Write down everything you eat from the moment you get up to the moment you get to bed, including snacks in between meals and after dinner. Also include water, tea, juices, sodas, alcohol, etc. The only way you will see where you need to make changes is by keeping a log of what you eat. Having a food journal has been proven time and time again to help people reach success. Maybe you’ll see that you had a bag of chips or a donut. These are empty calories that do not belong on your daily menu, especially if you’re looking to lose weight. The best way to give certain food items far from you is to begin cutting back. I’m not telling you to cut back cold-turkey. If you’re into donuts eat half of a donut. If you’re into chips pour some out into a small bowl. Replace sugary drinks with water. Cut back on the sugar you use in your coffee. And always read labels. Things that read “sugar free”, “fat-free”, etc. are not good for you. They are loaded with artificial ingredients and thickeners. Whenever possible go for the real deal. Have real butter instead of margarine. If you can’t believe it’s not butter that’s because it’s not! These items have to taste good one way or another at the expense of your body.

Accountability! Find someone to make yourself accountable to. Work out with a buddy. Go for a long walk and walk like you have somewhere to go! This is not a leisure walk because you’re on a mission to burn some serious calories which will in turn aid you in reducing inches and losing weight. Walking is something you can do if you’re out of shape. You can walk slow and then pick up the pace and then walk at your normal pace and then walk like you’re going to miss the your favorite show on tv because DVR hasn’t been invented! Alternate two minutes at a time. You’ll see that by doing this you’ll tax your cardiovascular system. You’ll feel amazing and best of all, if you do it with a buddy you will have both helped each other.

Exercise at least 30 minutes per day even if it’s in 5 or 10 minute intervals. If you’re out of shape this is the best way to get used to being active. Try to break a sweat and get yourself a resistance band and a set of light weights. Performing weight-bearing exercises increases your calorie burn to the max. You’ll burn calories even while you sleep! Did you know that your biggest muscles groups are in your legs? Squats, lunges, running, calve raises… the bigger the muscle, the more energy is required to repair them. This is how you maximize your workouts.

Hire a personal trainer to help you get started with the best exercises for your current fitness level. A trainer’s job is to make sure you exercise in the most safe and effective way possible. Your trainer will give you homework, some simple tips on better nutrition and will also show you how to use the machines at the gym. Your posture during the exercises is very important. In order to avoid injury you must be careful not to over-exert yourself or move in a way that can cause injury.