How to Lose Holiday Love Handles

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“Dear Pharmacist,

I splurged during the holidays and now I want to drop 10 pounds fast. Any tips?”

–GP Gainesville, Florida

Answer: First of all, don’t feel guilty. Remember how much fun you had circling the buffet table and juggling that 5 pound platter of chow with the vat of eggnog. This is not the time to start panicking. You have plenty of time for that in February when all your gifts are exchanged for something you really want. You’re not alone. November, December and January are inevitably the most fattening months of the year. The point of these holidays is to allow us to eat other people’s food for free. And lots of it.

On average, people put on about 10 pounds. If it makes you feel better, think of these pounds as your winter fur. Even health nuts dive into the murky dwellings of fried, fatty and fantastic victuals during the holidays. Trust me, they are not eating celery sticks and wheat germ during all these festivities. There’s a breakdown for everyone and it’s easy to remedy. Don’t starve yourself for a week to compensate for the additional pounds.

That won’t do your body any good, plus it taints the memory of such a fabulous caloric intake. Just start eating ‘right’ again. There’s no magic pill to lose weight, even though everyone is trying to sell you theirs. It’s simple. Get off the couch and start exercising. You shouldn’t make it a resolution, since those are rarely maintained. Make exercise a daily choice. Jogging to the fridge doesn’t count. Your body will begin to burn up calories more efficiently, plus you’ll look good in all those new clothes you got.

Next, cut out the carbs for a month. No bread, pasta or potatoes. Your body has no choice but to burn up fat. After a while, you won’t even care if brownies are baking in your house. Ok, well… maybe. But the point is, when you reduce carbs, you alter brain chemistry and your hunger pangs subside. You’re less likely to eat junk food during the day. The pounds will drop. This should get you prepped to indulge in lots of chocolate-coated cherries and sugar cookies by Valentines Day.