How To Start a New Weight Loss/Healthy Living Routine


Where do you start with weight loss/getting healthy? At the very beginning. That might sound like a totally obvious statement, but it is amazing how many people (including myself at one point) that when they decide to make that change, they get way too far ahead of themselves and pretty much set themselves up for failure.

If you have a lot of weight to lose, or just a lot of changes to make, then only focusing on the main goal and making all the changes at once is so daunting that you either won’t start it because you are scared or you will give up after a week or 2 because there is just 2 much going on. I think we have all been there in the past.

I understand that when you make that decision to make healthy changes, or that you want to lose weight, that there is a sense of urgency. The decision has been made, why can’t we just start seeing results already? Surely the quickest way to see results is to make as many changes as possible? Wrong! Too much too soon is the reason why so many people give up on their resolutions or quit new healthy eating plans too soon. They dive in head first with 6 workouts a week and 99% clean eating and then crash a week later. That kind of plan is fine for someone that is used to it and further along their journey, but for someone currently with a totally opposite routine, changing to that straight away is a shock to the system.

It might sound like I am trying to convince you to not do much at all, but it isn’t like that. I am saying take it one step at a time. Start walking before you can run – literally in this case, not just metaphorically, and you will be more likely to stick to it and reach your goals.

Okay, so now I have explained the importance of taking it slowly, here are some practical tips that you can apply in regards to starting out and making small changes. Remember, you don’t (and shouldn’t) have to make them all at the same time. Choose one or 2 to begin with and after a week or 2 of doing them, start adding more.

– Commit to drinking more water.

– Try one new workout a week.

– Walk more instead of getting the bus/driving.

– Plan your meals for the week

– Make your own lunch rather than buying it.

– Have a healthy breakfast.

– Get more sleep.

– Focus on real ingredients, rather than processed foods.

– Use smaller dishes and work on portion sizes.

– Cut back on fizzy drinks and fruit juices.

– Eat more fruit and vegetables.

– Keep a food diary

– Do some moves like squats, lunges and jumping jacks during the TV adverts

– Swap your sugary snacks for fruit


It is difficult to explain to someone that is just starting their new healthy way of life that you just have to take it slowly, as I truly do understand the feeling of just wanting to reach your goal. But this is not a sprint – it is a marathon. You will be sticking to this new healthy way of living for the rest of your life, so take your time making the changes so that your body and mind can adjust to it. Have you tried and given up so many times before? Was it because it just seemed like too much? Try taking it one change at a time and see how much better it feels.

Make sure you take a look at my posts on General Tips on Losing Weight and Getting Healthy and What I Would Say To Someone Just Starting Out. There is also lots of other weight loss/getting healthy tips in the Weight Loss section of the blog.

You can always email me (contact form section in the categories above) if you have any questions. I may have lost the weight I needed to, but I still remember what it felt like to be at the very start.

What small changes are you going to start making? Leave a comment below to let me know :)

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  1. Lisa says

    I’m trying to walk more and to take the stairs insted of the lift.
    Besides I have a food diary for 2 weeks and doing more workouts, but I have enough rests too.
    Thank you for all your posts!
    I’m so motivated at the moment and I really want to keep up this time.

  2. Cecelia says

    Last year I lost 20 lbs. I am very proud of myself for that. This year I am planning on getting heathy and preparing my body for a new baby. It seems so silly to try to loose weight before having a baby. But maybe this time with all the help from your blog I won’t gain as much. That’s my plan.

  3. Suzanne says

    With all the craziness of last year – moving house, new job, becoming an aunt – I really didn’t start making the changes I wanted to (and used all those things as an excuse…), but I’m ready to go now. Starting with drinking more water and taking a packed lunch to work with me. I’ll have the last laugh, vending machine!! Great post, thank you for all the inspiration :)

    • Dannii says

      You’re welcome. They sound like great places to start! Congrats on becoming an aunt – I became one 18 months ago :)

  4. Liz says

    I’m going to drink more water & cut down on alcohol. Then after a couple of weeks change something else. Thanks for the blog it makes sense.

  5. says

    I have been stuck on the same weight since 6 months. So would try a new workout weekly to see some changes.
    Thanks for heloing us always.

  6. says

    Such a great blog post, especially for those who committed themselves to a healthy living as a new year resolution (me!). I think taking it slowly is really important. I have been on “diets”, etc. so many times and I was making too many changes that my body and brain was not committed and ready to accept. I will follow your tips and start slowly this time, because I don’t want to fail again and I don’t want to be starting over again.

  7. Cheryl says

    I’m going to treat myself to a running watch so I can train harder :) thank you for this post :) love what you do on Facebook as well :)

  8. Bonnie says

    I am joining a new gym tonight. I am a little nervous, as I don’t know anyone there, but the people in reception seem friendly.

  9. Carolyn says

    Thank you for taking the time to write this Dannii. I think too many weight loss writers forget what it feeling like to not know where to start. They hand out all this advice which is fine for them that know what they are doing, but for us that are just starting out, we need a bit more of a step by step approach.

  10. Linda says

    My resolution this year was to take up a new sport. I have just bought myself and my husband tennis equipment so we can start playing. It will be a way for us to get fit and spend time together too.

  11. Natalie says

    I started today with making sure I am getting enough protein at breakfast, so that I am not hungry an hour later.

  12. Hannah says

    The first goal I have set myself is to go swimming 3 times a week. Is swimming enough of a workout, or should I be doing something else too?

  13. Catherine says

    Thank you for the simple post. I spent all of yesterday reading weight loss posts and they were all overly complicated. I am glad my friends shared this with me. I am new to your blog (this is the first post I have read), but I am going to take a look at the rest of your posts now.

  14. Mark says

    My first change is to walk my son too and from school every day. It is about all I can do at the moment with the size that I am, but it is better than nothing. Thanks for the tips.

  15. Jo says

    This first change I am making is to make dinner for my family every night. We have gotten in to the horrible habit of my husband bringing something back on his way home from work, putting a microwave meal in or just ordering pizza. I know I am damaging my families health by being too lazy to cook, so that has to change. I shall be using lots of your recipes.

  16. Jenny says

    Thanks for posting this. To be honest, I really didn’t know where to begin, as I have about 50lbs to lose. I still feel scared at how far I have to go, but I will take it slowly like you have suggested.

  17. Amy says

    I am so glad that I found your blog yesterday. As if I needed another reason to be thankful to Pinterest lol. I am starting my new routine today and I am going to stick to it this time!

  18. Hayley says

    Drinking more water is exactly what I am starting with. It is easy and I am hoping it will help with these sugar withdrawal headaches.

  19. Lizzie says

    Thank you for this. I am starting on Monday (new week and all that) and I was feeling overwhelmed by how much I have to change. You are right. I just need to make baby steps and I am going to start with a healthy breakfast, as I either skip it or get a McDonalds.