We’ve heard from so many folks that they want to lose weight but they aren’t sure where to start. The truth is that eating healthier doesn’t mean having to give up all the foods you love and only eat tofu! Here are five simple changes you can make that will really help you be healthier, lose weight and improve your blood sugar…

#1 Never drink a calorie! Avoiding soda, fruit juice, sweet tea and energy drinks is the most important things you can do to be healthier. A recent study showed that replacing just ONE soda with water each day reduced the risk of developing diabetes significantly… and if you have diabetes, sugary drinks will spike your blood sugar. For optimal health and healthy weight, drink water, unsweetened tea or coffee or seltzer water with lemon instead.

#2 Eat breakfast. It turns out that Mom was right… breakfast really IS the most important meal of the day. A recent study showed that in people with diabetes, skipping breakfast was associated with higher blood sugar values after both lunch and dinner and in general, research has shown that breakfast eaters tend to weigh less than breakfast skippers.

#3 Weigh yourself. Almost every person we’ve talked to who has successfully lost weight and kept it off weighs themselves regularly. Whether it’s every morning or every few days, weighing yourself and writing it down is a great way to keep your goal of weight loss top of mind and monitor your progress. Expect that the weight will fluctuate over time so you don’t need to stress over a single number– you’re just looking for the trend over time.

#4 Don’t deprive yourself. A Weight Watchers study of successful dieters showed that people who have lost weight and kept it off included treats for themselves in their meal plan. Trying to eliminate your favorite foods entirely just doesn’t work– plan a couple of your favorite treats into your week and ENJOY them completely.  For more about that, read this article about how to stay healthy with diabetes while still having dessert.

#5 Eat real food. To whatever degree, you can cut down on processed foods, your body and your blood sugar will thank you. For more on this, check out this wonderful article from Diabetes Daily— as Ginger points out, minimizing the breakfast bars, cans of soup and frozen dinners and trying to eat more whole fruits and vegetables, whole grains and meat will really improve your health and you’ll lose weight naturally.

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