Have you decided it’s time to lose weight and get healthy? That’s great! But making sure you are setting yourself up for success rather than failure is just as important as deciding to make a change. Developing healthy exercise and eating habits needs to be a way of life, that’s why many people refer to it as a lifestyle change rather than a diet. If you want to be successful in dropping the number of pounds you have set in your goals, it’s important to maintain it as well. Setting up a plan of attack is one way to move yourself towards weight loss success.

Where to Start?

By plan of attack, we mean what efforts will you have to make to shift your lifestyle towards a healthier way of eating and a successful way of losing weight? Start by sitting down and planning things out. If you are beginning a new diet, plan your grocery list. Look at your schedule and decide what time of day would be best to fit in your exercise routing. Much of your success depends on your attitude, so being in the right state of mind to begin is important as well.

Planning a Healthy Diet

If you are used to eating a certain way, it might be hard to shift your habits at first. But remember, consistency is the key. And as you see results, it will bring you a greater motivation to continue. Be sure you watch what you eat. You may even want to keep a food journal. Hydration is important for weight loss success, so be sure you are drinking water frequently. If you have trouble sticking to plain water, add grapefruit, mint, cucumber, or lemon to your water to give it a bit of natural flavoring. And, map out your meals. Plan for a 1200 calorie goal each day mixed throughout breakfast, lunch, and dinner, along with a mid-afternoon snack. Here is a list of some great ideas for food recipes:

  • Breakfast (keep it under 300 calories)
    • Homemade oatmeal with apples
    • Spinach omelet
    • Yogurt parfait
    • Peanut butter and banana smoothie
    • Cottage cheese with melon
    • Breakfast burrito
  • Lunch (keep it under 400 calories)
    • Greek salad
    • Tuna wrap
    • Lentil salad pita
    • Spinach salad with strawberries
    • Bean burger with feta and spinach
    • Bean and guacamole burrito
    • Homemade soup
  • Snack (keep it under 100 calories)
    • Yogurt with honey
    • Pumpkin seeds
    • Edamame
    • Sourdough pretzels
    • Popcorn
  • Dinner (keep it under 400 calories)
    • Salmon with quinoa and broccoli
    • Zucchini noodles with tomato sauce
    • Beet burgers with garlic aioli
    • Fish tacos with corn and tomato salsa
    • Chicken with sautéed kale and pine nuts
    • Baked honey mustard chicken
    • Turkey meatballs
    • Baked cod with pineapple, avocado salsa
    • Grilled shrimp with vegetables

Add in Exercise

Now that you have planned a healthier way of eating, it’s time to get moving. Find a schedule that works for your life specifically. Exercise needs to become a habit. Like when you start out on your diet, keeping a journal might help you along the way. Find a mix of weight training and cardio to get the best results. And, if you need to stop in the beginning, make sure you do so, but keep moving around to keep your heart rate elevated. Here is an example of a one-hour exercise plan that can burn around 300 calories.

  • Warm up
    • Find a form of cardio to do for 5-15 minutes
    • Walking or jogging is a healthy way to get your heart rate up and get you ready to workout
  • Strength Training
    • Keep in mind weight training doesn’t necessarily mean lifting weights
    • We can use our own body weight to help us build muscles
    • Begin with 20 push-ups
    • Follow this with 20 walking lunges
    • Finish with a 20-30 second plank
    • Repeat these for 3 sets
  • Cardio
    • Aim to add in cardio for at least 45 minutes
    • Walk
    • Run
    • Use the elliptical
    • Ride the stationary bike
    • Climb the Stairmaster
  • Cool Down
    • It is important to end your workout with a cool down
    • This gives your heart rate a chance to come down at a steady rate

Following a beginner’s workout and diet plan like the one mentioned above is a great way to start your new lifestyle and lead you to weight loss success. Make sure you ask a professional if you have any questions. As you notice your progress, you will find more motivation to continue your new lifestyle and find the healthier you  have been waiting for.