If you are out of shape and overweight, then I DARE you to take this challenge.

This is not a diet. It is a slow change of lifestyle. There is no 30, 60, or 90 day program that is going to help you lose weight. And even if it did, you’ll gain it all back after the program if you don’t change your LIFESTYLE.  So do yourself a favor and stop paying for special drinks, shakes, and other crap that people are selling (unless you plan to drink those shakes and eat out of those bags for the rest of your life). 

Seriously, if you’ll just make these 7 simple changes to your food intake you will see all kinds of improvements and dramatic changes to your body. It won’t happen next week, or even in 30-60-90 days, but it will happen…eventually.  Everyone is looking for an easy weightless program, and there is NOT one. Weight GAIN is easy, that’s how you got here. But weight LOSS is difficult. And it’s going to take some work to turn your life around. This is NOT easy, but you can do it.

These are the first 7 things I did to start regaining control over my eating habits. I literally just started with #1, and I didn’t move on to the next steps until I had been consistent with the previous steps. It took me around 4 months to hit all 7 of these goals consistently. How long will it take you?

#1 – Drink Black Coffee. You might say, “But I don’t like black coffee.” And I would say, of course not. If you liked it, you wouldn’t put sugar and creamer in it. Its not going to taste great, but its your only option. Either learn to like it black or stop drinking it all together. This is your first test of self discipline. If you can’t find the strength and determination to do this simple step, then you don’t have the discipline to go all the way. Figure it out. Make it happen. You got this.

#2 – Order Water Only. Do you realize that if you get 2 refills of soda/tea at lunch, thats the equivalent of about 500 calories and 100+ grams of sugar? And that doesn’t include what you are drinking the rest of the day. Just so you know, thats WAY too much. You are over doing it. You need to scale back on the sodas, and one way to do that is to simply commit to ordering water when you go out to eat. For now, drink sodas at other times, but just not when out to eat. When you can discipline yourself to do this, then you can move on to #3.

#3 – Eat Half. This sounds easier than it is. But for me, this was and still is the most difficult. If you are out to eat, split a plate with your spouse, or ask for a to go container and save half your food till later. If you are at home, use the smaller plates instead of the big ones. Whatever you do, only eat half of what you normally eat in one sitting. This might make you hungry again in a couple of hours, and you can just eat the other half of your meal then.

*If you have gotten to this point, then you are now consuming LESS THAN 2/3 of the calories you were eating before. That’s HUGE! Now that we’ve cut calories, let’s make healthy choices.

#4 – Eat Colors. Fruits & Vegetables. Challenge yourself to eat snacks throughout the day that are colorful, and to make sure half of your plate is colorful. Develop a taste for color, and you’ll be on your way to step number 5.

#5 – Eat Fruit (instead of drinking fruit juice). A common misconception people have is that juice is healthy. It’s not. It’s usually packed full of sugar and contains just as much sugar as a soft drink. IF you drink juice, limit it to about 4oz per day.  Eat as much fruit as you want though. 

#6 – Don’t Eat out of bags or boxes. Period. No exceptions. If you make one exception, you’ll find a way to make 10. This is very challenging, but important. You don’t realize how much processed food from a bag or box is going into your system until you try to cut it out. Then you’ll realize “oh crap, I eat a lot of junk.”

#7 – No bread, No Soda/Sweet Tea, No Sugar, at all. After you have been consistent with 1-6, give this one a shot for 1 month. I’m not saying you should cut this stuff out of your life forever, but if you can do #7 for 1 month, then you will have established control and self discipline over your eating habits and decisions.

I hope you’ll give this a shot. Don’t try all 7 of these at the same time, or you’ll fail. Start with #1, do that for a while. Then add #2. After a few weeks of doing both 1&2, then add #3. And so on, until you’ve added all 7 components. 

This won’t be easy. But it will slowly change your life.

Trust the process. Honor the Commitment. Celebrate the results.