The decision to lose weight and change your lifestyle is a huge decision. If it were easy, everyone would do it. Losing weight is a really simple process...consume less calories than you burn and, well, you know how it goes. But major weight loss, you know, the life changing kind comes from making the right decision every single day. It's about developing discipline. The only thing standing in your way is you. Here are the 13 things I wish I would have known when I started dieting that would have made the process easier.

1. You're not going to see results in a day, a week or maybe even two weeks. Trust the process.

2. Drinking more water is key. It took me way too long to realize that drinking tons of water throughout the day made me feel less hungry...you feel full and you eat less. That's a great recipe for weight loss.

3. Fake sugar is not good for you. I've seen so many "healthy" recipes online that promote using fake sugar as a substitute for the real stuff. It's bad for your body. I've read studies online where fake sugar makes you crave more sugar.

4. Know why you're losing the weight. If you're trying to lose weight to look hot when you're nude, have more energy to keep up with your kids or to impress that person at the office you've had your eye on, be real with yourself. I wanted to lose weight so that my clothes would fit better and I wouldn't hate every picture I'm in. Reminding myself of that feeling and being honest about it has helped keep me motivated.

5. Avoiding temptations doesn't make you a bad person. Now, you obviously need to be able to live your life and can't avoid everything all of the time...but, when you're battling an addiction, at least initially, avoid the things that could spiral you out of control until you get yourself in control. Tell your family that you're not eating birthday cake at your sister's party. You're not a bad person for not participating in things that could make you fall off the wagon.

6. Plan for your cheat meals. If you know you're going to dinner for your anniversary next week then check the menu in advance, eat super extra healthy all week, make a plan to get right back on track the next day. If you plan for something, then it's not cheating.

7. Stop drinking your calories. I used to love flavored coffee with lots of cream and sugar...but, wow. When I found out how many calories were in each cup, I realized I was drinking a full meal. I cut out the coffee and saw huge progress.

8. Get a rotation of easy and quick healthy recipes for your back pocket. I'm not great with the whole meal prep thing. That's why I have a few go to meals to make on nights where I'm super hungry and don't have time to cook an elaborate healthy meal.

9. Stash healthy snacks in your purse. If you don't have a purse, stash them in your car or your desk at work. This way, you'll be able to satisfy your hunger without running to the vending machine and making an unhealthy choice.

10. Eat when you're hungry. Diets, despite popular belief, are not about starving yourself. If  you're feeling hungry all of the time, then you're doing it wrong.

11. No one in the gym is looking at you. I used to fear going to the gym because I thought people were looking at me and judging me. Now that I regularly go, I realize that's not the case. No one cares what you're doing.

12. Be prepared to make a lasting change. Losing weight should be a major lifestyle change. It's not something you do in order to go back to the bad behaviors you're trying to overcome. If you do it right, you'll only have to do it once.

13. Stop focusing on where you're NOT and start focusing on your progress. The easiest way to lose motivation is to focus on the negative aspects of your weight loss. Who cares if Marsha at work has lost more weight than you in a faster amount of time. You are not Marsha. You should celebrate the progress you have made.

These are the 13 things I wish I would have known before I started my weight loss journey. I hope they help you on your journey to health and fitness.

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