Toss Out Temptation – Everyone has a list of “trigger foods” – which means an open bag is an empty bag. Before you revamp your eating program, go through your pantry, fridge, and freezer and toss out these “trigger foods.” If it’s not staring you in the face, the odds are you won’t want it. If you have family members that will throw a fit if you throw out their favorite snack food, make them keep that food in a place that you won’t find it. If it is a perishable item, buy the smallest quantity available – one serving portions if possible. Put their name on it with a magic marker and put it on the bottom shelf of the fridge, behind the bottles of milk, tea, and water, where you won’t see it. Out of sight, out of mind.
Turn on the Water Works – To make sure you get enough fluid everyday, choose water-rich fruits and veggies in addition to your water and tea. If you have a choice between a vegetable full of water, like baby bok choy and shiitake mushrooms or one that’s on the starchy side like fresh corn, go for the water- stuffed one. Water helps to flush out toxins and make you feel more energetic. Water, herbal tea, green tea, and sparkling water are all great choices. Again, if it’s out of sight, it’s out of mind. Put a bottle on your desk so you remember to stop every so often and take a sip or two.
No Starvation, No Deprivation – Eat every 3 hours to maintain a steady blood sugar and energy level. This requires you to be prepared – take meals and snacks with you to work and on the go. Also, make sure your plate is well-balanced – One-half should be vegetables and/or fruit, one-quarter lean protein, one-quarter whole grain. Adding a small amount of healthy fat (i.e., avocado, olive oil, nuts, nut butters) will help you stay fuller for longer periods of time.
Portions are Important — Read the label on the foods you eat to learn what a portion or serving size is. Fast food restaurants are notorious for super-sizing portions way beyond what is required. A serving of fruit means ½ cup of berries, or a small whole piece of fruit. A serving of vegetables, other than leafy greens is ½ cup as well. A serving of greens is 1 cup. A slice of bread is a serving. A half-cup of cooked whole-grain pasta or rice is a serving. Protein (fish, chicken, pork, or beef, tofu) is 4 ounces, about the size of a deck of playing cards.
Get Back on the Wagon Immediately – Everyone has a tendency to slip up and have that extra cookie, bag of chips, or serving of ice cream, now and again. Forgive yourself but don’t use it as an excuse to trash the entire day’s worth of eating right. You have the choice to get right back on the wagon. So don’t wait. And write it down!
Food Journaling – Writing down what you eat, how much you eat, and when you eat is important to your success. Journaling provides feedback, which allows you to make the necessary changes to help you reach your health and wellness goals. Remember to write in your journal immediately after you eat. If you wait until the end of the day, you’ll likely forget much of what you ate or drank.