Nowadays, you turn on your TV to watch your favorite show and, if you haven’t noticed, basically every other commercial is about weight loss. You hear all of these “miracle” stories about how someone lost 50 pounds in one month. These commercials are not only misleading, but are also giving an unhealthy message.
If you want to lose weight, you do NOT need to buy any type of pill, or go on some extreme liquid diet. All you need to do is focus on is having healthy and balanced meals each day. It is less expensive, more rewarding, and 100 percent natural. Many people I talk with “start a diet” to begin eating healthy, but that’s also where many people fail. I don’t like using the word “diet” because it entails your only eating healthy for a specific time period. I prefer to use the word “lifestyle.” Simply switching out one word for another allows peoples mental attitudes to alter in a way that makes them think and know that their eating habits will be changing for good, not just for a month or two!

Like any new commitment, the hardest part is getting started. Obviously, the majority of us would take a cheeseburger over a salad any day, but there are small, yet significant, ways you can lose weight without all dreadfulness that you might think comes along with it. These easy and healthy tips will guide you exactly in the right path for a new, and healthy, lifestyle:

1. Eat within a half hour of waking up each morning. Whether it’s fruit salad or toast and eggs, getting food into your system first thing in the morning will allow you to burn maximal calories throughout the day.

2. Fruit, Fruit, Fruit! Especially in the summer, fruit is so sweet and refreshing that it is more enjoyable than a heavy chocolate bar in the middle of a beach day. You can have fruit with any meal as well. Explore the produce section, pick your favorites, and eat up!

3. No more whites. This might be the simplest switch that any person could make for healthier living. Anytime you go to order dinner, make a sandwich, or go grocery shopping make sure you grab whole wheat or multigrain breads/wraps/etc. Most restaurants today have whole-wheat options to make it that much more convenient too.

4. Keep it grilled. Any meal, sandwich, wrap, or salad that involves chicken within it; make sure it’s grilled. Plain and simple.

5. Explore burger options. Yes, it is summer and yes, it is prime BBQ season, but that doesn’t mean you can’t choose a healthy option. I was pretty reluctant making this change myself, but swapping out a beef burger for a turkey burger or veggie burger is nutritious and delicious.

6. Ditch the coffee. This one may be the hardest for some of you, but coffee entails nothing but lots of sugar and hard crashes. I dare you to try tea. Iced tea, hot tea, peppermint, lemon, citrus, anything and all of it. It is better for you, doesn’t make you crash, and gives you the same, if not more, energy than coffee does each morning.

7. For all of you with a sweet tooth. Next time you go out for ice cream, get frozen yogurt. My personal favorite is vanilla fro-yo with peanut-butter sauce and M&M’s. Not all healthy, but the elimination of ice cream does make a huge difference. Almost all custard stands and grocery stores have this option and, once you try it, you can’t even tell the difference.