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Healthy habits that lead to weight-loss success

Published 9:05pm Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Among the many popular diet programs are The Atkins Diet, The Paleo Diet, The South Beach Diet, and about a dozen others. If you follow through and adhere to the principles of these diets, you might lose weight and you may or may not improve your health. In my practice, I have found that incorporating healthy habits by picking and choosing those healthy practices that fit into YOUR lifestyle is your best bet for weight loss success.

Here are some healthy lifestyle habits:

1. Drink Water. Without proper hydration, your metabolism will slow down and cause your body to store unwanted body fat.

2. Eat 5 to 7 times per day. By making your meals smaller and more frequent you can balance your blood sugar and keep hunger pains at bay.

3. Cut processed sugars out of your diet. If you are craving something sweet, have a serving of fruit paired with ½ ounce to 1 ounce of nuts or a piece of fruit and any natural nut butter (½ tablespoon to 1 tablespoon) of your choice.

4. Control Portion Size. This can be tricky since we usually see huge portions on plates. Check out the free pocket portion guide on webmd.com ( http://www.webmd.com/diet/printable/wallet-portion-control-size-guide )

5. Choose animal foods and processed foods rarely. These are often high in fat and generally not healthy choices overall.

6. Eat your greens. Green vegetables are high octane foods. They contain an array of vitamins and minerals and are loaded with antioxidants proven to fight disease and keep you looking younger, longer.

7. Choose natural sources of high-quality protein.

8. Buy organic fruits and vegetables whenever possible. This will help you avoid herbicides, fungicides, and pesticides.

9. Plan ahead for success.

Have your meals and snacks packed and ready a day or two ahead. This will save you loads of time and money in the long run, and this simple step makes it so easy to stick with a healthy eating plan.

Remember, you don’t have to have a perfect diet, to have a good diet. Live YOUR life, choose YOUR lifestyle. It’s time to go for it! Push yourself and find out what you can achieve. Here are some ideas to jump start healthy eating:

  • Aim to have at least one raw meal a day.
  • Drink half your body weight in ounces of water for 5 consecutive days.
  • Add variety by trying new healthy recipes.
  • Focus on meeting your fruit and vegetable recommendations daily.
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