Once you start seeing the results of a healthy diet and exercise into your life, you become everyone's go-to health expert. I'm by no means an expert on health or exercise, but I have learned a few things along my own journey that I'd like to share.

Before I do, I want to note that I've been dieting and exercising since January 11, 2016. That's when I started Rejuv Medical's 'Biggest Loser' program. When I started the program, my goal was to lose about 30-35 pounds--the weight I had packed on in college and then some. I thought that the weight was just going to melt off immediately after I started my diet. That actually wasn't the case--and I'm still not at my goal. I've lost a total of 27 pounds.There's no magic pill or one piece of advise that anyone can give you to lose weight. You have to want to make a change in your life.

This is what I think you should know if you're just starting out on the first 30 days of a new diet;

  • Good things take time--You're not going to drop 20 pounds overnight, so stop thinking you will. (When I started my diet I thought I could lose one pound a day--that's simply not true or healthy). And, you shouldn't want to lose it all that fast either. If you want to keep the weight off for life, you need a lifestyle change, not a diet. Fad diets don't work. It's all about having a healthy balance.
  • It takes 30 days to develop a new habit--Just because you've been eating healthy for a week doesn't mean you're allowed a cheat meal. Anytime you take yourself outside of your comfort zone, it's going to feel strange and abnormal at first. There were so many times when I wanted to go grab ice cream because I'd eaten perfectly all week long. I thought I owed it to myself. You'll get used to eating healthy, I promise--but, you have to give it time and actually give it a real chance.
  • You don't need cheat meals--Learn to live without eating all of the crap for awhile. I say this because it'll train you to have discipline. You're not a dog, you don't need a treat--at least initially. I'm not saying you should never indulge yourself again, but I am saying that if you're trying to overcome a food addiction, you need to learn to be OK with living without it and teach yourself to say no even when it's hard. If you can develop discipline in this area of your life, you'll start to see an improvement in many other areas as well.
  • Don't compare yourself to anyone--You're unique. The person at the gym with the 6-pack abs is unique. You have no idea how long they've been working out or where they started out. Don't compare yourself to anyone. Given enough time and discipline, you can get the results you're looking for.
  • Get a health buddy--My fiance and I did the 'Biggest Loser' challenge together. It helped the both of us keep each other accountable and stay on track with our fitness goals. Having a support system helps tremendously--even if it meant that we both whined to each other about how badly we missed eating pizza. It was good to have someone to share in my misery. Get your family on board and do it together!
  • Eat your calories, don't drink them--Water is weight loss' best friend. Get yourself in the habit of packing a water bottle in your lunch bag and drink it as often as you can.
  • Think ahead/eat often--Always know where your next meal is coming from. If you know that you're going to be busy all day and don't have time to sit down to eat a proper lunch, then you should plan for that. Pack an apple, banana or protein bar for lunch on the go. Never just skip a meal, it'll slow down your metabolism.  Believe it or not, I'm usually never hungry on this diet. That's because every 2-3 hours I'm eating a snack. It curbs my appetite and I get full after eating smaller portions.

Nobody is perfect, and it's OK if you don't get everything exactly right all of the time. Good luck on your health persuit. Trust me, if you start today, in six months you'll thank yourself!