CHRISTINA791's Secrets of Success | SparkPeople
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Secrets of Success

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Please note these are member-submitted secrets and are not reviewed by SparkPeople's health experts for accuracy. If you feel a secret is inappropriate, please click the "Report Inappropriate Secret" on the secret's page and our staff will review it.

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Bump up your water ratio

Having trouble replacing other drinks with water? Set a ratio for yourself. Start by saying you need to drink at least one glass of water per day for every non-water drink you have. Increase that to 2:1, 3:1, etc. Eventually, you can easily get in your eight glasses per day with one (or fewer) other drinks as a treat. Aim for the 8:1!

- Submitted by CHRISTINA791 5/5/2011 in Healthy Eating | 2 Comments
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Don't eat out of the bag

If you're eating something that comes out of a bag/box/container that holds more than one serving, measure out a portion for yourself before you start eating.

Bonus points if you actually weigh your portion instead of guessing at what counts as 14 chips (or deciding that broken crackers don't count towards the total).

- Submitted by CHRISTINA791 2/1/2011 in Weight Loss | 1 Comment
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Check your job for hidden fitness perks

Many places of employment have healthy lifestyle incentive programs in place, and these tend to go unused.

On top of our regular benefits, my employer will reimburse up to half of the money spent on fitness-related purchases. That's a hefty chunk of change when you're looking at a gym membership or equipment, and a lot of employees don't even know that this perk exists.

- Submitted by CHRISTINA791 1/19/2011 in Saving Money | 0 Comments
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Put on the gym clothes

If you're arguing with yourself and putting off exercise, change into your gym clothes anyway. I used to leave them on the front hall table so they were waiting for me as soon as I got home from work. As soon as I was out of work clothes and into workout clothes, I'd feel energized and ready to go! And it would be one less excuse not to do it.

- Submitted by CHRISTINA791 1/6/2011 in Motivation | 2 Comments
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Whiteboard tracking

I keep a small, magnetic whiteboard on my fridge. As I'm preparing a meal, I jot everything down - what I'm eating, how much (including weights and measurements) and any extras added. Once the meal's done and I have time, I take the whiteboard to the office and enter it all into the nutrition tracker.

- Submitted by CHRISTINA791 12/1/2010 in Using SparkPeople | 2 Comments
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Go with one slice of bread

I love a nice piece of multigrain bread, but slices seem to come in pairs by defualt - especially when you're making a sandwich - and the calories can add up quickly. Instead of making a full sandwich for lunch, I'll make a half sandwich paired with a good handful or raw veggies. or, as a personal favourite, an open face melt sandwich.

- Submitted by CHRISTINA791 11/25/2010 in Healthy Eating | 0 Comments
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My own 'sales tax'

My fiance and I have our bank accounts set up so that every transaction - debit purchase, transfer, deposit, etc - automatically transfers a set amount of money into our savings account. Over the last year, we've put away over $500 this way. It also has a hidden benefit of making us think before we spend, since we know that any debit purchase will come with a 'charge' - it's a win/win! Best of all, the bank lets you choose any amount between 50 cents and five bucks, so it doesn't have to hurt.

- Submitted by CHRISTINA791 11/18/2010 in Saving Money | 4 Comments
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Serve your future self as you're serving dinner

I often end up with extra food when I cook. Rather than packing up whatever is left at the end of the meal, I serve up measured portions into storage containers as I'm dishing out the regular plates. It stops me from going back for seconds after the meal is done, and when I do heat up the leftovers I know that I'm getting good, full portions instead of however much happens to be left.

- Submitted by CHRISTINA791 11/10/2010 in Healthy Eating | 2 Comments
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Presentation matters

When I first tried changing my eating habits, some of the food I was making seemed so unappealing and bland that it felt like a punishment. I started dressing up my meal presentation, as if my simple lunches were something I might get in a nice deli or cafe. It was the same food, but now I was looking at it as something to look forward to rather than a less appealing alternative to what I really wanted. As a bonus, my smaller portion sizes look right.

- Submitted by CHRISTINA791 11/5/2010 in Staying Positive | 2 Comments
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Use a cash grocery budget

I pay all my bills online and debit for most transactions, but I take out a set amount of physical cash for groceries each payday. I find that having a physical reminder helps keep me within my budget - It's a lot easier to go $10-$20 over on a shopping trip when you're paying debit and it's just dipping into money budgeted elsewhere. As an added bonus, I empty my change into a jar at the end of each day (it adds up!) and deposit any leftover bills to my savings account at the end of the week.

- Submitted by CHRISTINA791 11/3/2010 in Saving Money | 4 Comments
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