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Eating healthy requires planning and effort, it’s crazy how easy it is to pick something full of fat and sugar when we find ourselves hungry. I plan my meals, specially because I started a path over 3 years ago to lose weight and be healthier.

I had a lot of weight to lose and in these last 3 years I have learned quite a bit about myself and how to make good eating decisions. It’s about figuring out before hand what I’ll be eating, being active and going through a daily internal battle to fight hunger and temptation. There’s also the social alienation that comes with such a change in lifestyle.

Following a strict diet doesn’t conform with other people’s expectations and plans which means that they will push you to “cheat just this once” or they will tell you “you look fine” and so on. Sometimes you will even lie to yourself and convince yourself that you had a terrible day and you deserve a treat.

I have some tips to help you change your habits:

  1. Eat every 3 hours and do portion control. It’s simple, stick to the routine. Mine is: Breakfast at 7:30 am, snack at 10:30 am, lunch at 1:30 pm, snack at 4:30 pm and dinner at 7:30 pm. Weekends are slightly different because I wake up later but adapt as you go.
  2. It takes at least 21 days to form a habit so stick to the new eating routine and it will get easier, I promise
  3. Go for whole wheat bread, brown rice and sweet potato instead of the white starches and breads
  4. Avoid fried dishes, sugar and fat, specially at night
  5. Move your body, be active, dance, run or walk at least 3x per week for an hour
  6. Air popped popcorn is a great snack. No, butter is not allowed
  7. Go easy on the salt, use more herbs, garlic and onions to help enhance the flavour of your food. Have you ever tried Mrs. Dash seasoning? They are salt-free and delicious.
  8. Drink lots of water, it helps with water retention
  9. If you decide to cheat, cheat during a meal only and then get back on track. Avoid cheating for the whole day (or days).
  10. If you fall into temptation don’t assume it’s all lost and dive back into the old habits, you’re not perfect and that’s ok. Start over.

Check out some of these healthy recipes too:

Let me know what you do to live well and be healthy, I’d love to get inspired by you.