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One of the things I always find myself doing in January is setting myself up for success. This includes thinking about what worked and didn't work the past year in all aspects of my life, including with food and exercise, and then setting goals for the next year. It also always includes stocking my fridge with healthy food, creating meal plans, having lots of low calorie snacks around, and setting myself up with some incentives to keep motivation high when it's all too easy to just cover up in a cozy, loose sweater. Here are the things I will be stocking up on to stay on track, as well as one incentive that I will be rewarding myself with if I hit my February 1st weight and exercise goal.
If you have been reading this blog for awhile you know I am a huge fan of PB2, the lower calorie peanut butter and chocolate spreads. They come in powder form and you mix it with water to create a genuinely delicious peanut butter substitute. I eat it all the time with apples, celery, bananas, oatmeal, and also use it quite often as a substitute when baking. The best part is that using PB2 saves you 4 points plus for 2 tablespoons of peanut butter coming in at just 1 points plus and 45 calories per 2 tbsp. This is compared to 190 calories and 5 points plus for peanut butter. The skinny cookie pie recipe is one of my favorites recipes to use it in.
2. Escali Mixing Bowl and Electric Scale
Having a good kitchen scale can make losing weight much easier because you can quickly and easily measure portion sizes without doing difficult conversions. In case you have ever spent hours trying to figure out how many chips you can eat in a 1 oz. serving, I'm talking to you. I've been there. It's agonizing. I have a normal scale and just ordered this scale/bowl combo. It weighs everything right in the bowl. For me it is perfect for baking, especially when I come across recipes that use grams. I also love it for snacks because I can measure them and then eat them right out of the bowl. And it's dishwasher safe.
3. Air Popper
Popcorn is something I pretty much snack on daily since you can get so much volume for so few points. However you have to be careful with some packaged brands and stove-top methods that require lots of oil. Although there are lots of free ways to make popcorn at home, recently I bought one of these air poppers and love it. It makes quick, easy, and delicious popcorn. Here are some of my favorite ways to enjoy it.
4. Rubbermaid Storage Containers
One tip I learned when I first started was the importance of portion size and really knowing how much you are eating. For a long time I used one of these portion controlled plates and that really helped. I also always have storage containers of all sizes on hand so I can store meals in the proper portion size. Whenever I freeze soup or leftovers, it is always in the right portion size so there is no option for over eating in the future.
5. Incentive! Gap Twill Parka in Olive Green or Homeland Season 1
I think it is very important to reward yourself along the way as you reach your weight loss and healthy living goals. It's motivating and gives you something to look forward to during those times when all you want to do is reach for that third slice of pizza. This month I will be rewarding myself with either this adorable coat or the first season of Homeland. Haven't decided yet but am already looking forward to it. Think of something that will keep you going - buying clothing in a smaller size, a manicure, a special outing - and reward yourself when you hit your goals.
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