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How to start losing weight

Start of simple, just by taking a 15 minute walk three days a week. © iStockphoto.com/Michael Krinke Start of simple, just by taking a 15 minute walk three days a week. © iStockphoto.com/Michael Krinke

By Kelly Gray 

You know you have to lose weight.  You know you need to start being active.  You want to set a good example for your kids.  So what is holding you back? 

Getting started on anything new can be a daunting task and when you want to change your whole lifestyle, it can be downright overwhelming.  Where do you start?  What do you do?  The choices of gadgets and food fads are never ending.  There are videos, pills, machines, all kinds of things that promise to make you thin. 

Relax.  It isn't a race.  Nothing will make you fit in a day.  But there are some basics you can start with that will get you headed in the right direction.

KNOW THIS: Rome wasn't built in a day.  It takes time to build up endurance.  All those extra pounds you have been carrying around didn't appear overnight.  Chances are, it took years and it will require some time to take it off.  Don't be disappointed if it takes a while.  Start slowly.  Don't try to run a marathon straight away.  Don't even bother with a 5K.  Go outside and walk for 15 minutes, three times a week.  No equipment necessary, just you and your shoes.  Can't fit a whole 15 minutes at once?  Make it three five minute walks.  It all adds up.  Then the next week, make it 20 minutes a day.

KNOW THIS: Everything counts.  Be aware of everything you put into your body.  Diet fads and trends come and go.  Some are healthy and some are not.  One method is known to always provide results though – take in less and use up more.  Lower your overall consumption.  If counting calories, fat grams and such overwhelms you, just eat less.  Leave something on your plate.  Don't get seconds.  Don't shove that chocolate bar in your mouth and say you'll start your diet tomorrow.  Even if you've been eating junk food all day, that last candy bar still counts.  Don't eat it.

KNOW THIS: There are tons of resources for beginners.  Use them.  Use the internet and fitness magazines.  Go to a gym and take a free tour and let them know you don't have a clue; they will be nice and informative.   Recruit a friend to get started with you.  That way, you'll have a support system and you'll be able to figure things out together.

Remember, there are no magic pills or potions that will fix you in a day.  This is your health we are talking about; don't you think you are worth investing some time?  Start small, take it slow.  Gradual - as opposed to rapid - weight loss will keep the pounds off in the long run.  Make tiny changes throughout the day. Take this new lifestyle one step at a time and you will certainly reach your destination.

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