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ly Matter?BY SHERII SHERBANfast, lunch, and dinner every day. The savings really added up. While it is true that I still enjoy meals with friends, even paying attention to my portion sizes lends itself to a few dollars saved.I am not a counselor, nor am I a nutritionist. I am simply someone that has struggled with a weight loss need and found a way to become a better me. I found support and encouragement from Troy Huggett, the Y Center, Nutrimost, Kalamazoo Area Runners in Battle Creek, Borgess Run Camp, friends and family, and most personally from my husband.My weight loss experience was suc- cessful for me four years ago becauseI found my motivation and my support group. My plan continues to include regular exercise as well as allow for a treat (or two) from time to time. I am excited to say that for each of the last two years, I have compiled over 2000 miles between running and riding bikes with Keith. I still enjoy rewarding my successes. I am blessed to have made many new friends along the way too. Tracking my intake dai- ly was, and continues to be, critical and I generally notice a few pounds sneak back on when I get lazy with this one. When it does, I don’t beat myself up, I just make an adjustment in the plan. I experience joy in knowing that I am actively seeking to be as healthy as I can be.To those of you that are thinking about making a change I am here to say that it’s a journey worth taking.again. Portion control included calorie counting as well. Furthermore, I started to identify what foods had a negative consequence for me.I really enjoyed reading cookbooks of all kinds. Actually, I enjoy books in gener- al. The creativity of changing the ingredi- ents to meet my needs was actually fun. Creating meal plans of my own and then the required shopping list was like a math equation waiting to be solved as I added calories based on ingredients. Then the added benefits of exercise made it even more interesting. Even though it was very time consuming I actually enjoyed it.I realize, however, that not everyone likes this part and for that very reason there are also pre-designed meal plans that can really help with what seems to be the most common challenges. Not only can they help users lose weight but also help to create healthy eating habits. • Portion control. We all know thatalmost everything can be enjoyed in moderation as part of a healthy and balanced diet. It’s the guessing and eyeballing of portion sizes that getsus into trouble. Pre-packaged meal plans provide accurate portion sizes and eliminate our ability to hedge in the wrong direction. Over time these meal plans can help the dieter to achieve fullness with a healthy amount of food at each meal.• Ingredients. The traditional meal plans I investigated use fresh and seasonalingredients to ensure that the food that is delivered is as fresh and healthy as can be. This includes non-GMO, with- out pesticides, organic where possible, and full of the nutrients you need to stay healthy while losing weight.• Sneaky Shopping. One of the chal- lenging parts of developing a healthy meal plan on your own is the darn supermarket. Food often serves as reward and many have discovered the coveted sweets. For some it is far too tempting to sneak a little cake or ice cream into the shopping cart. Meal plans help to eliminate many of the “oops” purchases. Meal plans take all the behind the scenes work out of pre- paring a meal, so that you don’t have to think about meal planning, shopping or even prepping the ingredients most of the time. Several even include des- sert options.Other helpful tidbits for success might come from a physician or nutritionist, weight loss clinic, support group of friends, a diet planner, even articles and blogs on healthy eating, and so much more. No matter what, the ability to track where you are at in your plan is helpful to keep you going in the right direction.An added benefit of my weight loss journey was not only feeling better but also a few extra dollars in my pocket that I gladly used for rewards like new running clothes. I stopped eating out for break-HEALTH & FITNESS I SCENE 4302 23l


































































































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