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We often hear trainers and fitness enthusiasts say “you have to eat right in order to lose weight.” While the idea is simple the action is more complex.

In a recent Facebook post I asked what were some issues people faced when attempting to adopt healthier eating habits. Many responses were provided, but the top three answers were time, money, and the lack of knowledge. Although these are understandable and realistic reasons, they are not excusable. The health of today’s society is suffering and it’s time to take action especially in the African-American community.

Below are three tips to jump-start your health goals. By adopting and understanding these tips your health can improve tremendously.

Make It a Priority

A wise man once said “You shouldn’t schedule your priorities, you should schedule around your priorities.” In other words, you should schedule your top priorities first. Grocery shopping and meal prepping must become a priority. Create a list of healthy whole foods to prepare your meals for the week. Find an empty slot in your weekly or bi-weekly schedule to visit the grocery store and to prepare your food. One suggestion is to prepare a large amount of food at one time to and separate into small meals throughout the week. This reduces cooking time and also prevents eating at an unhealthy fast-food restaurant. Yes, there is an extra effort on your part, but your health is worth it.

Check Your Pockets

At the end the month when you review your bank statement I can almost guarantee majority of your spending has come from eating out. I’m not one to count other people’s pockets, but I’m sure you are willing to save a dollar if you could. One easy tactic that deemed very successful was to sum up all of the money spent eating out for that month, take 75% of that amount and use towards groceries. Eating healthier is may appear to be expensive but so is eating out 5-10 times a week. Save yourself a penny by budgeting for groceries and cooking. You can even freeze your food if necessary to savor it for a later time.

Use Your Resources

One excuse that never gets old is “I don’t know what to eat, or how to meal prep”. My answer to that is as long as it is fresh, authentic, and doesn’t come out of a box, then it is good to eat. Choosing healthy foods is not as hard as people make it but it does require sacrifice. Yes, there will be moments in which our favorite unhealthy foods might win but don’t lose the fight. Refocus and readjust. Also, continue to educate yourself and invest in a personal trainer. Such professionals will not only assist with fitness goals but also with meal plans.

Remember changes won’t occur overnight, but start by adopting the tips above and continue to grow from there.

T.J. McCord is a fitness trainer and performance enhancement specialist based out of Mobile, AL. He believes that there are no limitations on the human body when creating innovative programs for his clients. Be sure to visit for more information, programs, and tips. 

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