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As part of National Nutrition Month, we are helping to spread some of the "be healthy" tips that we share in our clinic.

If you have ever tried to lose weight, or just be healthier, you know that it can be rather difficult. It is always harder if those around you aren't actively participating in the same plan. So, our number one advise is get someone else on board with your plan. Following a new diet, or exercise, plan is always easier if you've got someone that will help you stick to it.

Number 2. Don't make drastic changes. Change is difficult for most people, and changing too much at once just sets us up for failure. You'll want to take a day off sooner. You'll want to cheat on yourself. Make your changes more subtle. Take out a food you know you should eat less, but one at a time. If you remove too many of the things you like all at once, the temptation to go back becomes greater too. Don't set yourself a ludicrous workout schedule that you'll never be able to maintain. Instead, gradually increase to your goal.

Number 3. Make it fun. Here's where a partner in health can come in handy. Workouts are usually more fun if you can have someone to talk with, and maybe even have some friendly competition with to keep you going. Also, make foods you enjoy to eat, but make them with healthier options and, if needed, eat less of them. If you're in love with pastas, like I am, use whole wheat or some of the rice noodle options. Use real butter, not fake, use olive oil not vegetable oil, baked not fried foods. If you have to add salt, use sea salt or potassium salts, and use sparingly.

Lastly, have an end goal and several intermediate and more practical goals for health or weight loss. Give yourself enough time to reach your goals. At our clinic we advise our patients to set a goal of 1 lb. per week as a weight loss goal. If it's healthier foods, it's one healthy food substitute for one poor food choice per week.

These pieces of advise help our patients set up a gradual path to success, and they tend to stick with it more often than those that try to change too quickly. Just remember that good health takes time, food isn't good or bad but too much is too much, and a good plan should include gradual and easy goals to reach.

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