Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Weight Loss Check List...

Another eDiets.com article I thought I would share with you all...

1. Have you stocked your kitchen for healthy cooking?

The key to a healthy nutrition plan is having everything you need to put together a healthy meal or snack when hunger strikes. Make a few simple substitutions:

-- Replace ice cream, cookies and other sweets with low-fat versions of those foods, and fill the fridge with fruits and vegetables.

-- Replace dairy products with low-fat versions of the same items.

-- Instead of ground beef, pork and other high-fat meats, purchase leaner cuts, such as sirloin, pork tenderloin and white-meat poultry.

-- Replace condiments like mayonnaise with spicy mustards, flavored vinegars and fruit chutneys.

-- Stock up on herbs and spices to add flavor to your meals, and you won't need oil or added fats.
-- Swap beverages like soda and high-sugar juices for calorie-free seltzer, bottled water or 100-percent juice with no added sugar.

-- Trade cooking oils for fat-free butter-flavor cooking spray and butter or margarine for reduced-fat spreads

2. Have you made plans for a regular workout?

If you think you'll just fall into a pattern of exercise, think again. Starting a new fitness routine requires some advanced preparation:

-- Sign up for a gym membership or dance class, or map out your walking routine.

-- Purchase exercise clothes, walking shoes, free weights, fitness tapes or pedometers that you might need.

-- Find some motivating music to listen to while you work out.

-- Sit down with your Palm Pilot or day planner and schedule exercise into your day. Choose five days out of your week and one hour each day (30 to 45 minutes for cardio, time for stretching and strength training for each major muscle group at least twice a week). Write it in pen and you'll be less likely to schedule something else during that time.

3. Have you made a commitment to prepare more meals at home?

Dining out five or more times a week can make losing weight next to impossible with portion sizes and ingredients beyond your control. Take back control with a few simple strategies:

-- If you typically skip breakfast or grab something on the run, you need to start thinking about healthy breakfast options that you can eat at home or pack and bring to work that will save both calories and money. Try pre-packaged Amy's breakfast burritos; energy bars, low-fat yogurt with a banana or oranges; a pre-packaged muffin with low-fat yogurt; a small container of cottage cheese with berries, etc.

-- Plan for packed lunches. Get some small plastic containers and brown bags, then stock up on low-fat frozen entrees and other portable lunch options. (You'll find plenty of tempting ideas on our meal plans.)

-- Make a chart on the fridge for fast food and tally how many times you eat it each week. Try to keep that number to less than three.

4. Have you come up with a system to keep track of your daily water intake?
If you aren't already drinking 8 to 12 glasses a day, you'll need to figure out how you're going to squeeze them in each day. Here are a few options:

-- Fill a two-quart pitcher each morning and keep it in the fridge. Try to finish the pitcher by the end of the day.

-- Purchase a one-liter (slightly more than a quart) bottle to bring to work and fill it up twice a day.

-- Tape a piece of paper to your desk and mark off each glass you drink.

NOTE: the next question is a eDiets advertisment for their site...

5. Have you checked out your meal plan options?

If you answered YES to this or any other question, great job! So... what's next?

If you're an eDiets member, remember to log in to check your weekly menus and recipes for an exciting variety of meal choices, and boost your chances of staying on track by logging in and participating in our interactive Community and support boards!

And even if you're not an eDiets member, why not take some more quizzes -- like our Random Food Trivia Quiz or Nutritional Supplement Quiz? Have fun... and learn at the same time!
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