A few years ago, my brother was facing open heart surgery for a genetic heart defect he had from birth. As he was very overweight, he called and asked what he could do to lose the weight and prepare for surgery.

He faced some limitations. First, he was not allowed to lift weights. He had to accomplish weight loss with dietary changes and mild cardiovascular exercise.

'One small change at a time…' This was my advice to my brother.

These small changes added up! My brother began adding fruit into his diet and replacing soda with purified water. He started juicing and using the treadmill. Before long, my brother had lost over 60 pounds!

After surgery, the doctor ran tests and found my brother Tom had the cleanest liver he had ever seen in a heart patient. Was he perfect? NO! He enjoyed treats. Yet he still made progress forward with his willingness to change what he could.

When my friends have come to me over the years for help with weight loss, one small change at a time still remains as the most effective tip for weight loss. (One of those small changes would be adding juicing to your daily routine, by the way!)

Here are 7 tips for making lasting changes toward better health:

  1. Start with one small change, and do it for 1 week before adding another.

    Start by drinking a glass of purified water or lemon water as soon as you wake up in the morning. A week later, add an apple or a piece of fruit to your morning routine. Replace a soft drink or sugary beverage with water, green tea, or fresh vegetable juice. Within a few short weeks, you'll have over half a dozen healthy habits that you don't even have to think about - they will just come naturally.

  2. Give yourself a little grace

    Forget perfection! Some of our life patterns began when we were little kids. We built our way of life slowly, over time. Expecting perfection from ourselves sets us up for discouragement and failure.

  3. Write it down!

    Keeping it visual keeps it vital. How do we know what we really want if we haven't spelled it out and kept it in front of us? When I was trying to lose weight and get fit in my 30's, I put motivational sayings on my refrigerator. Since that was the door I opened the most during the day, I found this to be very effective.

  4. Find a juicing buddy

    Having someone alongside you during the process can be very encouraging. However, I would add that motivation best comes from within yourself. If that friend falls off the wagon, don't go down with them! Find your own, personal reasons for change so that you are not affected by what is going on around you.

  5. Identify your biggest setbacks, and replace them with something positive

    Leaving an empty hole in your routine is a set up for failure. If every day at 2 or 3 pm you find yourself craving chips and soda, find a healthy replacement. Be armed at 1:45 pm and ready to fight back with a snack that will fuel your body and help you accomplish your goals!

  6. If you must have an unhealthy snack, make sure you have to leave the house to get it

    Keeping your biggest food temptations in your home or at your desk makes it that much easier to reach for it. If you have to get in your car to get it, you may change your mind on the way to the store!

  7. Keep plenty of healthy food in the house at all times

    Having fruits and vegetables in your refrigerator makes it that much easier to fire up the juicer in the morning. Keeping healthy snacks in the cabinet that you enjoy is preparation for success.

My Video on How to Change Your Healthy Habits

The difference 30 days can make...

Over and again, I am so surprised at what can happen in only 30 days! Feeling better, shedding unwanted pounds, and looking better can then serve as a catalyst to press forward. One day at a time, one step at a time in the right direction is a simple formula for lasting change.