EagleTribune.com, North Andover, MA


December 30, 2012

52 paths to fitness: Small steps to a svelte goal


34. Prepare for the apocalypse. Have healthful snacks, such as almonds or beef jerky, in your desk drawer. In your glove compartment. In your purse. In your gym bag.

35. Supermarket survival tips: Just don’t buy it and don’t shop hungry. If you don’t put it in your cart, you can’t devour it at 3 a.m. And how many times have you purchased chips and scarfed half of them before you pulled the car into the driveway? (Or is that just me?)

36. When you hear the candy dish at work calling you, ask yourself, “Will that get me closer to my goals?”

37. One personal trick: I like to download books, especially thrillers and mysteries. But I have a rule: I cannot listen unless I am walking the dog. I’m so eager to find out what happens next that, more often than not, the dog gets a three-mile walk.

38. Get a good night’s rest. You are more likely to make poor food choices and skip workouts when you’re tired and cranky. Plus, your body needs the rest when it’s worked out regularly.

39. Most Americans eat 250 to 300 grams of carbohydrates a day, the equivalent of 1,000 to 1,200 calories. The national Institute of Medicine recommends 130 grams. Look for small, easy ways to cut carbs. Eat the burger with half the bun. Scoop up hummus with cucumber slices.

40. When you splurge, splurge smart. Example: Those stale, store-bought cookies at the holiday party? Not worth it. Homemade holiday cookies from Mom? Enjoy in moderation.

41. Don’t drink your calories. Reach for water instead of sugary drinks.

42. Find ways to relieve stress that do not involve food. Pray. Meditate. Exercise.

43. Take small, steady steps toward slashing your diet of processed food. Read the labels of anything you’re considering buying. If you see ingredients you cannot pronounce, or lots of sweeteners, put it down and walk away.

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