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SMART CHOICES: This fitness secret can leave you scratching your head to figure out how it is done.

Updated: Mar 20, 2022

I'm learning the tricks to eating smart. I really am. Since publishing my weight loss in the last article (50+ pounds and counting) I've had plenty of discussions about how I did it. What kind of diet do I choose. What kind of secrets do I have. I even had a friend show me several card tricks while he talked to me about losing weight. Impressive card tricks, too. Unlike my friend's amazing card trick talent, there's no magic. Just a lot of smart choices.

First off, it's not a #diet. It never was intended to be one. By saying it's a diet I feel there's a beginning and an ending. I don't want that. I just want to be healthy. I want to be able to fit into thinner clothing, have my blood pressure be at unheard of lows for me, and have the energy to travel around the country watching my kids play sports. A diet would not let that happen. A lifestyle would.

Second, the trick to a healthy lifestyle is making smart choices. I really haven't given up anything. If there's something I want to eat, I eat it. I just make sure to plan for it. If I have a bad day of eating where I give in to temptation and eat that Costco-sized box of Goldfish Crackers (another true story), I do it. I have to make it up slowly the next few days, but I know that life happens.

Holidays happen to bring all the food choices that come with them. Birthdays happen along with cake and more. For us, travel sports and college basketball happen, too. Being on the road and in a gym presents all sorts of challenges when it comes to eating. But it does happen.

And that's where the choices have to happen. You have to allow for those days by making smart choices when you have more control. For me, it starts by switching to lean meat. Did you know turkey and even hamburger meat come in extra lean choices? That's saving a lot of calories. It means more veggies. Veggies are so filling and don't have a lot of calories tagged on, but we can never eat enough. And portion size too. I used to challenge myself to eat everything I could. Now it's about the right portion and calories for each meal and snack. There's some meal prepping involved in that but it's easy to do when you work on it.

Support systems help. We make it a point to put as many Fit Features on our blogs as we can. Our favorite question to ask is if they have any advice. They all found their healthy lifestyle. Most of them have a support system of family, friends, and health professionals that are there every step of the way.

Staying active helps too. I wake early and work out, but throughout the day it's easy to stare at a computer and begin my grazing. It's that point where I find myself nibbling, then eating and I know I have to get up and move. I distract my brain from the grazing. It's a small thing, but it adds up throughout the day.

And that's the real secret. Take the lifestyle change day by day, or even minute by minute if you have to. With small goals and victories, the change happens for the better. Like my friend with his card tricks, the end results can leave you breathless and scratching your head trying to figure out how it was done.

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