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13 Healthyish People Discuss Lifestyle Changes That Actually Worked

For all of us who think an all-kale diet is too extreme: Making small lifestyle changes like how these people did might be the better way to go for you.

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1. "I started getting into the habit of not allowing myself to go home UNTIL I've had my workout."

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"If I let myself go home before hitting the gym, I'll never want to leave the house because TV-binging > working out. However, working out > work, so going to work out after work feels more like a treat than a punishment."

—Heather B.

2. "I stopped drinking soda and caffeine for three months."

"I realized I only wanted soda with a sloppy, greasy meal such as a burger and fries. I felt so much better drinking only water, and it even helped me avoid ordering greasy foods because I'd anticipate craving carbonation with it!"

—Dan T.

3. "I started making breakfast every day and actually sitting down and eating it at home."

"I focus on getting some protein in, and I almost always have the same thing (egg whites and a whole-wheat English muffin), so there's no real need to think about it. Starting the day with something filling and healthy really sets me up to make good food choices the rest of the day."

—Dana V.

5. "Writing down everything I'm going to eat the next day the day before really helped me think differently about food."

"Simply tracking calories after I eat can be tricky, but if I plan them out the day before when I'm thinking rationally, not impulsively, I am much better at limiting my intake."

–Hannah C.

6. "I started eating smaller meals more frequently."

"I stopped making bad choices and then overeating because I hadn't eaten for hours. It also meant I didn't crash after eating bigger portions, and I avoided getting 'hangry.'"

—Priya M.

7. "Training for a half marathon changed my life because I used to hate running, and now I can't stop running."

"It's been a great way to stay in shape, but it's also an amazing life hack to carve out some me-time. I usually listen to books on tape and feel hella productive, but sometimes I just bump Diana Ross and love everything. Whatever I do while I run, it's a win-win. I'm currently training for my third."

—Jen W.

8. "I started using My Fitness Pal (that app that makes you keep track of every single thing you eat in order to count calories)."

"I remember the first day I logged my calories, I had already hit my calorie allowance by 1 p.m. So I told myself to just use it for two straight weeks. It was exhausting, but it taught me to be super conscious of what I put in my mouth and to make better choices."

—Christine R.

9. "I joined a fitness program where they charge you if you miss a class."

"It got me to commit to working out, no excuses, and now I actually feel stronger even though I can't really SEE a change. Wave money in my face, and I'm so there."

—Tara P.

11. "I started adjusting my workouts so I don't associate the gym with a torture basement."

"Cardio was king, but I noticed that I'd skip workouts because the sheer thought of murdering myself on a treadmill for 45 minutes was too much. Lately, I've been using free weights rather than running myself ragged. I'm doing the 5x5 program (it's a free app that keeps track as you do the same essential exercises three times per week and add weight constantly), and I actually feel way stronger and fitter."

—Kristin R.

12. "I started pairing things I already needed to do with exercise."

"Like taking the dog out, for example. I have to do it anyway, so I might as well run while I'm doing it. It starts his day out better, it starts my day out better, and I kill two birds with one stone."

—Eric S.

13. "I stopped buying sugar cereals for breakfast and started eating Greek yogurt with some raw honey."

"I was noticing my anxiety was getting harder to manage, and my skin was looking rough for the first time in my life. So I cut out the junk and started to eat cleaner. I ditched the chips and cookies and got super into turkey jerky and veggie salads such as balela, tabbouleh, or just beets. Changing the type of food I buy has made me feel so much better, has made me look better, and proven to me that habits CAN be changed."

—Mandy C.

All images courtesy of Thinkstock.

See, you don't have to commit to an all-kale diet to turn your lifestyle around. Here's another lifestyle change you can use: Swap Jennie-O® Turkey into your meals, and you'll be on your way to a healthier lifestyle too.