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Changes of a Lifetime

Thursday, May 28, 2009

There was a SparkPeople article published a while ago with some simple, relatively painless steps one could take to gradually make better food choices. I took this to heart, and decided it was "easy enough" I could give it a try. The results? 10 Pounds lost! It took months to see the changes, but 10 pounds is 10 pounds. Now, I'm looking forward to the next 10, and wondering what I can accomplish if I make additional food attitude changes as well as add scheduled exercise plan!

As a start, I'm going to check off what changes I have made, and hopefully I can implement the rest with time...

Transitioning into Healthy Eating:
* Use mustard instead of mayo on your sandwiches. You’ll get lots of flavor with much fewer calories and fat.

X * Select whole wheat bread over white bread. Be sure to read the label to ensure you’re getting whole grains, not just colored white bread.

X * Eat the white meat of turkey or chicken, which is lower in fat than dark meat, red meat and pork. Animal fat is the number one dietary source of unhealthy saturated fat.

X * Start using lean ground beef, pork tenderloin or fish instead of high-fat cuts of meat.

X * Change your cooking methods. Bake, grill or broil your meals instead of frying. Use non-stick sprays—or better yet, non-stick pans—instead of oil.

X * Drink more water. Slowly reduce the amount of soda you drink and replace it with herbal tea or water. Aim for eight cups of pure water each day.

X * Don't drink your calories. Eat a whole orange instead of drinking a glass of juice, for example. Real food is usually more filling and more nutritious than juices, fruit drinks, and other high-calorie beverages.

* Serve sauces and dressings on the side. Dip your fork into the sauce, then dip your fork into the food. You’ll still have the flavor but with fewer calories.

X * Gradually switch to skim milk. Milk commonly comes in four varieties: whole (4% fat), 2%, 1% and skim (0% fat). Gradually wean yourself from the higher-fat varieties to the lower fat milk every two weeks. For example: continue drinking your normal 2% milk for two weeks, then move to 1% for two weeks, and then your palate will be ready for the consistency of skim milk.

* Switch from full-fat cheeses to reduced-fat or fat-free cheeses the same way you would with milk (see tip above).

* Order vegetables on the side instead of fries. Flavor them with lemon juice or herbs instead of butter.

X * Snack on fruit and nuts instead of sugary treats. The fiber, protein and healthy fats in this combo will sustain you to your next meal and you won’t have the energy slump that comes after eating candy.

X * Reduce your portion size. Most people will eat whatever amount of food is in front of them, so start putting your meals on smaller plates. You will be just as satisfied because your mind "sees" that you’re eating a full plate of food. (I stopped going back for seconds!)

Check out the full article at
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    Disclaimer: Weight loss results will vary from person to person. No individual result should be seen as a typical result of following the SparkPeople program.

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