Little steps toward a healthy lifestyle are more effective than you might think!

Changing to a healthy lifestyle can be very rewarding; however, when you first start out it can be a very daunting, stressful and is a difficult task. When making the step to change to a healthy lifestyle, keep this in mind, SMALL STEPS!! As my horse trainer told my mom once during a riding lesson “small steps make big moves”. If you start changing everything right away, you will leave yourself feeling deprived and overwhelmed. Start out by changing from white flour to whole wheat. In the morning change your normal white toast to whole wheat. When this becomes comfortable, switch out your sandwich at lunch to whole wheat bread. Another great swap is switching out your daily soda for some yummy seltzer water. They make a million flavors (I may be exaggerating a bit here), so finding one that works for you is pretty easy. Once you've mastered this task, try just regular water. You can spruce it up with some lemon, lime or orange slices. Or try adding some of your favorite sugar-free, all natural fruit juice.

While trying to lose weight you hear about calories. Cut your calories, count your calories, keep track of your calories. Make sure that when you cut your calories you do it slowly. If you cut your calories to fast it sets you up for failure. You will feel hungry all the time and sluggish. Try cutting your calories slowly by cutting out 50 calories at a time from different meals. This will help make sure you stick to the amount of calories you are aiming for a still feel full and energized. You may be wondering, how the heck am I supposed to cut calories when I have no idea what/how much I eat? Solution, write down everything you eat for a day. This will give you an idea of how much you are consuming daily. If it works, you can try keeping a food log to see how much you eat in a week. A good way to limit food consumption is to watch your portion sizes. Read the label to see how much you are actually supposed to eat. This may surprise you! Portion food out & put away the rest to save yourself the temptation of “just one more.”

This one tip I personally LOVE!! Try adding a half of hour to your sleep schedule every night. One major setback while trying to lose weight and live a healthier life style is that many of us are sleep deprived. Being tired is the main reason many of us do not go to the gym. You can either go to bed a half hour earlier or you can sleep in a half hour, whatever works better for you and your schedule.

Remember, little mistakes are a part of life. If you make one, just relax & move on. You will do better in the future. For more information, you can always contact the Wayne County YMCA at (570) 253-2083. Or visit our website at!