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Did you know there are over 50 DIFFERENT names for added sugar? Now, that is KRAZY with a capital K!

And let’s be crystal clear – I am NOT talking about the sugar that naturally occurs in fruits, veggies, whole-grain products as well as in dairy. We are talking about the sugar that is added to food during processing to enhance flavor, texture and shelf life.

Added sugar is typically composed of the simple sugars glucose, fructose and/or sucrose. Unfortunately, many food manufacturers are sneaky and hide the total amount of sugar by listing it under several different names on a package’s ingredient list.

As if reading labels wasn’t hard enough to begin with!

Here is a list of the common names for sugar. Any look familiar?

However, sadly the list does not end here my friends. Check out this quick article from Healthline to learn about the 56 (yes, you read that correctly!) other names that sugar goes by.

Talk about an unsavory alias!

Do any of these surprise you?

Raise your hand if you thought agave was a better choice than white sugar?

Surprised to hear that coconut sugar is a “no-go”?

That leads us to the next important question.

How much added sugar are you allowed per day?

Survey says…

But let’s not sweat the small things. Whole foods like fruits, veggies, whole-grains and dairy products naturally contain small amounts of sugar. However, they are also nutrient powerhouses brimming with fiber, vitamins, minerals and phytonutrients. With these added features, whole foods are processed differently and don’t have the same detrimental effects of added sugars.

Therefore, the most effective way to reduce your added sugar intake is to J.E.R.F. – just eat real food. Plain and simple.

However, if you do decide to buy packaged foods, don’t be a slave to label. Be an informed consumer and stick to your daily quota.

Got questions on added sugars? Hit us up in the comments below. We understand this topic can in fact be tricky and we are happy to help! 

Hugs & High Fives,

The post The great debate – natural sugar versus added sugar appeared first on Amy Plano.

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So last week we talked about the importance of goal setting. And guess what? This week we are going to continue the conversation. It is really that important.

Like I mentioned there are what I like to consider five key steps to goal setting to ensure your success.

Sooooo … last week we hammered the importance of step 1 – defining super duper CLEAR goals. We talked at length about how to clearly define your nutrition goals. How could you forget right? Remember I asked you to tattoo the acronym S.M.A.R.T on your wrist? Kidding! But just in case you need a refresher you can catch up here. But no worries – no tattooing this week, I promise.

Establish a realistic game plan

This week we are going to chat about the importance of coming up with a clear, realistic and effective game plan for your nutrition goals. This game plan will represent the exact steps you need to do to tackle your goals.

It is here, in this step, that we take the S.M.A.R.T goals we have defined and add an actionable component. Without this very important piece you will be likely left spinning your wheels. 

So let’s use the goal of meal prepping. We came up with this S.M.A.R.T goal last week:

I will meal prep 1.5 hours every Sunday and Wednesday for the next month.

We made sure our goal was specific, that it was measurable, attainable, realistic and was time-sensitive. So this plan sounds great in theory, right? It looks good on paper, but how can we make sure we accomplish it?

Break your goal into bite size pieces

Well, we need to break down the goal into smaller steps. We need to identify EACH step that needs to be completed in order for us to be successful.  Then we need to come up with a game plan surrounding these actions.

Sweat the small things – the details matter

With a goal like meal prepping here are some of the questions you may need to ask yourself to ‘flesh’ out the mandatory steps to ensure your success.

Exactly what am I going to eat for the week? Breakfast? Lunch? Dinners? Snacks?

What specific food do I already have on hand that I should use up?

Exactly when and where am I going to grocery shop?

You have to get very specific. For each question there should be a very finite answer. No matter how clear your goal is – unless you outline the necessary steps there is just too much room for error.

It’s go-time

So the game plan might look like this:

I would highly suggest putting all of this in writing. Write out your menu. Print or electronically save your recipes. I have a board in Pinterest called ‘dinners’ (yes, super creative!) that you are more than welcome to follow for inspiration. I also have a board called ‘Meal Prep’ that you might find equally as helpful. Write in your schedule exactly when you will go grocery shopping.

The more specific you get with your actions the increased likelihood of you connecting with your goals. Creating clear concrete goals is important. But coming up with game plan is equally as important.

Need help creating a game plan for your nutrition goals? The dietitians at The Plano Program are here to help. Click here to schedule your 60 minute initial consultation.

Hugs & High Fives,

P.S. Got tips for meal prepping? Leave them in the comments below. After all, who does not love a good meal prep hack?

The post Part 2: How to Smash Your 2019 Nutrition Goals appeared first on Amy Plano.

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So last week we talked about the importance of goal setting. And guess what? This week we are going to continue the conversation. It is really that important.

Like I mentioned there are what I like to consider five key steps to goal setting to ensure your success.

Sooooo … last week we hammered the importance of step 1 – defining super duper CLEAR goals. We talked at length about how to clearly define your nutrition goals. How could you forget right? Remember I asked you to tattoo the acronym S.M.A.R.T on your wrist? Kidding! But just in case you need a refresher you can catch up here. But no worries – no tattooing this week, I promise.

Establish a realistic game plan

This week we are going to chat about the importance of coming up with a clear, realistic and effective game plan for your nutrition goals. This game plan will represent the exact steps you need to do to tackle your goals.

It is here, in this step, that we take the S.M.A.R.T goals we have defined and add an actionable component. Without this very important piece you will be likely left spinning your wheels. 

So let’s use the goal of meal prepping. We came up with this S.M.A.R.T goal last week:

I will meal prep 1.5 hours every Sunday and Wednesday for the next month.

We made sure our goal was specific, that it was measurable, attainable, realistic and was time-sensitive. So this plan sounds great in theory, right? It looks good on paper, but how can we make sure we accomplish it?

Break your goal into bite size pieces

Well, we need to break down the goal into smaller steps. We need to identify EACH step that needs to be completed in order for us to be successful.  Then we need to come up with a game plan surrounding these actions.

Sweat the small things – the details matter

With a goal like meal prepping here are some of the questions you may need to ask yourself to ‘flesh’ out the mandatory steps to ensure your success.

Exactly what am I going to eat for the week? Breakfast? Lunch? Dinners? Snacks?

What specific food do I already have on hand that I should use up?

Exactly when and where am I going to grocery shop?

You have to get very specific. For each question there should be a very finite answer. No matter how clear your goal is – unless you outline the necessary steps there is just too much room for error.

It’s go-time

So the game plan might look like this:

I would highly suggest putting all of this in writing. Write out your menu. Print or electronically save your recipes. I have a board in Pinterest called ‘dinners’ (yes, super creative!) that you are more than welcome to follow for inspiration. I also have a board called ‘Meal Prep’ that you might find equally as helpful. Write in your schedule exactly when you will go grocery shopping.

The more specific you get with your actions the increased likelihood of you connecting with your goals. Creating clear concrete goals is important. But coming up with game plan is equally as important.

Need help creating a game plan for your nutrition goals? The dietitians at The Plano Program are here to help. Click here to schedule your 60 minute initial consultation.

Hugs & High Fives,

P.S. Got tips for meal prepping? Leave them in the comments below. After all, who does not love a good meal prep hack?

The post The ultimate guide to smashing your nutrition goals: Part 2 appeared first on Amy Plano.

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