and nonfat cheese and other dairy products; air-popped popcorn and pretzels; soups (except for cream-based recipes), low-fat hot cocoa; whole grain unsweetened cereals.
6. Plan now for more physical activity.
* Enlist a workout partner.
* Schedule regular physical activity before the holidays begin.
* Plan an active holiday event such as ice skating, caroling or chopping down a Christmas tree.