I’m surprised how often I get comments from people that suggest because I’m a trainer and health advocate I don’t struggle to eat healthy and exercise consistently. Sometimes I think people believe the thought of junk food just makes me gag and that the nutrition fairy just drops broccoli down my mouth.

NachosI have to admit something to you…

My name is Dustin Maher, and I am a finisher.

At least when it comes to food.

If I see a bag of open chips, I have to eat the entire bag.

If I order a massive plate of nachos from the Great Dane, I have to clean the plate.

If I see a bowl of M&Ms on a table, I will grab a handful and continue to go back until the M&Ms are gone.

If there is a carton of ice cream in the freezer, I just can’t leave it only half eaten.

So how am I not 300 lbs or more?

Very simple..

I don’t allow these tempting foods to stay in my environment.

You could argue that my personal circumstances are easier to control than yours, and you may be right, but the truth is, we all have more control over our environments than we think we do.

Here are the things I personally do to ensure my environment provides me with as few temptations as possible:

1. Tessa and I don’t keep processed junk food in our home. If it is there, I will grab that over any of the healthy and tasty food I have. The only exception is when I might have a party-that’s when I will allow it in my place but just for that day. Once the party’s over, I give it away or throw it away.

2. I strongly discourage my clients and staff from keeping unhealthy food in our workplace. Do we have treats on occasion? Absolutely. But as a general rule, we stock our fridge at the TC with veggies and hummus, raw nuts, greek yogurt, and fruit… not with pop and cookies.

I realize you probably don’t get to make the rules about what’s in the break room at your work. But I bet you’re not the only one wishing that there were healthier options available. Maybe you can start by simply requesting some alternatives to all of the sweets, rather than asking for an outright ban on the junk.

3. We only eat out about once per week. Sometimes twice a week and sometimes none, but eating out less saves us both excess calories and money.

4. I don’t drink my calories, outside of the post-workout protein smoothies that we offer at the TC. I’ve gotten accustomed to drinking primarily water and I truly don’t miss anything else. Honestly this is one area where the research on the impact of soda (diet and regular) on our health is so clear that I just don’t even consider the toxic junk as a viable option.

5. I surround myself with mostly fit and healthy people that are like-minded when it comes to eating and exercise. When I’m with these friends, I feel like I belong and can truly be myself because we share many of the same interests and goals. For example, when I get excited about things like my veggie-eating experiment, or the cool produce I find at the farmers market, they get excited with me!

This list of ideas for removing temptation from your environment might seem pretty basic, and I understand that some of you reading this may not have a healthy work, or even home, environment. But remember, ultimately you always have some control and power over your immediate surroundings, how you spend your time, and who you spend it with.

Whenever possible, take back control of your environment and start living the healthy life of your dreams!

PS: I just want to say how much I appreciate you as a subscriber, client, and health advocate. I don’t take for granted the time you put into reading this newsletter and applying the information in your own life. Thank you!