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Small Changes That Add Up

photo-29And just like that, here we are kicking off the last week of January! How are those healthy resolutions holding up? If you’re starting to think about throwing in the towel, I hope this Motivation Monday post helps you get back on track.

The key is to think big but keep those day-to-day changes small. If you’re trying to shed a few pounds, remember, you want to aim to lose a healthy rate of 1-2 pounds per week. To reach that goal, try to cut 100 calories from each meal. Does that mean giving up your favorite foods? No way! Here are some ideas for small adjustments to your eating routine:

  • Eliminate that slice of cheese from your sandwich. If you do have cheese, swap out the Swiss for mozzarella. (You’ll save nearly 105 calories!)
  • Skip the fries and have a baked potato. Better yet, have a baked sweet potato for a healthy dose of vitamins A, vitamin C and B6 along with potassium, dietary fiber and niacin. (And swap out the 320-calorie cup of light sour cream for the same serving of 130-calorie nonfat plain Greek yogurt.)
  • Eat skinless chicken breast.
  • Love sweets like me? Consider these ideas: Try 1.5 oz. of fresh grapes instead of 1.5 oz. of raisins. Instead of strawberry ice cream, have 1/2 cup of fresh strawberries with a dollop of whipped cream instead.  When you want the real thing, skip the cone and have your scoop in a cup.
  • Skip the sugary drinks and stick with water. Remember even 20-calorie drinks can add up if you have several in a day.
  • Watch the sugary coffee drinks.
  • Watch the booze intake. My repeat readers will know the every-other-drink rule is how I keep the cocktail calories in check. Have a drink, then follow up with water or seltzer before throwing back another libation. By the time you’re ready for it, you may be not want it anymore!

Now stop, smile and pat yourself on the back for all the positive changes you’ve started to  incorporate into your lifestyle. Day by day, you’re trekking along the never-ending journey to have fun, be fit and feel fabulous!

Fast Friday Food Facts

A little prep goes a long way!

I end this week addressing one of the questions I get on a near-daily basis: “How can I make some simple changes and cut a few calories out of my daily diet?”

If you’re looking to drop a few pounds, you probably already know making that happen doesn’t take a degree in rocket science. You need to burn more calories than you take in. In all of my food-related posts, I make a point of reminding my readers that I’m not a licensed nutritionist or registered dietitian. However, I’m happy to share the “tricks” that help keep my healthy eating habits in tact. So, here are five ways you can cut 100 calories out of your diet at different times of the day:

  1. Use skim milk in your morning cup of java.
  2. Swap out that bulky bagel for a whole wheat English muffin.
  3. Top off that English muffin with egg whites.
  4. Use mustard instead of mayo.
  5. Ditch the chips and pop a 100-calorie bag of popcorn into the microwave instead.

You may be saying, “Okay, Laura, these are no-brainers.” Well, that’s the point. Making several small changes throughout the day really does add up over time.  Add some exercise to these food “fixes,” and you’ll have a great foundation to get started on the path to a healthier you. Trust me, once you start noticing the positive changes, whether it’s your jeans feeling a little looser or having more energy walking up that flight of stairs, you’ll want to make the changes stick.

If you’d like to share some of the small but healthy changes in your own diet, I’d love to hear from you! Sharing information is one of the best ways to help each other keep moving along this lifelong journey to have fun, be fit and feel fabulous!

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