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It's not about how to lose weight but rather how to commit to a healthy lifestye.

Updated on February 8, 2010

Simply put a healthy weight requires an attitude towards a healthy lifestyle. Motivation and energy is key for the discipline required to regularly eat less and exercise more. I don't consider this dieting as I don't necessarily deny myself anything but rather maintain the "everything in moderation rule" when it comes to eating. I try to reduce the intake of processed food and increase foods that provide some nutritional benefit. I recognize that there are exceptions to every rule and that some people struggle with health issues resulting in weight gain. As I do not claim to be a health professional I am not addressing those concerns here.

Most of us already know how to lose weight. Mostly it comes down to - everything in moderation and get moving (a little motivation is also very helpful). The difficulty is maintaining the weight loss and committing to a healthy lifestyle. It does take a little discipline for a lifestyle change. This means recognizing and breaking unhealthy eating habits. It also means finding the time and energy for regular exercise. Give yourself a break. Don't set yourself up to fail with unrealistic immediate expectations. Go for small, achievable changes in your life for long term rewarding results.

Energy, energy, energy.

For the energy needed each day, start with a positive attitude and breakfast. Add water and, if you can, a little sunshine. I’m serious –

  1. Be positive. If you are a person who likes quotes as I do, maybe start your day reading a favorite quote posted on the fridge. Or take a moment to write a short inspirational note to yourself. Each day is a chance at a fresh start; don’t beat yourself up over yesterday. Today is the present, a gift to enjoy.
  2. Never skip breakfast. It kick starts your metabolism (like starting the car up in the morning), keeps your body from going into starvation mode and storing fat, and provides healthy nutrients for energy. Why wouldn’t you have breakfast every morning?
  3. Drink water. It keeps you hydrated which is necessary for that much needed energy. It also makes you feel full allowing you time to think before you eat.  Drinking too much water with meals can cause some people to have acid reflux.  Allow 30 min. before or after meals.
  4. Get some rays. If you can, get just ten minutes of sunshine daily, even simply sitting by a window during a break in the day. Of course, a walk would be better as it would include exercise. Not only does a little sunshine just make you feel good but the vitamin D soaked up will also give you energy.

A Set Goal

If you have already set a goal weight to reach and have your mind set to getting there within a certain amount of time than I say go for it and go hard. Walk, run, play, exercise - just move.  Get off that couch or move away from the computer and start moving and don’t stop. You will feel extraordinary; body, mind and soul. Doesn’t everybody say that if you work hard, you can achieve anything? The emphasis here is “work hard”. The great thing is that once you have achieved this goal you will have renewed energy and a well deserved high for life.

Start Small

Not everyone, however, is able to set such high standards because frankly, some of us just don’t have it in us. But, starting small is better than not starting at all. So I repeat myself, get off the couch and step away from the computer for even just short periods of time. Get moving. There is no magic exercise, the trick is to find something that you enjoy doing so that you will want to continue doing it regularly. Change it up now and then, play music or wear a nice exercise outfit. Slowly incorporate exercise into each day. It could be as simple as taking the stairs instead of the elevator or eat lunch at your desk then go for a walk on your lunch break. And again, drink water to stay hydrated and give you that full feeling allowing you time to think before you nibble.

I recognized early on that once I reached a certain age, I think it was around thirty, that I was no longer able to have two helpings of food like I could in my youth. So I made a lifestyle commitment to cut back on my portion size. The other thing I noticed was that as I was busy with my job and family, I no longer exercised regularly. So I made a conscious decision to make exercise a personal priority and fit it into my routine schedule.

I have never been one for the gym. I prefer to walk, swim or play frisbee (surprisingly good exercise). I also do a quick ten minutes of stretches, crunches and pilate exercises in the morning and then spend some time on the elliptical later in the evening. I find this is a very simple routine for me to incorporate regular exercise into my life.

Eat real food.

You already know that regular exercise and eating healthy go hand in hand in order to maintain a healthy lifestyle. Eat more real food than that processed crap. It may take a little more time to prepare and cook real food but aren’t you worth the time and effort.

Tips to your success.

