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So let's take it slow, making one simple change every day or two for a total of 19 small changes over 30 days. We started on a Sunday; you, of course, can start whenever you feel the time is right. DAY 1 (SUNDAY): Prepare for the workweek by packing snacks you can keep in your desk drawer, like a healthy trail mix or dried fruit, advises Marjorie Nolan Cohn, a registered dietitian nutritionist and spokeswoman for the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. DAY 2 (MONDAY): "Make breakfast a priority," Crandall says. "It sets the tone for the rest of the day." Consider a hard-boiled egg and low-fat cottage cheese for a high-protein meal that will leave you satisfied. ... DAY 4 (WEDNESDAY): Pass on soda at lunchtime and sip on water instead. ... DAY 6 (FRIDAY): Don't want to miss happy hour? Go ahead and participate, but opt for a wine spritzer, which waters down the vino, cutting the alcohol, sugar and calories. DAY 7 (SATURDAY): Date night! Skip the pasta and choose a fish or grilled chicken dish instead. DAY 8 (SUNDAY): For brunch, get in the habit of forgoing high-carb pancakes and French toast. "I encourage my clients to do an omelet-something that has a more solid protein," Cohn says. DAY 9 (MONDAY): Replace the mayo on your sandwich with mustard to cut calories but retain flavor. DAY 10 (TUESDAY): Go to bed early. "It's been proven that ... sleep plays a major role in weight loss-and in keeping weight off," Cohn says. Sleeping about eight hours a night can regulate hormone levels and help minimize cravings. "Plus, if you go to bed before 11 p.m., you won't have that midnight snack." ... DAY 12 (THURSDAY): Read the menus of your favorite restaurants and choose a few nutritious go-tos. "You can get perfectly healthy takeout," Cohn says. Look for meals with lean proteins and plenty of veggies. DAY 13 (FRIDAY): Get rid of all the chips in your pantry. If you feel you need to snack on something crunchy, Crandall suggests almonds. DAY 14 (SATURDAY): Hit the farmers market for fresh fruits and vegetables-in as many colors as you can find. ... DAY 17 (TUESDAY): Progress check! And no, not the number on the scale. People often have unrealistic expectations of how quickly they'll lose weight once they start a healthy eating plan, Cohn says. "Are you feeling better? Is your skin clearer? Are you able to concentrate at work better?" she says. "What other positive things are you feeling?" ... DAY 20 (FRIDAY): Try another change to happy hour. "Drink a glass of water before each glass of alcohol," Crandall says, to decrease liquid calories. ... DAY 22 (SUNDAY): Get ready for the workweek. If your office has a freezer, Cohn suggests bringing precooked chicken, veggie burgers and vegetables to microwave for lunch. DAY 23 (MONDAY): Start ordering your burger without the bun to cut out calories and waistline-expanding carbs. ... DAY 26 (THURSDAY): Make it a habit to ask your waiter about replacing french fries with a fresh veggie. DAY 27 (FRIDAY): Having a hard time passing on luscious desserts? "Fruit is always a great option," Crandall says. You can even drizzle some melted dark chocolate over it. ... DAY 29 (SUNDAY): Change up your morning java. Swap out full-fat milk for a low-fat version or milk substitute, and lay off the sugar. Try cinnamon or nutmeg to flavor coffee instead. DAY 30 (MONDAY): Make a commitment to build on your successes. Small changes, Cohn says, lead to a healthier lifestyle that you'll be able to maintain over time. So keep going! n GET MOVING Whether you're on Day One or Day 30, you'll always help your health by adding exercise to your routine. "Research shows-and this is really interesting-we make better food choices when we exercise," says Marjorie Nolan Cohn, a registered dietitian nutritionist with the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. "It's that I-don't-want-to-ruin-it mentality." Here are a few simple ways to get exercise: 3 JUST WALK You don't need to set foot in a gym to have an impact on your health. Get a pedometer and aim to up your distance each day- even if it's just a few more steps. 3 ADD IN SOME STRENGTH TRAINING A couple of days a week, do some simple weightlifting. A trainer can help you learn proper form. 3 GAUGE HOW YOU FEEL Focus on the positives without worrying about your scale or your pants size. "It's going to take many months to see definition in your biceps," Cohn says. "But how you feel ... is something you'll notice right away." WEBSITE Personalized Plan to Managing Weight Diet by Design offers customized weight management with a registered dietitian as your personal coach. Learn more at gwinnettmedical center.org/diet. WIN TE R 2016 17 http://gwinnettmedicalcenter.org/diet http://gwinnettmedicalcenter.org/diet

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