Sunday, January 8, 2012

New Year, New You Part Deux

Here are more tips for getting healthy:

1. Use a smaller plate. This really helps with portion control. I try to only use my salad plates for all my meals so that I am not tempted to eat too much because I filled up a regular dinner plate.
2. Don't always get Low Fat & Fat Free. When cutting calories, all the fat free this and low fat that can be such a trap. Get to know your tastes and read ingredients. Fat free cheese is not awesome. It doesn't melt and doesn't have good flavor. It is made of like quadruple processed oil or something... I usually do not substitute cheese - it is too delicious to half-ass. However, 2% milk cheddar is quite good if you do want a low cal alternative. Be conscious of this stuff and like I said before experiment a little (maybe you like fat free american cheese slices!). 
3. Don't keep your vices in the house. I was a serial snacker and I often would munch on candies, cookies, cheeses etc. I had no self control. I tried hiding them from myself etc but really I just needed to not have them around. Make these things not an option. This also helped to force me into a better system of eating meals AND to cook more. 
4. Speaking of cooking... do it more! It is fun and there are so many easy recipes that are no fuss and healthy. I used to be intimidated of cooking - thinking it took too long post-work or whatever. Wrong. It takes virtually no time to throw together microwave steamed veggies and pan seared meat. Start simple. 
5. Prep things ahead of time. I am a big fan of marinating meats (chicken and flank steak primarily) and freezing individual servings. Take a bit of that "bleh I'm bored" time and prep some easy meals for later in the week. You won't be as tempted to say "screw it, I'm going to Arby's" when you have easy meals just waiting to be thawed and cooked. 
6. If you can, grill! GRILL GRILL GRILL! It is magical how a little olive oil, salt, pepper and grilling can make veggies & proteins taste amazing. It is so easy too. Do this. Always.
7. Remix your meals. I was so bad at leftovers before I started to try and be healthy about my eating. I finally got in the groove though of making simple items that can be used in many ways instead of making enough pasta for a family of 8 and then struggling through eating it for a week+. Recently I got steaks on sale and I went ahead and grilled both (instead of freezing one for a later date). I had a nice steak meal the day of purchase and then was able to make a steak salad the next day and a steak burrito the day after that. This also really helps you stretch your budget. I try to make basics like rice very neutral when I initially cook them and then add flavors when I put my meal together that utilizes that leftover. This works really well with ground meat too! Brown turkey with just salt, pepper and a bit of oregano (or whatever you want) and then use one serving size of it for multiple meals (like meat sauce for pasta or for tacos or whatever you want).
8. Do what it take to get you to the gym. I used to think it was so silly to have matching sneakers, sweat bands and gym clothes. No one cares what you look like at the gym. But now I am realizing that if you need to have a coordinated outfit to get there, do it! I am a wear whatever t-shirt has a little stain that prevents it from being a regular shirt and yoga pants/capris kind of gym person, but do/wear/bring whatever you need to get going. ALSO, try a get a gym buddy - accountability to another person will help you get in your groove. A gym buddy will not only help you get to the gym, but also make time pass by quicker while you are working out (hopefully - make sure your gym buddy is interesting to talk to... :P)

I'll post more things as I think of them. Happy New Year, New You!! 

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