How does she do it?  We are talking about that skinny little soccer mom who balances work, three kids, soccer practice, and STILL manages to maintain a rocking body.  Many Americans struggle with or have struggled with their body images.  For many, the age-old excuse has been: "I just don't have time."  In reality, most people cannot afford a personal trainer or Weight Watchers.  They do not have time to spend an hour at the gym five days a week.  The excellent news is that they do not have to!  In fact, there are many lifestyle changes that can be made to help you shed pounds and stay healthy.  The exciting news is: They do not require too much time out of your day.

1. Activity is beneficial, even just a little.  Some are better than none.  Do you have fifteen minutes a day?  Thirty minutes? If you can handle upping the intensity of your workout, then that is even better!  A short intense workout can have just as many weight loss benefits as long duration moderate workouts.  In other words, an intense thirty minutes of exercise can be equal to a less intense 60 minutes.  You can even break it up into smaller intervals, which includes, doing ten minutes in the morning and ten minutes in the evening.

2. Workout at home.  The time it takes to get ready for the gym, drive to the gym, workout, shower, and drive home can seem like a daunting task.  There's also the simple fact that many people do not like the gym, whether it is a dislike for working out in front of other people or of boring fitness equipment.  Get creative at home!  One of the best ways to do this is to make yourself a conditioning circuit right in front of your TV.  Pick four or five exercises.  Do each one for one minute before moving to the next one.  Repeat this circuit 4-5 times.  Leave it at that, or do another circuit if you are feeling ambitious. Another helpful tip is to blast music or watch your favorite show, this is a great way to have fun and burn calories.

3.  Drink more water.  The best way to do this is to carry a water bottle around with you.  Sip on it slowly throughout the day.  Drink a glass right away in the morning when you wake up to help kick-start your metabolism.

4. Cut the sugar and refined carbohydrates. Weight watchers and other successful diet plans follow the low glycemic index.  Low Glycemic index is equal to a low carbohydrate intake, specifically the "bad/simple carbs." As a result, this is one of the most effective and healthy types of diets.  It also doesn't restrict you too much on how much you can eat, just on what you eat.  It is a good idea to avoid "white" carbs.  Sugars, white breads, and French fries fall under this category.  Replace these with whole grains, vegetables, and fruits.  However, fruits and grains should also be somewhat limited.  Eat lots of veggies, beans, and lean proteins.  Focus on this the most, because if you fill up on the healthy stuff, you will not be as tempted towards the unhealthy stuff.  It is also okay to cheat sometimes.  Just make sure you are eating right MOST of the time!

5. Ditch the lunch break cafe. Pack your own!  You have much more control on what you are putting into your body if you pack your own food to bring to work. Nevertheless, this might take up ten minutes of your evening or morning, but you are saving yourself a trip and the money to eat out.  See number four if you are unsure on what to pack.

Stop settling for being unhappy with yourself!  If you know that it is time to make a change, then you owe it to yourself to take the next step.  Following these tips is a great way to start.  Start small, and gradually work for more and more.  Remember, you can do anything you set your mind to!