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If your healthy habits aren’t habitual, train and trick yourself into making healthier food choices. Here’s my top 10 recommendations:

10. If you’re going to a restaurant which lists the nutrition facts online (consult websites such as thedailyplate.com or fitday.com) or in print, pick what you’ll order

before you walk in the doors. Don’t even look at the menu. Stick with the plan! P.S. I love the thedailyplate.com — check it out!

9. Pack your lunch! And when you pack it, make sure there’s

at least one truly satisfying item so that you look forward to your lunch and aren’t (as) tempted to head out with your co-workers to the nearest burger joint.

8. …when you pack your lunch, cut up and/or peel your fruit and vegetables ahead of time. That apple will be brown tomorrow, so you’d better not waste it.

7. If you go to a buffet, picnic, or place of infinite choices, survey your options before making your selection. Further, try not to let foods touch one another so you’ll pack less on a plate. If you must go back for second helpings, limit yourself to 1 item. Two items, tops.

6. In scenarios such as the above, use the “plate method” of serving yourself. Aim for 1/2 fruits/vegetables, 1/4 protein, and 1/4 carbohydrates. This will keep your calories down and ensure you’re eating a balanced meal.

5. At parties or restaurants (think chips and salsa on the table or the bread basket), sit AWAY from the appetizers and snack foods. They’re nothing but trouble!

4. If you have a craving (gyros come to mind for me), take a friend you can share with (as in half-and-half, not the infamous “80-20” plan) . Scratch the itch, but don’t draw blood…if you know what I’m sayin’.

3. Add fruit and vegetables to some of your favorite foods — zucchini, squash, mushrooms, and onions go great on a quesadilla (made with low-fat cheese and high-fiber wheat tortillas) while berries and bananas go great in your morning cereal or oatmeal.

2. Keep a piece of fruit in your car or office at all times. When the healthy stuff is easily accessible, you’re more likely to eat it. Further, if you’re finding it difficult to eat all your F&V’s, commit to having 2 snacks a day and making at least one a fruit or veggie. Another great idea is having a cut-up veggie tray with hummus or low-fat dip in your fridge at all times. If hunger is striking the second you walk in from work, the veggies can stave off hunger long enough to get dinner on the table without racking up the calories.

1. Bite it, write it. Keeping a food journal is the tried and true best method of keeping your intake in check. Keep a small journal or notebook with you and commit to writing down

everything you eat. When you’re accountable for writing it, you typically always think twice before eating it.

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