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Making healthy meal and snack plan

Q. The past couple of columns, I really feel you gave me the tools to start a healthy eating regimen. Now I just need the willpower, any suggestions?
A. I wish I could sell it to you in a bottle. Actually, the weight-loss industry is making billions of dollars to sell the latest pills, shakes, powders and so much more to help you stay on a plan or assist with weight loss. And, when you read each one of them, they mention to eat sensibly and exercise. Wouldn’t that alone make you lose weight?
When it comes down to it, it’s all about eating a balanced diet. And for weight loss, eat fewer calories and exercise. Easy, right? We wish.
Eating the correct foods and making sure you are not eating more calories than you burn is the hardest thing to do for anyone in the Western world. An abundance of foods readily available, the conveniences of drive-thru everything, lots of food at any gathering you participate in. Boy, a disaster ready to happen.
So first, stop beating yourself up for not having the willpower. Start telling yourself you do have it. Your chance of success is so much better when you start telling yourself, and eventually believing, you have the willpower. And when you really start believing that, the mind can do amazing things. Positive reinforcement works a lot better than negative thoughts, comments and feelings.
Make a plan (you can use myplate.gov again) each week for your breakfast, lunch and dinners. If you like snacks, choose snacks that are nutritious for you. Watch your calories and exercise, exercise, exercise. When you go shopping with your prepared list, make sure you have eaten a satisfying meal. I can tell a huge difference when I am hungry and I go grocery shopping. Lots of not so healthy snacks and more food purchased than I had on my list. Also, why torture yourself by buying foods you know you have a problem resisting when the willpower is down. I consider myself someone who has enough willpower to eat foods that my body needs and say “no” when it doesn’t need more.
But even I will buckle at the knees when my favorite forbidden foods are in the house!
I am telling you, I can hear that cheese cake calling my name all day long. Long enough to eat it until it is gone. Knowing your weakness is a weapon you can use to strengthen your willpower. Don’t put yourself into situations when you pretty much know you will lose the battle. And there is nothing wrong with the rest of the family making better choices when eating. Just because someone is skinny does not mean they are healthy.
Plan your meals; take your list to the grocery store, don’t buy the foods you know you are not being able to resist and you are on your way to willpower!
And when you fall of your “willpower” wagon…. climb back on.
Ester H Marsh ACSM Cpt

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