Diet Detective: How to Use Text Messages and Phone Reminders to Keep Healthy

When You're Cooking at Home

Early in the day, six hours prior to dinner (Sample phone or text messages):

  • What are you going to eat for dinner? Here are a couple of healthy meals: Baked chicken, grilled salmon with garlic and broccoli.
  • Go to,,
  • Remove skin from poultry before you eat
  • Pay attention to your portion sizes.
  • Eat your vegetables first, when you're hungriest.

Shopping Reminders

Prior to shopping (Sample phone or text messages):

  • Eat before you shop: Make sure you have a full stomach when you go to the store. Hunger can lead to impulse buying.
  • Plan before shopping, and make a list: Come up with general categories, such as soups, stews, stir-fries and grains.

While shopping (Sample phone or text messages):

  • Avoid the dirty dozen—for example: peaches, apples, celery, sweet bell peppers and strawberries, or at least buy these fruits and veggies organic
  • Look for leaner cuts of beef: The leanest cuts include round steaks and roasts (eye round, top round, bottom round, round tip), top loin, and top sirloin.
  • Look for lean ground beef: Look for at least 90 percent lean. You may even be able to find ground beef that is 93 percent or 95 percent lean.
  • Avoid meat that is heavily marbled—that is, streaked with fat. Look for meat with the least amount of visible fat.
  • Look for leaner cuts of pork: The leanest pork choices include loin, tenderloin, center loin and ham.

More: 10 Grocery Tips for Healthy Shoppers

Prime-Time TV Snacking

This can be the most difficult time of day for many people. Either you're a kitchen lingerer or you're sitting in front of the television after a long day and mindlessly munching on unhealthy foods. You want a party for your mind and your mouth. This is a very hard habit to break. Why? Because just deciding to sit down on the couch or chair and watch TV triggers your desire for snacks.

(Sample phone or text messages):

  • Kitchen closes in 10 minutes; make your healthy snacks now.
  • Don't eat in your snack-free zones.
  • No munching on high-calorie snacks while the commercials are on.
  • No picking while standing in front of the fridge, and no digging into the half-gallon of ice cream with a spoon.
  • Prepare a variety of healthful snacks in advance. If you have everything set up, you'll have a better chance.
  • Cut it up: Cut up vegetables, such as onions, broccoli, peppers and asparagus, in advance. Put them in pre-portioned baggies or containers and store them in the fridge.

Exercise and Physical Activity

Make appointments to work out: Think of your workouts as "appointments." Record them in your calendar as you would any other appointment.

(Sample phone or text messages):

  • Time to get up and take a walk.
  • Stand up and walk away from your desk for a few minutes.
  • Exercise now: 10 push-ups.
  • Exercise now: Do a 60-second wall-sit.
  • Time to stretch at your desk.

More: Plank Workout in 15 Minutes

Self-Affirmations and Motivational Quotes

Give yourself a pep talk. Start by creating affirmations: strong, positive statements asserting that something desirable about yourself is, in fact, true. The idea is to use your words to help you succeed by "talking to yourself about yourself" in a positive light.

Affirmations (Sample phone or text messages) :

  • I am a beautiful person and I deserve to look the way I want to look.
  • I'm a strong, powerful woman (or man)!
  • I'm beautiful, I'm kind, and I deserve the best.
  • I'm intelligent, I'm beautiful and I'm a wonderful person.
  • If I set my mind to succeed, I will.
  • Healthy eating is a choice—and I choose health!
  • My life and health are gifts.
  • Never give up!

Motivational Quotes (Sample phone or text messages)

  • "If you think you can do a thing, or think you can't do a thing, you're right."
    -Henry Ford
  • "I find that the harder I work, the more luck I seem to have." - Thomas Jefferson
More: 26 Inspirational Fitness Quotes

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