  • Take baby steps. Commit to at least starting with small steps to introduce exercise into each week, working up to each day. Start small so you don’t get burnt out and quit. Then add more as you develop a routine.
  • Keep it simple. Plan a routine achievable by you, knowing yourself and your limitations.
  • Make it fun. Choose exercise that you enjoy doing. It doesn’t matter how you work exercise into your day whether it is walking, sports, games or the gym. You are more likely to do it if you enjoy it. Perhaps involve a partner for further motivation.
  • Reduce your portion size. Try drinking a glass of water before your meal. Stop eating when you are full. Limit yourself to only one serving. If you are successful at this during meal time then maybe you can indulge in a little of your spouse’s evening snack.
  • Eat healthy. You know what healthy is; more fruit and greens, less soda and meat. Don’t fall into the habit of fast food. Cooking can be easy, fun and quick. Challenge yourself; try to introduce some new family favorites into your home this year.

One final note – as I mentioned earlier, each day is a chance at a fresh start; don’t beat yourself up over yesterday.  Today is the present, a gift to enjoy.

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    • BkCreative profile image

      BkCreative 7 years ago from Brooklyn, New York City

      Yes, yes, yes! Eat real food. Unfortunately with all the processed food here in the US we have fell for this calorie counting nonsense - but are still eating the unnatural 'foods.' It's all about nutrition. When we lived on real food we never had to count calories.

      We will have to make a commitment to good health - thanks!

    • uliveulearn profile image
      Author

      uliveulearn 7 years ago from Canada

      Thank you BkCreative for your enthusiastic comment. I so agree on the calorie counting nonsense. We have to take the blinders off to the dangers of processed food. Eat well; be well.

    • nadiaazhar profile image

      nadiaazhar 7 years ago from kuwait

      ahhh.....maintaing wait is so difficult,i'm regualr in working out,but if i skip for 2 weeks i always put on few pounds.i dont believe in skipping meals...i'm a fruit eater, as a kid i used to hate apples,but now i've developed the habbit of intaking fruits n nuts!

      just to add a little,my nutritionist has adviced me not to drink water in between and alomst half an hour after a meal.

      thanks your hub is a good reminder:)

      best regards,nadia

    • uliveulearn profile image
      Author

      uliveulearn 7 years ago from Canada

      In my opinion skipping meals is never good and lack of exercise always shows up in one way or another. I am surprised your nutritionist would advise against water at any time. What would be the harm in hydrating? Thanks very much for stopping by and commenting.

    • nadiaazhar profile image

      nadiaazhar 7 years ago from kuwait

      The reason that I know to avoid drinking water with meals and after 30 mins is because of how the digestive system works. When you eat food your body produces acid to break down the food. Having water mixed in with the food makes it harder for the acid to break down the food, therefor, the body produce MORE acid. if you are always drinking water with your meals the body will think that it needs to produce more acid when it really doesn't. this can lead to acid reflux/heartburn.

    • hypnodude profile image

      Andrea 7 years ago from Italy

      Thanks for the link, much appreciated and linked back. :) You have some very good points. Especially the one on sunshine, which is one that since I begun hubbing I easily forget. Human beings are made for sunlight and not artificial light, and the same goes for air. I liked this hub, easy to read and with plenty of good informations. :)

    • Micky Dee profile image

      Micky Dee 7 years ago

      Thanks for working with the Vets. I do count calories. I do eat well though. A lot of people would say that I'm silly to "be on a diet" but I am. It's really a change in life-style, but it's a life time diet. Our food is definitely "compromised". Few of us in industrialized nations lack food, we lack nutrients. Fried foods alter cells, food is picked green and sent in plastic- gassed to ripen in shipment, etc. Greens are the best source for calcium, etc. I try to eat well and supplements are needed too. Spirulina is good for a supplement. I have a lot of fruit smoothies. I use mostly frozen fruit as a lot of fresh goes bad too quickly. We're too far from our food sources.

      I try to exercise every day for at least 32 minutes. I bicycle so some days I exercise for hours at a time. But the first 32 minutes is the optimum time for burning calories. After 32 minutes your body becomes more proficient at burning calories. The body will burn them much slower after that 32 minutes. So there are a lot of "tricks" to learn. I'm still learning.

      But you are so right on every part of the hub. Thank you Uliveulearn for a great hub.

    • uliveulearn profile image
      Author

      uliveulearn 7 years ago from Canada

      Nadiaazhar, that was news to me so I checked it out further and confirmed that this can be the case for some people. Particularly if they are prone to digestive issues. It seems it is best to drink (a little) water 30 min. before or 30 min. after a meal. I will make this edit to my hub. Thanks for enlightening me.

