I get this question a lot working with people that are new to exercise and eating right as well as people that are lifelong exercisers — "Where do I start?”
This question is critical to get the client started but also very important on framing what their expectations are for what they can do or what they can achieve. Of course I want to tell them to ditch all their old bad habits and routines and start fresh with this “New Year, New You” type of thought process but that doesn’t typically work with most of us that have more than one or two bad habits to break or reverse.
This is what I tell them. It’s not so important where you start but just THAT you start. I have them pick something: a meal, a goal, a habit, and start there! Typically it is a diet or eating-related habit, so let’s take that example. I have them typically start with breakfast. Starting off the day right helps most people stay on track better throughout the day and sets the tone for the day. Start with a breakfast that has some carbs, some fat, and a good amount of protein to keep you full longer and avoid the mid-morning crash. An easy example would be your favorite protein shake, an egg or two, and a complex carb like whole wheat toast. This will start fueling your body for the day ahead.
Once breakfast is conquered, I move on to the night time and help them develop a strategy for what to do at dinner or post-dinner snack. I find that if you can bookend the day with good choices then the rest of the day has a much greater chance of falling into place for most people. This biggest thing I try to get across to my clients that are looking to lose weight or get healthy is that THEY need to make it happen. Nothing is going to fall from the sky and magically get them results. THEY need to start. Where or what isn’t the most important thing — STARTING is!