5 Simple Ways to Stay Slim

By Rachel Johnson, Ph.D, M.P.H., R.D., "Five Small Steps," April/May 2006

Daily decisions that make healthy changes stick.

"We count our calories, we count our fitness minutes, why not the numbers on the scale? We have to be accountable for maintaining our weight...there's no feeling sad about 8 pound weight gain from not looking at the scale for 10...

5. Take advantage of healthy convenience foods

I admit it: I pay extra for convenience foods when I know they’ll help me eat nutritiously. I used to feel guilty when I bought those outrageously priced packages of vegetables that are washed, sliced and ready to go. No longer. When I get home from the office at 6 p.m., having these packages in the fridge can mean the difference between a healthy or not-so-healthy meal. What’s more, by staying home and cooking rather than eating out, I’ve still saved money.

We all have tricks that work for us. My son Nicholas tries not to eat a serving of any one food that is larger than his fist. My husband’s mantra is “Don’t let your waist size get larger than your inseam”—easy for him to say at 6'4" tall. My beautiful friend Susan tries hard to eat only when she’s truly hungry, knowing that’s when food tastes best. The trick is establishing those small steps that work for you. Once they become routine, people might just start accusing you of being one of those people who are naturally fit and thin.

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