    • uliveulearn profile image
      Author

      uliveulearn 7 years ago from Canada

      Isn't that the truth hynodude. I can relate to the addiction of hubpages. I sometimes have to force myself to get outside for a walk and a little much needed sunshine but when I do it feel so good. Thanks for the link back.

    • uliveulearn profile image
      Author

      uliveulearn 7 years ago from Canada

      Sounds like you got it together Mickey Dee. Don't look at a healthy lifestyle as a diet. I have never been on a diet and I don't really deny myself anything but rather always go by the rule "everything in moderation". Lately, I am really making more of a conscious effort to reduce the processed food and increase the nutrient rich food. Thanks for the comment and the good input. I think the biggest "trick" is to never stop learning.

    • Anamika S profile image

      Anamika S 7 years ago from Mumbai - Maharashtra, India

      Great Points! You have said it all. Majority of people get discouraged when they do not see immediate results. They should learn to take baby steps like you have suggested.

    • uliveulearn profile image
      Author

      uliveulearn 7 years ago from Canada

      You are so right Anamika S. It is hard not to get discouraged at times. Small changes are easier to make and every little bit helps long term. Thanks so much for stopping by and commenting.

    • heart4theword profile image

      heart4theword 7 years ago from hub

      Well written hub, very encouraging. Simple steps to follow:) Committment is everything, once the committment is made the actions will follow:) Awesome Hub!

    • yyn1221 profile image

      yyn1221 6 years ago from China

      A lot of people would say that I'm silly to "be on a diet" but I am. It's really a change in life-style, but it's a life time diet. Our food is definitely "compromised". Few of us in industrialized nations lack food, we lack nutrients. Fried foods alter cells, food is picked green and sent in plastic- gassed to ripen in shipment, etc. Greens are the best source for calcium, etc. I try to eat well and supplements are needed too. Spirulina is good for a supplement. I have a lot of fruit smoothies. I use mostly frozen fruit as a lot of fresh goes bad too quickly. We're too far from our food sources.

    • yyn1221 profile image

      yyn1221 6 years ago from China

      A lot of people would say that I'm silly to "be on a diet" but I am. It's really a change in life-style, but it's a life time diet. Our food is definitely "compromised". Few of us in industrialized nations lack food, we lack nutrients. Fried foods alter cells, food is picked green and sent in plastic- gassed to ripen in shipment, etc. Greens are the best source for calcium, etc. I try to eat well and supplements are needed too. Spirulina is good for a supplement. I have a lot of fruit smoothies. I use mostly frozen fruit as a lot of fresh goes bad too quickly. We're too far from our food sources.

    • uliveulearn profile image
      Author

      uliveulearn 6 years ago from Canada

      I think it is more likely to be a long commitment when viewed as a positive life-style change rather than a "diet" and you are so right we should all try to eat seasonal fresh local produce when possible. Thanks for the comment and good luck.

    • Cheeky Girl profile image

      Cassandra Mantis 6 years ago from UK and Nerujenia

      Staying active and being active is good for us and we have a positive outlook on life more so. I avoid processed foods. I have no tin cans of anything in my home, no.t even for the cat. I refuse to give my partner any processed muck that the malls sell. We either eat out or we cook it fresh ourselves. Diet can be less commitment, and almost more a mindset in a way. Like taking a walk. An enjoyable exercise habit.

      I now lots of women who think dieting is a torture and form of punishment, there is so much social negativity to diets and dieting. This is a good hub.

    • Neil Sperling profile image

      Neil Sperling 6 years ago from Port Dover Ontario Canada

      staying active is first --- but re-activating after too long a time being lazy is where I am at... LOL. Reading this is timely for me. Baby steps is where i am at today as I am only 3 weeks into re-activating myself physically (ouch)........ but I remember the days of 90 minute runs every day ( in my late 20's) ..... seems like life times ago...... (now mid 50's....LOL but still courageous enough to admit it.)

      Baby steps eh! .... Whaaaaa!

      Voted up!

    • profile image

      Quietest Moments 6 years ago

      Great hub U !!. .. as for me, I do have a good diet plan but the thing I lack and need more of is simple exercise, such as walking.. argh.. I love walking and tend to do more in the summer months, as my body/arthritis does not like the winter months.. lol.. Age plays such a big factor in weight management. it takes much more effort at 45 years of age than it did at 25 years of age to loose that lil ole 10 nagging pounds.. lol..

      Have a great christmas and not too much egg nog eh.. ;)

    • Micky Dee profile image

      Micky Dee 6 years ago

      Your hubs are worth multiple visits! God bless!

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