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To see results...Day 21

Today ends my 21-day makeover, but you can do it on your own (and believe me, I still have some habits to work on!) and repeat it as often as you like. My theory behind this 21-day makeover is twofold: First, all the research shows it takes 21 days of consistent repeated behavior to make a habit stick (all the more reason to keep with the plan tomorrow through the end of January).  Second, I’ve never been one to stick to rigid diets (half cup watery nonfat milk, 1 slice dry dull-as-ever toast, and 2 egg whites scrambled with no taste). I believe in instituting good habits that will last a lifetime and stick no matter what food is in front of you (whether you’re out to eat or having dinner at home). That’s what these habits do. Let’s recap:

√ Cut down on sugar. Try to replace processed sugar (like candy, cookies) with fruit whenever possible. Cut down the amount of sugar you put in coffee/tea (and try agave nectar whenever possible; it doesn’t cause your blood sugar to spike).

√ Drink more water. The goal is at least 9 8-ounce glasses a day.

√ Get at least 9 servings of fruits and veggies (total) a day. And try to mix in as many different colored ones as possible (ensuring you get a mix of key nutrients). And know that frozen, particularly organic, is just as good as fresh.

√ Move more throughout the day. Walk whenever you can, take the stairs instead of the elevator, do crunches while you’re watching TV…whatever it takes to get you moving more throughout the day.

√ Fit in at least 3 30-minute workouts each week. You choose the cardio activity (could be walking outdoors or running on the treadmill).

√ Learn to plan ahead. Best time to do this is on a weekend, when you can figure out what kinds of foods/snacks you need during the week—and shop for them—so you can stay on track. Also plan your workouts on a calendar.

√ Stop eating while standing up. THIS is a habit I need to still work on. I find myself munching away and then it hits me: I can’t do this!! Awareness is the first step to change.

√ Eat more fresh, less processed foods. I find that I’m reaching for processed foods when I’m not prepared with fresh fruit and other healthy snacks. While some aren’t bad for the waistline, they can be bad for your health.

√ Stop mindless munching! Put an end to munching in front of the TV, computer, or anywhere you’re not paying attention. Plan to eat your meals (and snacks) sitting down at a table.

√ Don’t go back for seconds. The easiest way to cut down your daily caloric intake: stop the seconds habit. Fill up your plate, eat what’s on it, then take your plate to the sink. Kitchen closed!

√ Always listen to your body. It will tell you when to slow down, when to eat, when you’re too full to eat another bite…it’s very smart!

√ Get more fiber every day. Make sure you’re getting some fiber at every meal (one reason fresh fruit is better for you than fruit juice).

√ Think positive. And be a happy confident person. Loving yourself and being happy with yourself is the key to succeeding in everything you do.

√ Drink more green tea. Not only is it good for your health (it’s also chock full of good-for-you ingredients), it can also increase your metabolism by a small bit every day.

√ Add 2 days of strength training per week. This will ensure you tone up, get lean, and keep your metabolism high.

√ Learn to incorporate the 10-minute rule: wait 10 minutes before indulging in any treat. By that time, you know if you really want it (and it’s not just mindless munching)—and you’ll enjoy it even more.

√ Wake up half an hour earlier. You’ll have time to workout, time to collect your thoughts before the craziness of the day begins, and just start the day on a more confident foot.

√ Find your motivator. Whether it’s staring at your reflection in the dressing room mirror or posting a motivating quote up on your fridge, figure out what it takes to stick to your plan—and do it.

√ Stick with it. You will see results if you stick with this plan, and keep implementing it if necessary (if the habits aren’t sticking yet). I’ve lost 3 of the 5 pounds I wanted to lose…so I’m staring back on the habits tomorrow. This time, I’m printing them all out and posting them on my desk…so I don’t conveniently forget any of them!

Good luck…and tune in for more blog posts from me this week!

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