Smart Snacks And How-To Tips To Overhaul Your Health

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American Pistachio Growers
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Transform your health with few key diet and exercise swaps. It’s easier than you think!

By The LifeMinute Team

January 12, 2017

Monte Morris’ moment of realization came at a doctor’s appointment when he was diagnosed with Stage 2 Hypertenstion. “That’s pretty close to a heart attack and at 36 that was a pretty scary thing to hear,” he says. “I went home and cleared out my refrigerator, made a lot of changes in my life. I started an exercise regimen, got rid of the bad stuff and brought in a lot of good stuff. I feel great now and wouldn’t do it any other way,” he says of his 48 pound weight loss.

So how did he do it? Dr. Mike Roussell, Nutrition Advisor for Men’s Health Magazine, helps Morris identify some of the key swaps he did to transform his life.

Swap Activity For Inactivity

“Be a major player and drive your wellness,” says. Roussell. “Monte lost 50 pounds, totally changed his life by taking action every day.”  Says Morris: “I was feeling generally very lethargic and I had an unhappy mood and I was feeling low. The actions I took included swapping out big meals like burritos and burgers and fries for small and healthy meals and smarter snacks.”

“Monte started snacking on things at 10am and 4pm and concentrated on foods that contain fat, fiber and protein,” says Roussell. “The key components that make your body feel full so you’re less hungry when the next meal comes around and so you’re less likely to overeat.” These are some of the tactical actions he took that were successful.

“I started carrying trail mix that I made, little portions of pistachios and other snacks. And they were really satisfying and they cut down when meal time came around I was able to pretty naturally just cut down my portion size and make better decisions about what I did eat,” says Morris.

Smart Snacking

“I love pistachios—they’re a great snack in my house as well. One of the great thing about pistachios is they contain that fat, fiber and protein that work with your body so you feel less hungry. The other thing with pistachios is you get 49 nuts per serving. Everybody likes to be able to eat more, so this is more nuts than any other nuts. So having this treat in your trail mix or in a stand alone like in baggies that are easy to take with you that you actually get to eat a fair amount,” says Rousell.

Cut Empty Calories

Drinking water over other less healthy liquids is key when it comes to losing weight and getting healthy. “A big driver that cut Monte’s overall behaviors is that he used to be a beer drinker. For some people maybe it’s not beer, maybe it’s soda, sweet tea, energy drinks, fruit juice, it could be anything. These empty calories are putting the brakes on weight loss. It’s like trying to drive with gas and the brake on at the same time,” says the doctor.

Monte agrees. “I knew I was making a bad decision by taking in all that beer. In the evening when I would come home from work I would sit down and have some beer and watch tv and I lived a pretty sedentary life style. So I cut out the beer and replaced that time that I was gaining by not spending that time on the couch out exercising, mainly running for me. And so that was my swap, that was basically how I switched a bad habit for a good one.”

Portable and Delicious

“I love natural things and whole things and they also happen to be pretty portable like for example the pistachios, they’re natural, they’re whole, they’re delicious and filling and I can take them with me wherever I like. In the passenger seat and I can snack on them while I’m on the move,” Morris says.

“One last thing that’s really important is when you hear Monte talking about the lifestyle changes that he’s made is that it doesn’t feel like he’s making any compromises. He’s found foods that he snacks on and meals that he eats that he really loves so he doesn’t feel like he’s missing out on stuff. And that’s a really important thing to make it a long term lifestyle change.”

For more information visit Rousell’s website and check out his new book with Men’s Health called The Meta Shred Diet.

Caption: Pistachios are the perfect nut to assist in smart, long-term weight loss. They fill you up, satisfy your cravings and are perfectly portable.