IT'S THE LITTLE THINGS

Time to do some math

These days our schedules are so packed that when there isn't time to make a green smoothie or a healthy dinner every night of the week. Then after a few weeks of craziness, we look up and our pants fit differently, we don't feel good about ourselves, and feel like we need to go on a diet.

But is the traditional "diet" the way to go? Is depriving ourselves really the smartest way to trim back your waist line? Sometimes, absolutely. But sometimes, all you have to do is a little math. 

There are things we do in our everyday life that become habitual. Our morning coffee, that 3 PM snack, maybe the sides you order at dinner, the soda or cocktail that has become your favorite go-to... the list goes on. You do these things enough and enjoy them enough that you don't think about them. It's engrained in your schedule! Maybe we should change that. 

 
 

I added up the calories and sugar that I was consuming when I was snacking all day, and living off of coffee in my first job out of college. I figured, well I don't have time for a full meal so might as well snack throughout the day and maybe I'll save on calories! Not so much.  Not only was I eating more calories than I could have ever imagined, but my sugar was off the charts. My granola bars, trail mix, peanut butter and soy latte were not what the doctor ordered. 

Now, it's time for some homework! Take note of things you have several times a week; whether that's coffee, a snack, a cocktail, salad dressings, chip dips, or anything that has a consistent presence in your schedule. Then do the research necessary to find the calories and sugar. Multiply it by the average number of times you have each per week, and look at those totals. 

Shocking huh? 

If you're like most Americans, those numbers could add up to a pound or two a week! And that's on the low end of the spectrum in this country. 

So for those of you who shudder at the thought of dieting, this is for you. Keep that list of those habitual items in sight, and come up with a list of what the healthy alternatives can be. Instead of a latte or frappe, try some tea or a healthier and smaller amount of creamer. Instead of chips for a snack, try some fruit, or really just a big glass of water! True me, time will make the difference up for you. 

DISCLAIMER: this isn't a quick-fix. But these new habits will last longer and make a bigger difference over your long-term health.