More than 85% of weight loss diets fail. Research has shown that most people gain the weight back within a year or less. If you are going to make the commitment toward a healthy lifestyle, I want you to be successful for the long term. Do these two things before you start any weight loss program or diet plan.

1. Ditch the Bag

The number one strategy to not fail at your diet to start by removing (or limit) anything bagged or boxed in your diet. Most of these foods are located in the center of the grocery. Bagged or boxed foods are usually highly processed and high in sugar and calories. They often include artificial ingredients, refined carbohydrates, and saturated fats. These foods are not healthy for you. If eliminating boxed and bagged foods from your diet seems overwhelming, start with one meal or snack. Instead of the bag of pretzels, replace it with an apple or veggies and hummus. Try it and learn! How often are you reaching for or cooking with boxed and bagged foods? What time of day is hardest?

2. Get Sober Curious

It’s important to understand that your body puts alcohol calories first. Alcohol, whenever you drink it, is the first calories to burn. While that’s going on, your body will not be burning fat. It doesn’t mean your weight loss journey is completely halted, it’s delayed.

And alcohol contains empty calories. Your body isn’t using these calories for any value. Alcohol contains 7 calories per gram. That’s almost as much as carbohydrates and more than protein. So, you got these extra calories that are not doing your body any good. Not to mention, oftentimes, when we drink, we make bad food choices and consume even more calories.

Almost all diets have one thing in common: eating whole foods and cutting back on alcohol. So, before you start any diet (you fill in the blank), start here and see what results you get. If you commit to a specific diet or plan, at least you’ll truly know how effective it is. Who knows, just maybe you’ll choose the “behavior” diet and shift the habits that will allow you to see sustainable, long-term results.

Want to continue to build a healthy mindset around fitness? Check out this video on Fat to Fit- The Difference Maker. Need healthy recipes to get a jumpstart? Explore the recipe tab on my blog for a variety of options.