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Fan the Flame - Improving Diet

posted Jan 26, 2016, 3:45 PM by Walk Strong Calgary   [ updated Jan 26, 2016, 3:57 PM ]
One of the common goals each of our 'Fan the Flame' participants checked off for 2016 is to "Improve my diet." This is a great goal, and achieving it doesn't need to be complicated.

Start by making simple changes - you'll be much more successful than trying to overhaul your entire diet all at once - making too many changes too quickly can be overwhelming and you may give up. 

Use common sense - do you really need that buttered popcorn for your snack? How about an apple instead? Slice it up and sprinkle cinnamon on it to stimulate your taste buds. You can train your brain to crave foods that are good for you as opposed to having to fight that strong urge to eat cheese puffs (one of my personal weaknesses... I haven't craved them in ages!). Add fresh fruit & veggies to your snacks every day... they're zero points with Weight Watchers...

In the long run, what you're actually doing is developing healthy eating as a lifestyle as opposed to dieting. That word 'diet' has an impact subconsciously - it's associated with a short-term plan that often fails to provide lasting results. You're not on a diet - you're on a road to wellness... for a lifetime of health.

Using such websites as Livestrong.com can help you become more aware of what you're putting into your body. Identify where extra fat is coming from in your meals by entering everything you ate that day and look at the macro-nutrient breakdown (carbs, fats, protein). Is there something you can substitute for the items that are registering as high in saturated & trans fats? Take a couple of weeks or more and do this daily - you may find yourself naturally making better food choices. Awareness is POWER.

For many, salad dressing is a weakness - watch out for 'low fat' on the label - there may be more sugar for flavor. I recommend asking for dressing on the side when eating out so you can control how much you're getting. Start with a teaspoonful rather than a tablespoon - it may be all you need to add enough of the flavor you're craving. Try going without - it may be an acquired taste, but you might enjoy tasting all of the ingredients - think about that while you're eating - try to identify the veggies by taste and texture. When making salad at home, use your imagination and add things like chives, radishes, or even fresh ginger for some zing!

Fan the Flame... and Walk Strong out there!

Nancy Ehle is a Certified WALK Leader through Leslie Sansone's Walk at Home as well as a Certified Group Fitness Instructor through the American Council on Exercise. She holds several other industry certifications and specialties, including Sports Nutrition and Health Coach. Her passion for helping people achieve wellness is infectious! Follow her on Facebook: facebook.com/WalkStrongCalgary
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