West Wood Club
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8 Secrets to Healthy Eating

When it comes to losing weight, the key to long-term success is to make small, realistic changes that you can stick to. I know these eight changes will be permanent.

Why? They were easy for me to adjust to, and they really work! So, here is my "must-do" list for healthy eating:

  1. I love keeping frozen veggies on hand. To keep from getting bored eating them I always try to think of some healthy ways to add flavor to frozen vegetables: I sprinkle them with a salt-free seasoning, such as Mrs. Dash, which is available in many varieties.

    Other times, I add vegetable broth and dried basil or dill; or I mix cooked veggies with a can of diced tomatoes, top them with chopped sun-dried tomatoes, or sprinkle on a small amount of grated Parmesan cheese.

  2. Fruits in my crisper drawer are out of sight, out of mind... and out of mouth! Instead of storing them where I can't see them, I keep fruit in clear view so I don't forget about it. That way, I am reminded to be "good" when reaching for less-than-healthful alternatives.

    I always have a bowl of fresh fruit on my kitchen table, and I store other fruit, such as melon cubes, in clear containers at the front of my refrigerator shelf. When I find I am not eating as much fruit as I should, I include it at breakfast by adding blueberries to cereal, enjoying sliced apples with my egg white omelet, or mixing dried fruit into reduced-fat cream cheese on my whole-grain bagel.

  3. I was never a breakfast eater growing up, but I’ve become one in recent years. It’s not that I actually became a fan of a.m.-eating. I actually found that I lose more weight when I eat breakfast than when I don’t. This could be due to the fact that eating breakfast may help increase your metabolism. I try to include a whole-grain bread or cereal every morning, since whole grains take longer to digest and provide more energy than refined carbohydrates.

  4. I always include a protein source at lunch so I don’t get that energy slump in the afternoon. I always include a complex carb, too, such as whole-grain bread, fruit, or a vegetable. Eggs, fish, skinless chicken, lean meat, and reduced-fat cheese are all excellent sources of protein. Tofu, beans, and lentils are also great choices for protein if you do not eat meat or dairy.

  5. I try to eat something every three to four hours; I have found it is the best way to keep my blood sugar and energy level up. I never skip meals, as I know doing so is a sure path to overeating.

  6. I always carry healthy, convenient foods with me for on-the-go snacks so I can stay on schedule with my eating even if I’m too busy to stop whatever I am doing. I also try to eat most of my calories before 6 p.m., since I know I’m using a lot more energy before that time than after.

  7. I have found that eating soup before dinner really helps me to keep myself in check when it comes to overeating in the evening. I am not alone: Penn State University researchers found that subjects who ate soup as a first course before a meal consumed fewer calories than those who did not.

  8. When eating out, I always ask to order first so I won’t be tempted to choose other less healthful picks when I hear my friends or family asking for them. When I am eating something prepared with oil or fat, I ask that the server request less than usual be used in its preparation. And I try to avoid touchy or emotionally charged conversations at dinnertime, so I won’t be prone to stress eat.

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