Losing weight and getting healthy is about more than just what you eat. To get healthy for a lifetime, we need to change our relationship with food and with ourselves.

When we change the focus to getting healthy instead of losing weight, we learn to really nourish ourselves both inside and out. When we are happy, healthy and eating real wholesome nutritious food, the pounds gradually disappear without a lot of struggle. It's amazing.

Here are some of my favorite healthy weight loss tips...

1. Stock a Healthy Pantry
When the foods that support you are readily available, life is much less stressful and it is easier to make healthy choices.

2. Get Moving
A healthy life includes movement so we need to find ways to incorporate exercise and movement into our lives. Even a 10-minute walk can help to clear your mind, boost your mood, and get your circulation going. What do you enjoy and how can we make it part of your healthy life every day?

3. Eat Your Fruits and Vegetables
Mom and Grandma were right! Every day more studies confirm the healing powers locked within these colorful, flavorful foods. Always be on the lookout for ways to sneak more of them into your diet. Fruit with high fiber whole grain cereal or vegetables with your eggs are two healthy ways to start the day.

4. Drink Green Tea and Plenty of Water
Green Tea is full of antioxidants. Drink several cups a day-hot or cold-and make sure you are drinking enough of water too. This helps with both digestion and elimination.

5. Take Your Vitamins
Is your body starved for nutrients? In a perfect world you would get all the nutrients you need from your diet. However, studies show that very few people do. So unless you are one of the few, a high quality multivitamin is your best insurance policy.

6. Get Plenty of Rest
The power of rest and self-care cannot be underestimated. When we take care of ourselves and indulge in self-care, we reduce stress. This leads to decreased stress hormones and improved metabolism, which are critical for overall health and healthy weight loss. Just sitting quietly and breathing for five to fifteen minutes a day can be very rejuvenating and restorative.

7. Learn to Distinguish Emotional and Physical Hunger
It is important to be able to distinguish between physical hunger and emotional hunger. Many of us eat for emotional, rather than physical, reasons. To learn to manage our health and weight for life, we must be able to make this differentiation and learn other techniques for coping with our emotions.

8. Clear the Clutter
One of my main healthy weight loss tips for you is to reduce or eliminate soda, refined sugars, and overly processed foods. Following this approach can be an important step on the path to improved health. These 'noisy' foods provide empty calories devoid of nutrition. We want to make room for foods that provide lots of nourishment and reduce those that don't.

9. Focus on Health and Happiness
To be healthy and happy and at our optimal weight requires more than just eating certain foods. We need a happy, healthy life that includes family and friends who support healthy social connections, satisfying work, comfort able surroundings, balance, joy, fun, and us. What makes you happy and where do you need to insert more happiness into your life?

10. Learn the Difference Between Healthy vs. Non-Healthy Fats
Not all fats are created equal. Fats are a necessary nutritional component, along with carbohydrates and proteins. They have taken a bad rap over the past couple of decades. Some fats, like saturated fats and trans fats should be avoided because they are unhealthy and contribute to heart disease. However, healthy fats like those found in olive oil, nuts and avocados, are important to optimal health.

11. Slow Down
It takes time and commitment to replace unhealthy behaviors with healthy ones. When we are over-scheduled and over-committed, it is hard to find the time required to incorporate healthy behaviors into our lives. We must free up some time and energy if we hope to transform our behaviors.

12. Develop Quick, Easy, and Simple Healthy Eating Strategies
There are lots of things we can do to streamline the process of eating healthy. Make it as simple as possible. It only takes a few minutes to boil a pot of hard boiled eggs, toss ingredients for a vegetable soup into the crock pot, or make a big batch of brown rice. With these healthy foods readily available, a healthy breakfast, lunch, dinner, or snack is only minutes away.

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