Food and Fitness on Friday {it's all about small changes}

Food and fitness on Friday? I think I read somewhere that all bloggers have to be good with alliteration... ;)

My standard uniform before WIWW!
 I'm trying to wear regular
clothes more often! LOL!
But we really are talking about food and fitness today, and it's Friday!  Diet and exercise are important to me and so I'm so excited to share that here with you! My hope is to feature a healthy food or aspect of diet and exercise here. Each week, I'll mostly be focusing on healthy eating and ideas for slowly changing eating habits, with a little bit of exercise and fitness stuff thrown in here and there.

In real life (the non-internet world ;), I usually have one or two people each week that ask me what I eat and what I do for exercise. So, I figure at least a few people are interested in finding out how to improve their diet and fitness levels! The things I tell you here are things that have worked for me. No two people are exactly the same, so remember that you should always tweak things to work for your life. 

Now, if I were just beginning on the path to eating healthier foods, I would start with the meal or snacks I have the least attachment to. If you LOVE Ben and Jerry's ice cream and can't imagine life without it, cutting it out cold turkey would make you miserable. All you'd think about was that sweet pint waiting for you in the freezer, and it would make it so much harder to stick with your plan of eating better. You'd  eventually give in and eat the entire thing at one time! It's happened to all of us! The good news is that over time, we can re-train ourselves to actually desire healthy foods, but to make it last, we have to make it a smooth transition.

So, if you really don't care what you eat for breakfast- start there. Let's say you normally eat a bagel with cream cheese and a cup of coffee with half and half. You've just eaten almost 500 calories, and over 1/3 of your fat for the day. And you might not even be full, more like just not hungry anymore.

3 oz bagel with 2 tbs of cream cheese: 450 calories, 54 grams of carbs, and 21 grams of fat
Coffee with 2 tbs of half and half: 41 calories, 1.3  grams of carbs, 3.5 grams of fat
Total: 491 calories,  55 grams of carbs, 24.5 grams of fat

If you are trying to lose weight and are an average height and activity level, you would probably want to keep your intake at around 1500 calories per day. That means you can eat three bagels with cream cheese and three cups of coffee. For. the. day. We won't even talk about what that bagel does to your blood sugar levels! That's opening a whole other can of worms! 

So, what's an alternative breakfast? That bagel didn't hold any significant meaning to you, it was just a quick and easy breakfast. So let's replace it with 3 egg whites and an apple. 

Fresh egg whites always make a good, healthy breakfast!
One option is to hard-boil eggs ahead of time, and put them in the fridge in-shell for the next couple of days. Very convenient, very natural food. Or maybe, you don't have time to cook at all, and are always on the run. You have an option: egg whites in a carton. They can be found right above the eggs in the refrigerated section. Just spray a microwave-safe bowl with Pam, measure out three tablespoons of eggs and heat in the microwave for 45 seconds and then stir and reheat 30 more seconds if more needed. Easy! The apple couldn't be quicker. It's easy to take it to eat in the car or on the run. Another easy switch- regular half and half for the fat-free version.

Three egg whites (no yolks), or equivalentabout 75 calories, 1 gram of carbs, 0 grams of fat
Apple, with skin: 53 calories, 14 carbs, .2 grams of fat     
Coffee with 2 tbs of FAT FREE half and half- 18 calories, 1.4  grams of carbs, .4 grams of fat

Total: 146 calories, 16.4 grams of carbs, and .6 grams of fat

That's a difference of 345 calories! That's an entire Subway sandwich in calories! Or, you could spend 35 minutes running full speed and enjoy that bagel for breakfast, and you'd be at the same place calorie-wise.  I'd take the apple and eggs any day! 

It's all about making small decisions throughout your day- reading the labels, and knowing how many calories are in what you consume. And if needed, replacing the poor choices with better ones. Small, slow and steady changes in your diet will prove to be more effective in the long-run. 

Are there foods or meals that you aren't attached to? What changes could you make to your diet today?  

Linking up at Weekend Bloggy Reading at Serenity Now!

You can also check out my fellow fitness instructor Abbie' s blog for Move-it-Monday, where she features her exercise topic of the week! How much fun is that?