Goal No. 1: Plan Your Daily Food continued...
Shop wisely. A well-stocked fridge and pantry can make it easier to grab a healthy snack or prepare delicious meals that are also good for you. Keep basics like these on hand: low-fat milk and yogurt, eggs, peanut butter, a variety of fresh fruits (include berries and grapes) and vegetables (include carrots and celery), soybeans, garlic, whole grain pasta/bread, fish, and high-fiber cereal.
Plan healthy treats. Low-fat cheese or yogurt, hummus with veggies, and fresh fruit are great choices. Keep them at home; take them to the office. That will help you eat the right foods when you're starving - especially in the late afternoon, during drive time -- and when you finally get home at night.
Do it yourself. These are great prepare-ahead healthy meals that will keep you feeling full and help you control your weight:
- Make a dried-fruit-and-nut mix for emergency snacking. (Be wary of granola, since it typically has lots of sugar, says Stokes.) Pack small amounts in a little plastic bag - great for the car or office.
- Cook a big pot of homemade vegetable soup, which can be frozen for several lunches or dinners.
- Try smoothies - blend low-fat yogurt and fruit - for a grab-and-go meal.
- Mix up big salads or a pasta primavera with lots of veggies and whole-wheat pasta. Prepare large quantities so you can have a moderate-sized helping for dinner and then have leftovers for lunch the next day.
Buy healthy frozen entrees. "These have really improved," says Rolls. "They have more whole grains in them now, and they seem to be getting tastier. If I'm traveling and can't get to the grocery store, I make sure I have frozen entrees on hand."
Don't limit yourself. It's OK to eat breakfast food for snacks, lunch, or dinner. "You can eat a hard-boiled egg or cereal any time, not just breakfast," Stokes advises.
Goal No. 2: Plan Your Exercise
First, talk to your doctor - especially if you are overweight or are at high risk for heart disease, advises Thompson. Your doctor may suggest that you ask a fitness trainer to develop a workout plan that best suits your needs.