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How can I help reinforce my food choices?

I recommend three methods to healthy food choices and reinforcing great nutrition decisions:

1.  Watch the number on the scale –As you make better food choices, you naturally cut calories out of your diet.  Cutting calories out of your diet directly turns into weight loss.  What a better way to reinforce better food choices than by seeing the results on the scale?
2.  Take a look in the mirror – as you begin to lose a few pounds on the scale you will begin to notice a nice transformation in the mirror.  Be sure to enjoy each noticeable change!
3.  Slip into something more comfortable – There’s nothing better than stepping into your skinny jeans with ease.  This is probably the greatest reinforcement.  That awesome problem of having to go buy a new pair of jeans because your current fat pants are too big! 

Research shows that cutting calories and making healthier food choices (ie. Carrot sticks over fried potato chips) can reduce aging, boost your immunity and keeps your heart healthy.  If you don’t turn your life into a “diet” and simply make better food choices and limit your calories to match your weight goals, then the above reinforcements will be easy to see.  

Amaris Noguera
Nutrition & Dietetics

To reinforce healthy habits, try the following as well:

  • Enlist the help of a health-conscious buddy: the accountability factor won't work well if your exercise buddy or best friend is unreliable, or prone to regularly "cheat" on those nutrition resolutions you both agreed to. Surround yourself with one or more people who will actually help you meet -and stick to- your health goals.
  • Adjust external factors that could sabotage your efforts: send that leftover dessert home with your guests, don't keep sodas or high-calorie sweets visible or easily accessible at home, don't grocery shop when hungry, eat a small healthy snack before heading to happy hour or a party, and pack a balanced, portion-controlled lunch so you're not tempted by the many options at the cafeteria or drive-thru.
  • Track your progress: whether it's your cholesterol levels, or days per week that you exercise, track and measure the changes you've made so that you can look back and see how far you've come. Write your successes in a journal which you can look back on as a reminder. Treat yourself when you reach certain milestones: with non-food rewards such as a new clothing item, a massage, a health magazine subscription, or workout accessories such as running sneakers, new earphones, or new music.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.