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.