Write down your goals and be specific.
Don't just say, "I want to lose weight." A good example may be to lose ten pounds by June 1st. When we write down our goals, they become more realistic and easier to achieve because they are more then just a random thought. Just like when you need to reach a new destination by car. If you don't have directions, you may never get there. Get a map and you will.
Write down what you are going to do to reach that goal.
An example is: "I will lift weights and do cardio four times each week, and eat more protein." Or "I will eat every three hours and include at least 25 grams of protein in each meal." Having a plan is like a map, and it will make your goal more attainable. Talk to a fitness expert at your gym or check out the goal setting section of Bodybuilding.com to learn more about how to reach your goals.
Take a "before" photo of yourself today!
This way you will be able to see exactly what you look like. Many of us don't want to have our photos taken, but we need to face our physical selves straight on. Keeping the camera hidden is not going to hide the weight, it may only make your situation worse.
Get your body composition done so you know your starting point.
Every six months, having your body composition done is very helpful. When we are trying to gain or lose weight, the scale is not the best way to track our progress. The results from a composition tells us what kind of weight we are gaining or losing, and what we are made of today. Visit http://www.gsu.edu/~wwwfit/bodycomp.html to learn more about different methods of testing.
Start reading fitness and bodybuilding magazines!
Better yet, reward yourself with a subscription. From reading magazines such as 'Muscle & Fitness', 'Oxygen', 'Muscle Mag', 'Flex' and 'Ironman', I have educated myself on how to eat for a hard lean body! The learning never stops and today I read each and every issue of Oxygen and often pick up the others.
Write down what you are eating and when.
This is important because you will learn what foods are causing you to gain or lose weight. When you are writing down your foods, it's much harder mentally to record three brownies, so you choose not to eat them. You will find yourself more conscious about each food choice you are making, and you will begin to make healthier meals.
Eat 5 - 6 small meals a day, one every three hours.
When we eat often our metabolism speeds up and we burn more calories at rest. We also think better, have less stress, and have more energy. Since our bodies can utilize only so many calories at one time, eating more often and in smaller portions is the ONLY way to eat.
Eat until you are no longer hungry, NOT until you are full.
There will always be another meal! Keep busy in between meals and find other ways besides food to spend your time.
Work up to drinking at least two liters of water a day.
One liter of water can be during your workout. At first you may find this hard, but your body WILL start to crave the water. Drinking water will help you feel refreshed, help relieve headaches, and curb your appetite. To living it up, add a squeeze of lemon.
Buy a nutritional almanac and read how many calories are in the foods you eat.
As we grew up, we were not taught about foods the way we should have been. We were not taught about calories and the effects certain calories have on our bodies. Now it's time for YOU to take charge and educate yourself. I suggest reading 'Nutrition Almanac' Third Edition by Lavon J. Dunne. This book, along with the information found in various bodybuilding and fitness magazines is your school. The bell is ringing, so lets get to class!