They want to change their eating habits. They want to start working out. They have a general idea of why they want to do that: live longer, lose weight, look fabulous, have more energy and so on.
And then they talk themselves right out of it!
Either their wasn't specific enough information on exactly when to do what exercise, or when to eat what specific meal, or what kinds of foods you should combine, or that sounds like too much food or not enough food and so on.
For the love--Don't talk yourself out of a healthy lifestyle!!!! ALL OF THOSE ARE EXCUSES!!!
The bottom line is this: Eat healthy, real foods (real foods don't come through a window or out of a bag/box). Aim for 5 days per week of mixed exercises. Drink plenty of water. Supplement your nutrition appropriately.
That's pretty much it.
"But!!!" I hear you cry, "But do I do cardio, or yoga, or weights, or pilates, or yogalates, or Insanity, or use a personal trainer? And when I eat, do I eat according to my blood type, or low fat, or low carb, or Paleo, or according to an endo-ecto-mesomorph plan, or 500 calories a day? And do I weigh myself, or measure inches, or use calipers, or buy a $200+ body composition scale?"
The answer to those questions is...yes.
Ha! Now I've really got you trippin'!
You can do whatever kind of exercise you like. I myself, for example, love to run and lift weights. So, if my day allows it, I go on a 2 or 3 mile run (to some of you that's puny, to some of you that is a Herculean feat, to me that's what I have time for). If you like Yoga, do that! If you have a personal trainer, use them. If you used to like one thing but you got bored of it, FIND SOMETHING ELSE! It's the Age of Information, y'all--there IS something out there for you.
You can follow whatever realistic eating plan you want to--as long as it's real food (You know, fresh fruits and vegetables, the best meat you can afford, prepared in your home with healthy ingredients you add yourself. If you have no idea what real food is, open a new tab on your browser and fart around for a bit finding out--it's worth it). You cannot eat a fast food diet and be okay--you might take the buns off and have a chicken breast with a diet soda but consider this #rant: The "chicken breast" is made up of old, bacteria-laden mixed parts (bacteria laden because of antibiotic use in modern farming, mind you), then it was injected with a sugar/salt water mixture to make it moist and tasty (barf), then it was fried, then it was coated in liquid smoke to make you think it was grilled. You can re-name your diet soda chemical soup. You basically consumed a bunch of garbage that will release free radicals to zing around in your body, damaging otherwise perfectly happy cells, which (if you eat like that I'm guessing you don't care about supplementing vitamins too much) don't have the proper nutrients to then recover from the damage. You age your body every time you eat that junk. Cut it out! /#endrant
I think he says it best:
Drink your freakin' water too. Your body is over 90% water--you literally need it to live. If you get all of your water from carbonated crap, you're surviving but you're not thriving. When you drink your 8-10 glasses daily, your body releases toxins stored in your cells for your kidneys to deal with, which can often make you lose weight. Also, your cells release extra water they were HOARDING because they thought you lived in a desert, which often causes you to lose weight. Additionally, your molecular functions work properly when they have enough H2O to work with, giving you more energy. Oh, and you'll probably lose some weight.
On supplementation: The only reason I recommend it is because we've jacked up this planet so much our plants can't absorb the nutrients necessary for our optimal health. Some of us have seen the study on the peaches in the 50's versus the peaches now. Basically, we said screw composting, we'll concentrate on phosphorus/nitrogen balance in the soil only to make sure we can make more food to make more money. Do you think dirt is made up of 2 minerals? If you've gone through 10th grade chemistry, then you know it's incredibly more complicated than that. In addition to the declining nutritive value of our food because of crappy farming practices, we're now also genetically modifying it without enough testing to make sure that's okay to eat, spraying it with pesticides, covering it in salmonella, e.coli and MRSA--and recommending everyone eat more of it! The USDA recommends 7 to 9 servings of fruits and vegetables daily for men, and from 9 up to 13 servings per day for adolescent teenage boys. Don't get me wrong here: EAT YOUR FRUITS AND VEGGIES! Just be aware that what you put in your body might have unnatural issues, and to counteract that, you might need to add additional plant-derived nutrients. Examples would be antioxidants, because they fight free radicals to keep your cells happy, glyconutrients to keep your cells communicating properly and recovering from damage, enzymes to properly break down and use nutrients from the plants you eat and so forth. Another thing to supplement is protein if you--like me--don't get enough of it. I eat really healthy, but I am also busy, and if given the choice between stopping my life to cook up a bunch of meat because I forgot to on a Sunday (when I try to prepare it ahead, but seriously, I'm not perfect) OR eating chopped up raw broccoli and roasted red pepper hummus, guess what wins every time? The faster one! And while chickpeas in hummus are healthy and have protein, that's not enough to sustain my level of output during the day. Therefore, I supplement with a good, clean, real protein powder, and vitamin complexes derived from plants, and glyconutrients, and antioxidants and omega 3 essential fatty acids (they're necessary for a healthy brain, eyes and heart as well as a natural anti-inflammatory).
Sorry for the nutrition rant. I'm a little passionate about the care and keeping of the world and the human body.
Anyway, you can complicate your life as much as you want to, but you'll end up feeling like a failure and quitting. Don't do that. Don't give up on being healthy, or being able to see your feet when you look down, or running a mile, or living to be 130 years old and the world's top endurance knitter (I don't even know if that exists...yet...). Don't give up on your desires for a better, healthier lifestyle.
Just do it already.
Eat real foods. Aim for mixed exercises 5 times per week. Drink your water. Supplement appropriately.
Repeat, and enjoy a long, healthy, happy life.