What type of foods should I eat, and exercises should I do? I want to lose 50 lbs. safely. I’m 5’7″ and weigh 203 lbs. and I want to reduce my BMI. How can I stay motivated to workout consistently and hard?

– Kristy M.


Since your height and weight don’t tell me anything about who you are, it’s difficult to say what foods you should eat. There are several approaches to weight loss. One is to start with what you already eat and reduce portions, say by 25%. Another is to calorie count and track your intake. You could also go vegetarian. But realistically, the plan you choose should match up with how you live and what you believe about food. I mean, telling you to cook steel cut oats if you dash out the door in 10 minutes each morning is a set-up for failure! I can say that nearly everyone could stand to eat more wholesome, unprocessed ‘clean’ plant-based foods and avoid fried food, candy, junk food, and soda.

I’d encourage you to work through our 90 Day Nutrition Plan to a Leaner You, laid out over three parts. #MoveMoreBurnMore

Motivation comes from within, but a repeating few mantras or sayings can help keep you focused:

  • Don’t shoot for perfection, just better or more than current.
  • “The only bad workout is the one that didn’t happen.”
  • Each bout of exercise brings you closer to your goal – sooner.

As far as working out hard, know that it takes a change to create a change – push yourself out of your comfort zone so your body is forced to adapt.

– Debbie J., MS, RD

This article should not replace any exercise program or restrictions, any dietary supplements or restrictions, or any other medical recommendations from your primary care physician. Before starting any exercise program or diet, make sure it is approved by your doctor.

Some questions have been edited for length and/or clarity.

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