LOS ANGELES, Dec 20, 2004 /PRNewswire via COMTEX/ -- One of the things that make the holidays so special are the foods that we associate with this time of year. What most people don't look forward to, however, are the extra pounds that many people pack on. According to Joseph Risser, M.D., director of clinical research for Lindora Medical Clinics, there are some simple tips that, if followed, could prevent holiday eating from wreaking havoc on your waistline:

* Choose turkey instead of ham because it is lower in both fat and

calories. When cooking, skim the fat from the meat drippings before

making the gravy and remove the skin before serving.

* Rather than baste meats in fatty drippings, try using fat-free

toppings such as wine or fat-free chicken broth.

* Cut potatoes and parsnips into large chunks so that they will absorb

less fat during the roasting process.

* Season vegetable side dishes with lemon juice and herbs instead of

heavy cream sauces.

* Avoid using salt when cooking. (Excess salt promotes water retention.)

* Pass on any items that contain or are wrapped in bacon.

* When making mince pies, mix applesauce with the mincemeat to reduce

its fat content and serve with low-or fat-free yogurt. In addition,

make the pies using pastry on the bottom only.

* Substitute angel food cake for other types of high-fat desserts. Top

with fresh berries or garnish with fruit salad for added flavor.

* Prepare baked goods using evaporated skim milk and top with low- or

fat-free ice cream or yogurt.

* Alternate alcoholic beverages with glasses of water or other low-

calorie drinks. Avoid caffeinated sodas and high-calorie coffee

drinks.

* After eating, encourage your guests to join you for an invigorating

walk instead of lounging in front of the television.

* If you have 'overindulged,' get your diet back on track with a

"protein day." Incorporate lean protein into meals and snacks or

enjoy a high-protein meal replacement bar or shake instead.

Cited as an authority by "The Today Show," "Good Morning America" and CNN as well as a number of nationally respected newspapers and magazines, Lindora Medical Clinics is the largest multi-site, medically supervised weight control program in the United States. Combining diet, moderate exercise and motivational tools to help patients become "Lean for Life," Lindora helps 4,000 patients each day at its Southern California Clinics and thousands of others through its Cyber-Clinic; workplace program; "Lean for Life" books; products and Lindora-by-Phone telephone coaching for those opting to lose weight from the comfort of their homes. Lindora is a member of the Partnership for Healthy Weight Management, a coalition composed of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, Federal Trade Commission, Center for Disease Control and the National Institutes of Health. Call (800) LINDORA or visit http://www.lindora.com.