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Think Your Way to Healthy Eating

A teen learns how to change her thinking about eating well and loses weight.
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Step 3: Bring Awareness to Eating continued...

If so, you can come up with other ways to deal with boredom. You might decide to go for a walk or call a friend instead of eating.

But if you make journaling a habit, it can feel like a diet. Diets don't work, because they're too hard to stick to and they aren't healthy.

"It always gets back to being able to follow through with specific goals and behavior changes across the big picture" Favret says. "That is what brings us to a healthy weight."

Step 4: Think of Food as Your Body's Fuel, Watch Your Portions

Without heavy skating workouts, Julie didn't need big meals and snacks to stay fueled. To cut back on how much food she was eating, she began watching her portions (the amount of food she was eating in one sitting). To get an idea of how much she was eating, Julie tried measuring her food.

Favret says: Portion control is good, but be cautious about measuring food. 

"It can sometimes give you a good starting place -- an idea of how much is on your plate and that you're eating the right amount," says Favret. "Over the long term, just eyeballing what you're eating is best."

Here's an easy trick to make sure you're getting a healthy balance of food and not eating oversized portions.

Favret suggests filling half your plate with veggies. Add a lean protein like fish, chicken, pork, beef, beans, or low-fat dairy in another quarter. Then fill the last quarter of your plate with a healthy whole grain like whole wheat bread, whole-grain pasta, or brown rice. Try thinking of fruit as dessert.

Step 5: Don't Skip Meals -- Snack Smart

Even though Julie began cutting back on her portion sizes, she didn't give up meals or snacks.

Favret says: Skipping meals won't help you meet weight loss goals. And, you can still have snacks if you're trying to get to a healthy weight.

"There are lots of reasons why people snack. But there is one correct reason to eat a snack, and that is to satisfy true hunger between meals," she says.