Weight Loss First Steps – Losing weight is not about dieting. Losing weight is about choosing a diet you can stick to. And when we say “diet” we don’t mean a calorie-counting two-week challenge, we mean a long-term way of cooking and eating.

Eventually, you will feel better eating the right stuff, but it takes time to train your body. DO NOT GIVE UP! It’s not about a quick fix. It’s about a long-term process of training your taste buds and learning new habits that become second nature over time.

It’s About a Healthy Lifestyle

The only way to lose weight and get exercise­­­ in a meaningful way that is going to stick is to work health and fitness into your lifestyle. That’s how we like to think of it. It’s a lifestyle, not a light switch.

You’ve got to break things down into little bits that you can do and you’ve got to make them fit into your actual life. Start by taking small, do-able steps:

Kick your Soda Habit

  • Cut out soda, juice, and sugary drinks. These are loaded with empty calories, burn up fast, leaving you craving more, don’t satisfy your body the way solid foods do and increase the risk of adult-onset diabetes. Who wants all that in their life?
  • Instead, try spritzers with ¼ juice and ¾ seltzer water or experiment with infused waters with sliced fruit or herbs. Orange, lemon, cucumber, watermelon, and mint are great places to start.
  • Tea or coffee (without added sugar) are good, low-cal beverages, as well. Experiment with different ideas, too. There are no rules, and your body needs a lot of liquid every day for peak performance.

Start with Walking

  • Try walking 30 minutes once or twice a week, just to start.
  • If that feels overwhelming, start with 15 minutes, and add five minutes every day or two until you reach 30.
  • Over time, you can add time or pick up the pace.
  • Getting to a 15-minute mile is a good goal.
  • In terms of burning fat, walking is a good choice, because you burn maximum fat at 60 to 70 percent of your maximum heart rate. That’s when you are breathing a bit hard and sweating a little, but you can still carry on a normal conversation.

Add Fruits and Vegetables

  • For starters, add one piece of fresh fruit to your daily routine.
  • Try eating a whole apple with peanut butter or even almond butter rather than chips for a snack. Or if you prefer carrots, they, too, are fabulous with peanut butter or hummus, if you’re into salty flavors more than sweet.
  • Go for the salad bar at lunch or at least pick the side salad rather than fries. And if you ask for dressing on the side, you cut out a lot of unnecessary calories and nasty soggy lettuce in one step.

Get a Partner or a Coach

It’s hard to go it alone when it comes to making major lifestyle changes. And over the course of a day, we burn through our resolve and start weakening. Seriously, it’s scientifically proven. The stuff runs out. Especially if we haven’t gotten enough sleep.

Instead of keeping it all to yourself, enlist the help of a friend or a spouse or a trainer. These are people who can help you stick to your goals and encourage you to stay motivated, even when you don’t feel like it.

Check out our highly trained Verge personal trainers here.

It’s About YOU

This is about the long term and focusing on yourself and getting your body and your energy level and your mood to where you are enjoying life and making the most of your time with family and friends.

It’s worth making it a focus, and it’s worth sticking with it for the long term. It can feel hard or overwhelming to start, but in the end, you’ll feel so much better, that honestly, you’ll WANT to stay the course.