Four Steps to Starting a Healthier Lifestyle

For long term weight loss, losing one pound per week is healthy. This weight loss comes with lowering food intake and living an active lifestyle, without completely eliminating a food group from a person’s diet. This is losing weight in a sensible manner. Fad diets that promote losing five pounds in five days are not healthy.

Depending on a person’s height, weight, and body mass index (BMI), results vary. It is advised to let go of the scale and let clothing and measurements be a foundation for weight loss results. On a proper diet and exercise regimen, results are likely to be seen in two weeks.

To start a weight loss program or new diet and exercise program, it is important to set your goals.

1. Set food goal: choose a calorie intake that is moderate and doesn’t leave you starving. Between 1200-1800 calories a day for women is often suggested. In addition, going below 1200 calories can put the body into starvation mode. Cutting sugars and salt are two easy steps in the beginning. As your diet progresses, consider reducing starchy foods, which is hard since they are our favorite foods. You can do it!

2. Set an exercise goal: Maybe getting a handle on your eating is more important and the exercise comes later. Set a small goal in the beginning, like walking for ten minutes, three times a day; or attending 1-2 aerobics classes per week. As the regimen goes forward, exercise 3-5 times a week to keep that metabolism guessing.

3. Commit: Committing could be the hardest step. But understanding that this is a lifestyle change, can help put it all into perspective that long term change doesn’t happen in a month. With determination and motivation, permanent change can happen.

4. Support: Find support for motivation. Support can be found at the gym, in a group of friends and family; any way it happens, support can increase success and results.

Starting a journey to better health is hard, but worth it. You will be surprised at how little time it takes to create new, healthier habits. Can you set aside two weeks dedicated to yourself and your new lifestyle? If you can, I encourage you to do so at fitness spas or a retreat that blocks out any outside demands (work, school, children). Changing life long habits is hard and won’t happen at the snap of two fingers. However, taking time to focus on solely you can help kick start a healthy lifestyle.