- Start right away. Wishing and daydreaming about having a perfect body in time for summer is not going to get you any closer to your goal. So get started today. If it's been a while since you've been active, a simple walk or bike ride is a perfect place to start.
- Prioritize the changes you want to make. Then, tackle the easier ones first. If skipping breakfast is your problem, make a point to start the day with a healthy, protein-rich meal that will keep hunger away until lunch. Try some cottage cheese or yogurt with fruit; maybe a protein shake made with milk, protein powder and fresh fruit; or a simple egg white omelet.
- Take it slow and steady. Jumping into a fitness routine that is too difficult often backfires. If you take on too much, too soon, the resulting sore muscles — or even injury - may derail your plans. Aiming for 30 minutes of activity a day is a great starting point.
- Have a plan. In order for your body to change, your workout must change as you adapt to your new increased activity. As you get fitter and your workout seems easier, you can increase your intensity or duration to push your body to improve.
- Resist the temptation to weigh too often. Weight can fluctuate, so jumping on the scale every day may not be the best indicator of your progress. Rather than focusing on weight loss, pay attention to your other achievements — the ease of lifting more weights, improvements in your diet, or the inches you're losing around your waistline.
- Keep a log to stay motivated. Keeping track of what you eat and how much exercise you get is one of the key components to successful weight loss. And do it every day. Write it all down honestly, and give yourself a pat on the back when you're good. But don't beat yourself up when you're not. Tomorrow is another day.
Nutrition and fitness blogs can be read at www.discovergoodnutrition.com.