10 Steps to a Perfect You

1. Portion Control
When it comes to eating, size definitely matters. To avoid super-sizing your waistline, keep these guidelines in mind next time you eat out or prepare dinner at home:

  • Cheese – A one-ounce portion is about the size of 5 dice.
  • Meat – One three-ounce serving is the size of a deck of cards or the palm of your hand.
  • Pasta – The recommended half-cup serving equals the size of a racquetball.
  • Salad dressing – Two capfuls generally equal a two-tablespoon portion.
  • Butter – The tip of your thumb is a good measurement for one teaspoon of butter.
  • Cereal – Most cereals designate a portion size of three-fourths to one cup. Use a smaller bowl to keep your portion close to the recommendation.
  • Snacks – Eat one handful that equals the size of a golf ball. Never eat out of the bag!

2. Eat Super Foods
Imagine a food group powerful enough to help you lower your cholesterol, reduce your risk of heart disease and cancer, and, for an added bonus, put you in a better mood. Sound too good to be true? These life-altering superfoods are available right now in your local supermarket. Here is a shopping list of these nutritional superstars:

  • Beans
  • Blueberries
  • Broccoli
  • Oats
  • Oranges
  • Pumpkin
  • Salmon
  • Soy
  • Spinach
  • Tea (green or black)
  • Tomatoes
  • Turkey
  • Walnuts
  • Yogurt

3. Rev Up Your Intensity
The key to any effective exercise regimen comes down to one word: intensity. Intensity is simply a measure of how hard you are working. But how do you measure it? The talk test. If you have difficulty carrying on a simple conversation, then you are working at too high of an intensity level. On the flip side, if you find that you can easily belt out every note to the tunes playing on your iPod, then your intensity is too low. Exercising with the proper intensity level is the quickest way to achieve the desired results.


In order to maintain your weight, you should engage in at least 30-60 minutes of moderate intensity activity three times a week. In order to lose weight, you should engage in at least 60-90 minutes of moderate to vigorous intensity activity 4-5 days a week.


5. Eat Breakfast
Your mother was right: Breakfast really is the most important meal of the day. Studies show that eating a healthy breakfast can help give you:

  • A more nutritionally complete diet, higher in nutrients, vitamins and minerals
  • Improved concentration and performance in the classroom or the boardroom
  • More strength and endurance to engage in physical activity
  • Lower cholesterol levels

6.Control Your Cravings
If only ice cream will do, it's a craving, not hunger. "Cravings typically last ten minutes," says John Foreyt, PhD, of Baylor College of Medicine. Recognize that and divert your mind: Call someone, listen to music, run an errand, meditate or better yet, go to class!


7. Track Your Food Intake and Exercise
The first time you actually write down what you eat, you will be surprised how the calories add up. When you start being accountable, you can see exactly how your eating routine must change. You can see when you are most prone to eat larger quantities or succumb to mindless grazing between meals. Remember if you don't write it down, you are only cheating yourself. Download the Jazzercise Fitness Log to help keep your diet on track.


8. Your Choice
It is up to you to set the tone for your day. Make positive choices in everything you do — attitude, exercise, nutrition, friends and fun — and they will add up. Choose to get the most out of every single day. 


9. Omega-3 Fatty Acids
Feel the back of your arms. If you notice little raised bumps, it may be a sign that you’re not getting enough omega-3 fatty acids, which help reduce risk of heart disease by preventing your arteries from hardening.


10. Up Your H20
If you typically wait until you’re thirsty before drinking water, it’s time to change your habits. The American College of Sports Medicine advises that by the time you feel thirsty, you’re already on the way to dehydration. So, how much water do you need each day? The Institute of Medicine recommends 2.2 liters (approximately 9 cups) for women. Of course, your body may require more or less, depending upon your level of activity and your environment. A good rule of thumb is that you want to drink enough fluids, so that you rarely feel thirsty and your urine is either colorless or just slightly yellow.