Key #1: Drink half your body weight in ounces of water daily. Drink at least one glass before every meal. That should help you stave of overeating. As well, have it before eating because you don’t want to dilute those precious enzymes that help digest your food so well.

Key #2: Stop your emotional eating. Instead of reaching for that cookie or candy bar, ask yourself what’s eating you. Are you feeling stressed, pressured, hurt, depressed, anxious, or bored? Try not to stuff down your feelings. Only use food for what it’s meant to be used for—fuel for your body and mind and that’s it.

Key #3: Breakfast is Essential. So many of my clients tell me they feel and think so much better after eating a healthy breakfast. Sticking to this new habit is the key. Give your body and brain the energy it needs. In addition, eating a healthy breakfast curbs any tendency to overeat and you’ll be less susceptible to binge-eating later.

Key #4: Schedule time to eat. You need to get into a routine with your meals—plan for them and don’t skip any of the three meals you need. You may also want to include a snack or two in your daily eating regimen. You know, sometimes we really do need to learn how to eat and to eat “responsibly.” Make this a priority and it’ll become automatic, just like taking a shower, going to work, or brushing your teeth. Voila—a habit is born!

Key #5: Count to your age before you "cheat." I just heard about this trick recently. Sounds like a good idea. However, I don’t often use the word “cheat.” You aren’t cheating, you’re just experimenting. The word “cheat” implies rebellion, getting away with something, or being “bad.” No such thing. If you are balanced, you probably won’t even want the thing that’s staring at you anyway. If you see something you’d like to have, remember to take a big breath first and consider it, then have it if you like. You know you always have a choice. If you choose to indulge—enjoy and move on.

Key #6: Try not to feel defeated. Everyone has days that are a bit off. If you beat yourself up, you are more likely to continue your downward cycle. No judging, just observe that you have a craving. Knowing you have a choice is everything. You won’t feel trapped or fearful in the choices you do make. Be kind to yourself and know you can easily do better with your next meal. It’s okay.

Key #7: Remember to move. You really need to get on a regular schedule with your exercise as well. No whining, just do it. I know this may sound a little harsh coming from me as I tend to take a much gentler approach—usually. But you know you’ll feel so much better if you move. Of course, there may be some days you feel really tired—so miss that day.

I had that experience this past Saturday. I had worked a full week including Saturday. I provide Saturday appointments for many of my clients who are unable to see me on the weekdays. Anyway, I had also exercised four days during the week as well. Even though I felt that exercising, running on the treadmill for half an hour would be good for me, I felt resting would serve me better that day. That’s what I did and I felt zero guilt. I actually had some leeway because I had been working out most of the week and felt proud of that fact.

You need to get moving. You know you’ll feel better after. You know some days you may feel tired, so miss that day; however, get moving the next day. Make a commitment to yourself. Again, make this a habit. Don’t over think it, just give yourself this gift. I really got re-motivated after my oldest brother had a heart attack. You don’t have to wait until that happens to someone close to you. Just decide—your body and your peace of mind will thank you.

Key #8: Avoid processed foods. Always go with fresh foods as much as possible. They are loaded much more with the stuff that keeps you healthy. “Foods” found in bags, boxes or cans have been altered and highly processed, making them empty of the essential nutrients you need. Your snacks can be a smaller version of your meals. Remember to always have protein and carbohydrates together: humus and carrots, a piece of bacon and half an apple, almonds and grapes. Remember, if you can have only a square, try some dark chocolate as a little sweet snack—don’t expect it to tide you over if you are actually looking for substantial nutrition—it’s just a little taste that’s all.

Here’s to new healthy habits.

(c) Monika Klein, B.S., C.N.

Author's Bio: 

Monika Klein, B.S., C.N. is an award winning clinical nutritionist and weight loss expert. Monika is the "Compassionate and Practical Nutrition and Lifestyle Coach." Her company, Coaching For Health, offers life transforming weight loss and wellness programs, classes and products throughout the world. To learn more about Monika’s services and programs, visit