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Published:May 3rd, 2011 21:14 EST
A Healthy Lifestyle Starting Line

A Healthy Lifestyle Starting Line

By Nikki Savastone

 The idea of beginning a healthy lifestyle might seem like dusting off your sneakers and stepping to the starting line of a 10k marathon. You start off at a run and before you know it you`re 2 miles in and fading fast. Before you sneak off at the next rest tent think about slowing to a jog and following a few helpful hints.

1. There`s more than one type of running shoe, so try on a few pairs to see what`s most comfortable for you. Not all healthy eating plans involve giving up dairy, meat, sweets and wheat. The best plan for success is to figure out a training regimen. Perhaps the first step for you involves replacing a can of soda a day with water and switching the afternoon candy bar to one of the granola variety. Once you`re comfortable with that pace look at your other meals and see what needs improvement. Here are 10 ideas to get you started.

2. Even the nicest marathon course has a few potholes. One of the biggest mistakes I`ve found is trying to give up a favorite treat cold turkey. Sometimes a girl just needs some ice cream! So, it`s important to keep your head up and see those dips in the road coming. Try to keep a smaller sampling of your "gotta have it` treat on hand. This will lessen the temptation to rush to the grocery store and buy three different varieties of cookies in your weakest moment and will help develop a sense of portion control. Web sites like Cooking Light and Eating Well have a wealth of delicious recipes and support.

3. It takes fuel to reach the finish line. I`ll admit it; I didn`t eat breakfast for quite a few years. I`d have lunch, dinner and the dreaded nighttime snack attack and start over the next day. Until one day I decided to test if breakfast was the most important meal of the day. The first few days I was skeptical, but I decided not to give up at mile two this time. After several days, I noticed I didn`t feel like I was starving even after lunch and the 9 p.m. snack monster wasn`t nearly as ferocious. Starting the day with just a small bowl of cereal really did help me keep up my pace for the whole day.  And that was how I became a breakfast believer. Here`s a doctor`s reason too if you need a little more proof..

 You`ve had your water break, now get back to reaching your goal. Remember, a healthy lifestyle is just that, a lifestyle. Set a pace of yourself and develop a plan that can last beyond the first mile marker. And hey, it`s really OK to start with a 5k.