Monday, January 10, 2011

Planning Ahead for a Healthy New Year

One of the goals I set and drug my husband into my husband and I set together is to be healthier this year - eat better, exercise more, and generally take better care of ourselves.  I spent this weekend planning and getting ready to help us start meeting those goals in the week ahead.

One of the things I've learned from my years of working in the fitness industry is that the first step to being healthy is simply planning ahead.  If I don't plan for lunch, I'm much more likely to run to the nearest drive-thru for a cheap, and ususally very unhealthy, meal.  If I don't plan ahead and bring water to work, I'm much more likely to end up at Sonic during Happy Hour.  (You know it's bad when the people at said drive-thru know your vehicle, your usual drink order, and the latest book you're reading...but for the record, my normal drink there is a Diet Dr. Pepper, so I'm not doing too bad.)

Planning ahead for a few simple changes can make all the difference - for instance...
  1. Stash a few Crystal Light packets in your purse and keep bottled water at your office.  Crystal Light really helped me break my addiction to Cokes a couple of years ago.  I find that I drink a lot more water if I add my favorite raspberry peach packets to a couple of bottles a day.
  2. Pack a healthy salad or sandwich for lunch instead of eating out.
  3. Keep snacks on hand.  Whether in your purse or at your office, keep snacks on hand so you won't be tempted to hit the vending machines.  Good choices include almonds, yogurt, high fiber granola bars, tuna salad kits, fruit, and string cheese.
  4. Swap out one or two items each week to make your meals healthier.  Use whole grain tortillas instead of flour; switch your normal loaf of bread to Oro-Wheat bread; trade your normal Starbucks latte for the Starbucks skinny vanilla latte.
  5. Make smart choices when it comes to fast food.  You can find some pretty healthy items at most fast food places now.  McDonald's has fantastic salads, along with fruit and yogurt parfaits and grilled chicken snack wraps.  Wendy's has a new line of salads, and Chick-Fil-A has amazing grilled chicken sandwiches and wraps.
Today my husband and I will be starting a diet to shed a few pounds.  Neither of us has a lot to lose, but once we hit our goals, we plan to stick to the healthy new eating habits we've established.  I'm looking forward to seeing the results of our new habits!


Jennifer said...

What great tips! I know that when I set my intention for what I will eat during the day, I am more likely to stick to those goals. While I am in the shower in the morning I plan what I will eat all day...just having that intention makes it much easier to stick to the healthy choices. I also know that I get hungry around 10:00 so I always have a good morning snack on hand at work...that keeps me away from the sweets!

Dieting Confession said...

That is great when you can get your husband onboard your dieting plan. At least you will not have to constantly justify why there is only salad on the menu for dinner.

Mcdonald's salads are great if you don't add the dress.

Thanks for sharing

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