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...
- 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.
- Pack a healthy salad or sandwich for lunch instead of eating out.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.