Are you discouraged by all the fad diets and get fit quick promises?  Have you fallen short on your New Year’s commitment to lose that extra 10 kilos you’ve been packing for the last several years?  Fear not, help is on the way.  Losing weight and staying fit does not happen by magic or overnight.  Don’t consider going on a diet or jumping into an extreme fitness regime.  Those promises don’t work and they certainly are not sustainable.  Tell yourself you’re embarking on a new lifestyle that’s healthy for mind and body.  Know that over eighty percent of weight loss happens through food choices. Exercise is important on many levels. Exercise increases our strength, mental health and metabolism.  Follow these tips from the experts to get started on a life-long adventure of healthy living. Your body and heart will thank you for years to come.

Set a goal that is healthy and attainable over a twelve week period.  This is your lift off point and when you’ve reached your goal, you begin the process of sustaining by maintaining the healthy habits you’ve developed over the lift off cycle.  Break your twelve week goal into weekly objectives. These are faster and easier objectives that come with motivating rewards.  Just picture yourself in a in a few short months!  That’s motivation for everyone.

The next step is to rid your pantry and refrigerator of unhealthy items. Take these items to a food pantry or donate them to a friend or neighbor.  The easiest way to stock up a healthy pantry and refrigerator is to purchase items that have not been processed and contain as few ingredients as possible. In other words, buy food as close to the way nature produced it as possible.  Limit fat and carbs to reasonable portions.  Consider a healthy portion for protein to be about half the size of your fist, vegetable portions to be twice the size of your fist and carbohydrate portions the size of your fist.  It’s a pretty easy and accurate rule to follow. Twice daily snacks should fit in the palm of your hand and be fresh foods only.  Plan to eat your largest meal in the morning, followed by a healthy lunch and very light dinner. Your metabolism drops as the day progresses and your food consumption should follow suit. Avoid carbohydrates after late afternoon.

Follow these steps and you’ll have reached your goal within a few short months. Good luck to you!