I really want to help people that want to lose weight and get in shape and don’t know where to start.  There’s a lot of information out there, but it can be overwhelming.  Most people just need to learn the basics and are looking for a step by step plan.  They don’t need the crazy crash diets or special diet pills.  They need motivation, encouragement, and easy to follow steps.

One of the most important things people need to realize when losing weight is that it won’t happen overnight.  It requires a lifestyle change and it will take time.  A lot of people think they can go on a diet for a few months and then go back to eating the way they were before.  One of the reasons people give up is because the results take time and they get frustrated when they don’t notice a difference.  Because the change happens gradually they don’t see the results and think it’s not working.  That’s why it’s important to weigh yourself once a week to see that you are losing weight.  Another reason they give up is because they make such a drastic change in their eating habits, that they crave the foods that they used to eat and lose their willpower.

I believe that you can eat healthy and still enjoy what you eat.  You don’t have to eat tofu and rice cakes to lose weight.  You also don’t need to change your whole diet right away.  Keep it simple and start with small changes.  Take baby steps and you’ll be more likely to stick to it.  Here are some first steps that will get you started:

  • Drink more water – Start to replace sugary drinks with water.  Water will fill you up without the calories and it quenches your thirst.
  • Eat more fruits and vegetables – Make a list of those that you like and start adding more of them to every meal.  Fruits and vegetables help fill you up without the calories and they add nutritious value, so you don’t feel hungry.
  • Don’t skip meals -Many people skip meals thinking the fewer calories, the better.  The problem is that it messes with your metabolism and your body stores fat thinking there is a food shortage.  Breakfast is the most important meal because it gets your metabolism started in the morning and you have all day to burn the calories.
  • Eat healthy snacks instead of sugary snacks – When you feel hungry between meals eat fruits, vegetables, cheese, yogurt, crackers with peanut butter or other healthy options instead of reaching for a candy bar, cookies, or chips.
  • Just get moving – It’s also important to start exercising if you want to lose weight or get in shape.  Start with just 10 minutes per day.  It doesn’t matter what type of exercise you do.  The goal is the get your heart rate up.  You can start out by walking, dancing, playing sports with your kids, riding a bike, swimming or anything else that gets you up and moving.

These are some tips to get you started on the road to getting healthy.  Check back next week for more ideas.