1. Create a caloric deficit.

2. Take in less energy than you expend.

3. Eat less

4. Move more.

5. Eat protein, EFAs, lift heavy weights, do "cardio."

Getting started with a fitness plan is often the most difficult part. But when you make the decision to take those steps to lose weight, tone your body, or just feel healthy, you have made one of the most decisions of your life. Here are the first steps to get you started.

First, buy yourself a journal or a notebook to keep track of your workouts and everything you put into your mouth. Writing down all your foods is a great way to see just exactly what you are putting into your body and then you can see just what changes you need to make.

Second, set a specific goal. Are you hoping to get down to that size 6 pants or lose 10% body fat? Would you like to build up some muscle or just tone your body? Write it down and set a goal date. When you reach THAT goal, set another one!

Third, take your measurements: weight, chest, waist, hips, thighs, arms and whatever other body parts you would like to see changes to. This is the best way to measure what changes your body is making.

Fourth, take some pictures. You will want to look back and see where you started and how amazing you look in 3, 6, even 9 months from now!

Fifth, develop a plan of action. Plan your workouts and meals for the following week and act on them consistently. By planning them, you are more likely to follow through with them.

Stay with your current plan for at least 12 weeks, even if you do not see any changes happening. Changes will not happen overnight and the more patient you are, the happier you will be in the end!

Start keeping a log or a blog of your fitness goals and your training history. An example is the following Running Blog

Community content is available under CC-BY-SA unless otherwise noted.