Summer is the perfect time to eat right, get fit and lose those extra pounds that are not only affecting the way you feel, but affecting your health.

When it comes to losing weight in a sustainable and healthy way it is important to have a clear understanding of how the body works and appropriate expectations the reflect both your health goals and normal physiology.

A healthy rate of weight loss that is generally applicable is 1-2 pounds per week. In reality this might be experienced as 4-8 pounds a month as our bodies often operate in cycles with more weight loss occurring at certain periods of the month.

The best way to lose weight over time safely and in a healthy manner is to change the way you eat. Notice that I did not say go on a diet. There are countless programs and diets that will result in weight loss, however, few lead to a lifetime of healthy living and weight management. Broadly speaking, eating more real foods is truly the only real secret. This takes some understanding and patience, but will ultimately be a journey of discovery of delicious and natural foods.

Next to eating, physical activity is the other primary piece of healthy weight management. There is no escaping that our bodies operate more efficiently and, in fact, rely on physical activity to function properly. In times past physical activity was inherently incorporated into our daily lives. Our challenge today is that often we have to create these opportunities ourselves. So get up and get out there and get active!

Finally, remember the 80/20 rule. In the case of healthy living it is what we do the majority of the time that will determine our health. Be sure to give yourself room to celebrate and enjoy life.