Secrets of Success

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A stick-with-you breakfast

A bit of fat adds staying-power to our meals. If your breakfast is a cereal-and-banana type that leaves you hungry by mid-morning, finish off the meal with 8 or 9 almonds; I've found the small serving of healthy fat keeps me satisfied longer.

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Water consumption trick

8 cups a day...yeah, yeah, we know. For those who think it's hard, please try this: pour 8 ounces in a glass or cup and see if you can drink it in 5 big gulps. You'll see it's easy and quick to get those cups in - 5 gulps at a time!

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Weighing pre-bagged produce

People sometimes look at me funny when I carry three or four bags of carrots to the scale. But pre-bagged fruits and veggies can vary in weight, and checking to get the heaviest bag gets me more for my money!

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Motivation to exercise

I've found the best time to decide if I'm going to exercise is about 20 minutes into a routine! When I don't feel like getting started, I have a good, firm talk with myself, and head out (or start the DVD). Sure enough, in 15 or 20 minutes, I'm feeling great and wanting to continue!

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Food journaling made easy

Setting up shop with the food journal takes time, but once you've made lists of "favorites" and "food groupings", it can usually be done in less than 10 minutes a day. Once selected, the groupings can easily altered by adding or subtracting a food to that particular meal.

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The 20-minute room

When my house is in total disarray, I'll grab a timer, set it for 20 minutes, and begin at the worst room to see how much I can do in the time allowed. when the timer goes off, I go to the next room. It's amazing how much I can see accomplished in a couple of hours!

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Avoiding burnout

To help avoid burnout, I shop weekly for foods I haven't tried before. I also allow myself a time or two a week to eat out (within reason) - makes it easier to stay on track!

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Making my menus based on current sales

Instead of planning my menus and then going shopping, I check the store ads. Boneless, skinless chicken breasts on sale? That'll make some meals this week. Grapes and bananas down in price? Chalk them up for fruit choices! Healthy eating can work fine in a budget.

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Please note these are member-submitted secrets and are not reviewed by SparkPeople's health experts for accuracy. If you feel a secret is inappropriate, please click the "Report Inappropriate Secret" on the secret's page and our staff will review it.