Q: I am trying to lose weight or my wedding and for the rest of my life.. I am from the west indies and most of what we eat and grew eating is high in starch and calories.  Now I grew up cooking and eating these food every day. We have diabetes in the family and I need to change my habits for me and my family. I have no motivation and my will power for late night eating and junk food snacking during the day is insane! My question is how do I get healthy choices for me and my family and cook better choice foods and get motivation to exercise.  ~ Alison

A: Hi Alison! Here is what I would suggest you do:

1. First step: Motivation! You said you are getting married soon. Congratulations by the way! This is a great starting point to help you get motivated to get a change.Visualize your wedding day.  How do you want to look? How do you want to feel? Does the way you look now fit the image you have in your mind of your wedding day? If not, what are you willing to change in your current lifestyle that will help you look and feel the way you want to on that special day?

2. Second step: Set up your environment for success! Get rid of the foods you are eating late at night and snacking on during the day. Why are you making it hard for yourself?! Reduce temptation and replace the unhealthy foods with healthy foods you like. You don't have to replace cookies with a celery stick, replace it with blueberries or raspberries. It will feel more like a 'fair' trade-they are naturally sweet, tasty, nutritious and of course, low calorie.

3. Third step: Take cooking classes! There are lots of ways we can tweak old recipes to make the healthier. Take a cooking class that teaches healthier Caribbean food. Look for recipes on-line that offer healthier versions.

I regularly tweet about ways i've made old favorites lower in fat and calories, and provide links to recipes on-line, so for more tips, follow me on twitter  @MariaNutrition.

Yours in Health,

Maria Thomas, RD
Registered Dietitian/Nutritionist

Nutrition Expert for The Last 10 Pounds Bootcamp

For more great nutrition tips, follow Maria on Twitter, and check her website at http://www.urbannutrition.com/ 

Do you have a question for one of our Experts? Submit your question to askanexpert@slice.ca.

Check out other health/diet related articles written by Maria Thomas!  

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