Many young adults today are struggling with weight loss. They even coined the term “Freshman 15” to refer to the fifteen pounds that incoming freshmen tend to gain during their first year of college. The good news is that with the right eating and exercise habits, you can achieve your weight loss goals.

Being overweight or obese can lead to a range of health problems. Although many different “fad” diets are available, focus on building healthy eating and exercise habits that will help you keep the weight off long-term. Here are 5 tips to help you lose weight and build healthy habits that will last a lifetime:

#1: Stay Away From Fad Diets

Most people that start a fad diet or begin fasting struggle to stick with it for a prolonged period. They don’t work simply because we need to be able to continue the changes we make for the rest of our lives. Fad diets and fasting are also short-term solutions that are dangerous and should be avoided.

The truth is the side effects to fasting outweigh any of its benefits. Instead, to achieve your fitness goals you should focus on building healthy habits and making your meals balanced and nutritious. You also want to develop a regular exercise routine that includes both strength training and cardio.

#2: Change Your Environment

Our habits drive our lives and there are a millions things that we do every day without thinking. From walking to the store to brushing our teeth, our habits are all part of our daily routine. What you do every day ultimately forms the person that you are. Your life is essentially the sum of all your habits.

Changing your habits and losing weight is a difficult but achievable goal, if you set yourself up for success. However, trying to commit to a drastic change and relying on your willpower alone will not work. The trick to building new healthy habits is to change the environment that is around you.

#3: Use MyPlate as Your Guide

What you eat will impact your health and quality of life for many years to come. The amount of food you eat also affects every aspect of your well-being including risk of disease, self-esteem, academic performance, and energy. In 2011, the USDA designed MyPlate not just for kids, but for adults too.

MyPlate makes eating easy to visualize and apply to everyday life. You can learn to how to use it by focusing on these five simple tips: 1) Make half your plate fruits and vegetables, 2) Drink water instead of soda, 3) Make half of your grains whole, 4) Go lean with protein, and 5) Try more healthy snacks.

#4: Focus on 3 Pillars of Health

Habits are actions and behaviors that we perform subconsciously and they are very difficult to break. Studies show that the habits that we develop early and are formed in childhood related to eating and exercise carry over into adulthood. And once poor health habits emerge they tend to be long lasting.

For example, research has indicated that 97% of people who lose weight regain it again within 5 years. Yes, our habits are really that hard to change! That is why if you want to develop good habits that are associated with a longer and healthier life the key is to focus on the 3 pillars of a healthy lifestyle.

#5: Join a Free Support Group

It takes hard work and motivation to lose weight! The good news is that you do not have to do it alone. We are building a community of inspiring and like-minded individuals who genuinely care about you. We specialize in weight loss and created a group designed with YOU in mind to offer our free support.

Our free support group will answer any questions you have about nutrition, fitness, and health. Most importantly you will get all the support you need to achieve your weight loss goals. We promise to be there for you every step of the way and have over 16 years of experience helping people lose weight.

We Want to Help Your Family

Live in Charlotte or surrounding area? Our program combines personalized nutrition, group support, and unlimited exercise classes to give kids and teens (ages 8-18) the tools they need to build healthy habits that will last a lifetime. Let us help your family get fit and schedule your free class today.

You are also invited to check out our blog for more great articles, stories, and tips on fitness, nutrition, and health. Also, don’t forget to join our support group so we can give you the guidance you need to achieve your goals. We are always here to help you and your family get fit. Thank you for being here!