As you’re working to reach your weight lossgoal or transitioning to maintaining your healthy weight, incorporate NEAT (Non-Exercise Thermogenesis Activity) to help burn extra calories in the process. In fact, the Habits of Health Transformational System encourages you to start practicing healthy motion simply by walking.

Walking is especially powerful because it’s sustainable, safe, and accessible regardless of your fitness level or age. You don’t need any special equipment and you can do it almost anywhere—on the treadmill, at the park, or around your neighborhood.

Here are some tips to consider to take your walk to the next level, which may help bring you even closer to your fitness goals:

  • Pick up the pace. Push yourself to complete your typical routine at a slightly faster pace. If it usually takes you 15 minutes to complete your routine, try to do it in 14 minutes. By making a conscious effort to pick up your pace, you’ll challenge yourself and elevate your heart rate at the same time.
  • Pump your arms. Did you know you can also get an upper body workout from walking? Pump your arms up and down as you walk to build stronger muscles in your back, shoulders, and arms.
  • Use your core. Your core muscles help you maintain good posture and resist slouching. Engage your abdomen by tightening your stomach muscles and straightening your back while you walk.
  • Add some weight. There are several different ways to add weight to your walk. Try ankle or wrist weights, a backpack with weights, or weighted vest. You can also walk with dumbbells for increased muscle definition in your arms.
  • Make it social. Invite a friend or family member to take a walk with you. While you’re burning calories, you’re also building and nurturing these social bonds.

Don’t underestimate the power behind a good walk! Next time you go for a stroll, consider your goals and adjust your routine to optimize your walk.

Ask me, your OPTAVIA Coach, about other ways to enhance your healthy motion on your journey to Lifelong Transformation, One Healthy Habit at a Time.

Healthy Eating for Life

If you are transitioning from the weight loss phase to weight maintenance, you may be thinking about increasing your healthy motion and adding exercise*. With some patience, consistency, and a little sweat, fitness will soon be a regular part of your schedule.

Remember, if you’re not ready to transition to EAT, focus on NEAT activities such as walking, taking steps, and moving to music.

Here are some tips for introducing exercise, or EAT (Exercise Activity Thermogenesis) into your routine:

  • Assess your fitness level. Just like achieving a healthy weight, in order to know where you’re going, you need to know where you’re starting. First, consult with your healthcare provider to determine what kind of exercise is best. If you’re brand new to exercise, record how long it takes you to walk a mile and check your pulse before and after. These measurements are the benchmarks for improvement.
  • Consider your goals. Are you exercising to maintain your current weight or are you preparing to run a marathon? Having clear goals will help gauge your progress and stay motivated.
  • Start slowly. Since you are just introducing or reintroducing exercise into your routine, it’s very important to start slowly and to listen to your body carefully. Stop if you experience any signs of pain or discomfort and contact your healthcare provider. Incorporate rest between sessions to allow your body time to recover.
  • Make it a routine. You already have your alarms set to remind you when to eat. Now, add a new alarm for your exercise routine. Try exercising around the same time every day so this repeated behavior becomes a healthy habit.
  • Make it fun. The easiest way to continually exercise is to make it fun! Exercise with a friend or find activities you enjoy and add them to your routine. Try taking a new fitness class that interests you like yoga or kickboxing. Not only will you have fun, but you could make new friends in the process!

Ask me, your OPTAVIA Coach, for other tips to introduce EAT on your journey to Lifelong Transformation, One Healthy Habit at a Time®.

* Contact your healthcare provider prior to starting an exercise program.

Ever Wonder…..How Do Some People Do That?

While physical fitness is a major component of optimal health, a healthy mind is critical for managing stress and overall wellbeing. Strengthening our mindset also contributes to our health in other areas. In fact, the more you help your mind, the more you help your body and vice versa. Here are some tips for achieving a happier and healthier mind:

  • Practice meditation. Meditation and mindfulness can benefit your health and wellbeing by training your mind to observe your thoughts as they come and go. Just like physical exercise, there are many different forms of meditation so find what works best for you! If you don’t like the idea of sitting still, try mindful walking. Simply pay attention to your steps and what is going on around you as you’re moving.
  • Have a healthy sleep routine. Quality sleep can increase cognition, concentration, and productivity.  Having a healthy sleep routine helps prepares you to start the next day with an optimal state of mind. Aim to get between seven to nine hours of sleep each night and make sure your bedroom is a healthy sleep environment.
  • Surround yourself with like-minded people. Having people around you that listen and understand what you’re going through can. Reach out to a friend, loved one, or the OPTAVIA Community to share your goals, obstacles, and successes.
  • Find a passion project. Take some time to figure out what your passions are and use them as a creative outlet. Pursuing your passion can give you creative energy and helps you tap into your inner motivation and drive.

