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(Family Features)–Starting a diet or diving headfirst into a workout plan may be the first steps to enhancing your personal health, but once you’ve started down the path to better fitness and nutrition, it’s important to find ways to stay on track.



Instead of burning yourself out on a diet that’s too stringent or workouts that are too intense, moderate your healthy lifestyle and use simple tricks to avoid falling into bad habits. Consider these tips from celebrity trainer and food coach Valerie Waters, author of “Red Carpet Ready,” to help ensure you stick to your plan.



Bank your fitness. Interruptions in life happen frequently. Travel, for example, whether for business or pleasure, can disrupt workouts and access to nutritious food. To allow a little room for a missed workout or a special meal, put some fitness in the bank by tightening your diet a couple weeks ahead of your trip. You can also put some extra effort into workouts by adding intervals, additional weight or simply going a little longer.



Strategy trumps willpower. While willpower is certainly part of maintaining a diligent healthy lifestyle, strategizing can be of even more importance. Planning a full day or even week of meals can help you curb cravings and avoid indulging in extra, unnecessary calories. Instead of white-knuckling through afternoon cravings at work, try bringing a go-to snack like California Figs, which are filling, portable, rich in antioxidants and fat-free.



Eat simply. Eating foods as close to their natural state as possible can help you avoid consuming excess sugar and fat. Plus, by incorporating more natural foods and snacks into your routine, you’re less likely to eat items loaded with preservatives or ingredients you may not even recognize. Focus on lean protein, fruit, veggies and nuts.



Source: California Fig Advisory Board

Published with permission from RISMedia.