Moms are busy. Period. Nobody knows this better than Beth Ritter-Nydick, Head of Nutrition at Lifetime Fitness in Florham Park, NJ, owner of Blueprint for Health and Wellness, and also a mother of two active and energetic boys. I had the opportunity to pick her brain in the hopes to find the quick and easy. Instead, I learned the tried and true, which begs the question: why are we wasting time testing fad diets and forsaking what our grandmothers have known all along?

1. Nana Knows Best: If your grandmother didn’t eat it, neither should you. Artificial sweeteners and preservatives aren’t just making us sick, they are making us fat. Psychologists at Purdue University’s Ingestive Behavior Research Center have discovered that “rats given yogurt sweetened with zero-calorie saccharin later consumed more calories, gained more weight, put on more body fat, and didn’t make up for it by cutting back later, all at levels of statistical significance” (news.uns.purdue.edu).

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2. Plan Ahead: This is one of those tips that we all wish would just go away. It is also one of those things that all healthy and fit people have in common, and let’s face it, it’s important to take time now to save time later. Beth shops on Sunday and then spends an hour roasting and cutting her veggies. She puts them in snack bags for her kid’s lunchboxes and easy grabbing on the go. To stay organized and plan ahead without stress, a weekly planner would be a great idea for busy moms! (Buy it here!)

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3. Talk to the Hand: We all know portion sizes have gotten out of control. Luckily you have a guide “close at hand.”

Chicken: whole hand
Meat and Fish: your palm (flat)
Nuts: your palm (cupped)
Pasta and Rice: your fist
Cheese: your thumb

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4. White-Out! Try eliminating all things made with white sugar and white flour. Instead, swap it for whole grains.

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5. Change Your Thoughts and Change Your World: None of these tips will matter until you can change your relationship with food. This sounds really hard, but you know what is harder? Will power. Instead of relying on your willpower to resist birthday cake, try releasing your connection between cake and celebration.

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