Ask me, your OPTAVIA Coach, about other ways to build a healthy mind on your journey to Lifelong Transformation, One Healthy Habit at a Time®.


As you’re working to reach a healthy weight, it would seem natural that eating fruit and exercising would help you reach your goal. However, this is not the case during the weight-loss phase (Phase I) on Plan. In Element 12, Dr. A addresses why prohibiting fruit and limiting exercise are important during this phase although it seems counterintuitive.

  • No fruit. A lot of fruits have a high-glycemic index and are high in carbohydrates. This can actually take you out of the fat burning state. Fruit will be reintroduced after the weight-loss phase as it does help in maintaining your healthy weight and is a major component of healthy eating.
  • No (or reduced) exercise. When your body enters the fat burning state, it switches fuel sources and is not accustomed to using fat as its main energy source. Over a few weeks, your body will adjust and you can add more activity to increase your healthy motion.

In addition to the tips above, use this checklist to success while you are in Phase I of weight loss:

  • Use Your LifeBook. Your LifeBook is filled with tips to support your transformation and create success! Use the tracking sheets and exercises to track your progress to optimal health.
  • Use the Habits of Health App. New modifications have made this tool more streamlined with refreshed language! Now, you can easily adjust your weight management and time logs in your profile. Download now from the App Store or Google Play.
  • Eat every two – three hours. Eating every two – three hours allows for carbohydrates and protein to be spaced evenly throughout the day. Your body is able to better regulate blood sugar levels and support weight loss when you have maintain a regular meal schedule. Plan your five Fuelings and Lean & Green meal for the following day in advance so you’re ready to go.
  • Get plenty of rest. During the first few days of the fat burning stage, you may feel a little tired as your body is adjusting. Make sure you are practicing healthy sleep habits such as getting at least seven hours of sleep in a comfortable environment.
  • Drink water.* Drinking at least 64 oz. of water each day keeps you hydrated and contributes to weight loss. Opting for water instead of other beverages reduces calorie and sugar intake.
  • Use your support system. Reach out to me, your OPTAVIA Coach, or the OPTAVIA Community for a little extra motivation! Having a support circle can help keep your goals and accountability in perspective.

In Element 13—tracking your journey to a healthy weight and beyond—we’ll focus on making small, simple improvements one day at a time.

Still need to order your NEW Habits of Health® Transformational System? Let’s connect today!

*We recommend drinking 64 ounces of plain water each day. Talk with your healthcare provider prior to changing the amount of water you drink as it can affect levels of certain medications.

Join this week’s Habits of Health® Webinar, Your LifeBook—Element 12: Optimizing your success in reaching a healthy weight on Wednesday, October 30th  at 8:30 p.m. ET/7:30 p.m. CT/5:30 p.m. PT, hosted by Independent OPTAVIA® Coach Jared Smithson.
Please click the link below to join the webinar:

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You Are What You Eat…Choose Wisely!

You Are What You Eat…Choose Wisely!

In the Habits of Health® Transformational System, clearing your pantry is one of the first suggestions Dr. A makes when creating your leptogenic world (Element 07). Cooking healthy Lean & Green meals and choosing Fuelings at home is much easier if your kitchen is stocked with healthy options.

We know that reaching your health goals starts with making smart choices at the grocery store so we wanted to share tips for optimizing your surroundings and making healthy decisions at the market and at home:

  • Start fresh. To eliminate unhealthy options and make room for all your healthy foods, begin by clearing your pantry, freezer, and refrigerator. Get rid of white bread, refined cereals, processed foods, and junk food.
  • Plan ahead. Think about all of the meals you need to prepare during the next week and the ingredients you’ll need to purchase prior to going to the store. You can even save time while you’re in the store by grouping your ingredients that are in the same aisle or department. Preparing in advance will keep you on track and will prevent you from buying items that are unhealthy or unnecessary.
  • Fuel first. It’s important to avoid going to the grocery store while hungry. Eat a Fueling to avoid making unhealthy decisions and keep a bottle of water nearby in case you have a craving.
  • Shop the perimeter. The outer aisles of the grocery store are where you’ll find the freshest and least processed foods, like leafy green vegetables and lean proteins. Avoid the center aisles which contain processed and high-calorie items.
  • Shop seasonal. When vegetables are in season, they are often more abundant and budget friendly.  Broccoli, kale, and cucumbers are a few options that are especially in season during the fall.

Remember, when in doubt, use Stop. Challenge. Choose. If we take a step back and become more mindful of the situation, we are more likely to make decisions that align with our health goals.

Ask me, your OPTAVIA Coach, for other tips to optimize your surroundings on your journey to Lifelong Transformation, One Healthy Habit at a Time®.