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Day 30 – Shape Your Environment

Think about the situations you face in your daily life where you struggle with food. Work to create an environment of success for each of these scenarios. If you have a candy drawer at work for “emergencies,” clean it out and leave only one or two pieces in there. If you struggle to make good choices after a full Saturday of watching your kids play soccer, make sure you always take food with you or have a mental arsenal of which restaurants near the soccer field have healthy choices. Weight loss and healthy living is not about always being perfect, it is about shaping your environment to help you make choices that support your goals.

Day 29 – Throw Away Perfection

When you are trying to lose weight, it’s really easy to get focused on following a rigid plan. The biggest problem with that is that when life forces you to deviate from that perfectly crafted plan, it’s easy to give up. Rigid sets of rules are impossible to follow long-term. Learning a set of weight loss strategies to implement within your life can be far more powerful for weight loss that you can actually maintain over time. Perfection is the enemy of success, so be prepared to face the fact that you are human. Implement simple weight loss strategies instead of trying to follow a rigid diet. DIETS DON’T WORK ANYWAY!

Day 28 – Don’t Run All the Stoplights

If you ran a red light on the way to work, you wouldn’t make a conscious decision to “throw it all away” and run them for the rest of the day. For some reason, with food, that seems to make sense to us. We tend to have a moment that we are not proud of and then consciously decide to “throw it all away” and start again tomorrow. When you have one of those moments, know that we are all human, and that they are going to happen. Take a moment to reset your thinking and move forward with better choices the rest of the day. Think about it this way…one small indiscretion probably will not cause weight gain. 3-4 probably will. Try to quit while you’re ahead.

Day 27 – Plan Well

If you are going somewhere, take a few healthy dishes for you to eat in quantity if you want. Make sure that the foods you take with you are foods that you enjoy. If you don’t really LOVE the veggie tray, don’t take one. There are millions of healthy recipes that taste amazing (and not just desserts), so choose something you will truly enjoy.

Day 26 – Plan Your Cooking Snack

If you are making the meal, make yourself a snack to eat while you are preparing dinner. Having a 150 calorie snack will keep you from tasting (more than you need to as the chef), and it will help you to be satisfied when the meal comes so you don’t overeat.

Day 25 – Try Not to Compensate with Exercise

While exercise is a great way to feel good and may help you with your weight loss efforts, you want to make sure that you can support your weight loss with your food, and let exercise be the icing on the cake. Think about it this way … if you broke your leg tomorrow, would you still be able to lose/maintain your weight without exercise? There is a way (without deprivation/dieting) to make quality food choices that support weight loss/maintenance.

Day 24 – Always Have a Frozen Backup Meal

Always have a frozen “backup meal” for nights that something goes wrong or you just don’t have time to cook. Steam in bag veggies with a light sauce, frozen pre-grilled chicken strips (Harvestland from BJ’s is best), frozen pre-steamed shrimp are just some good foods to have in the freezer all the time. The chicken and shrimp can also be put into a wrap (Joseph’s Lavash Bread from BJ’s) or used as salad toppers.

Day 23 – Don’t Clean Alone

If snacking while you are cleaning up after the meal is a problem for you, invite someone to help you with it so you are not alone with the food. It helps to chew minty gum or brush your teeth right after a meal.

Day 22 – Choose 2 Days Per Week to Have a Treat

Allowing yourself the freedom to do this can help you make choices that you feel good about and avoid the deprivation/binge cycle. Make sure your treat is planned so it doesn’t get out of control. Most people can lose weight while still having a 150 calorie treat twice per week. This allows you to feel “normal” and still lose weight.

Day 21 – Add Strength Training To Your Routine

Cardio is great and burns more fat during the workout (marginally though). Strength training burns more calories AFTER the workout and at a HIGHER RATE. Adding muscle mass to your body INCREASES YOUR METABOLISM 24/7, so you really get more bang for your buck by weight training. Even better, do a workout that combines both.