You can get fit and lose weight without putting yourself through torture or extreme discomfort. While some go through a grueling and nightmarish routine of eating foods they hate or starving themselves, you can improve your current health and shed extra pounds by following the 7 simple tips that we offer.

1. Build a sensible eating plan

Start each day with a healthy and nutritious breakfast. It is the most important meal of the day because you need fuel for your body to convert to the energy you will use throughout your waking hours. Eat a healthy lunch that is smaller than your breakfast and the smallest meal of the day should be dinner, because you won't need as many calories at the end of the day and when you are sleeping.

2. Avoid skipping meals

Do not skip meals because it will change your body metabolism and cause it to go into what is known as "starvation mode." When this happens, your body burns calories at a lower rate. Make sure that you get your 3 meals a day along with a few healthy snacks.

3. View food as fuel for the body (it can still taste good)

Proteins are important for giving your body the material to keep you healthy and strong. Lean meats, eggs, fish and legumes are excellent choices. You don't have to eat a bland diet or boil your meat, but grilled is preferable to fried. Use seasonings that are not high in fat or calories. Skip the cream or rich butter toppings on meats.A solid breakfast of eggs and a couple of lean sausages will help you to feel more satisfied. The goal is to cut calories so cut out the syrup and butter laden French toast and hotcakes to reduce caloric intake. Fresh fruits in limited quantities are good snacks. A handful of nuts will give you healthy fat and ease hunger. Fresh vegetables are also excellent choices. Asparagus is a good example of a zero-calorie food. In fact, when you don't add butter, it is even better because your body burns calories when it digests this food. You can still season your food and allow a teaspoon of salad dressing, but skip the croutons.

4. Limit your intake of carbs

Carbohydrates include starchy foods and sugars. Corn, bread products, potatoes and pasta should be eaten sparingly. You can allow yourself a little indulgence and still lose weight, but cut the serving amounts to extremely small portions, or for faster weight loss, replace them with your favorite lower calorie food such as veggies or lean proteins.

5. Build lean muscle mass

Increasing your daily exercise will help you to burn more calories. Weight loss is a simple equation. When you burn more calories than you take in, you lose weight. When you consume more calories than you burn, you gain. Studies have shown that people with higher levels of lean muscle mass have a higher rate of caloric burn so when you get fit and increase your muscle mass, you burn calories faster.

6. Allow occasional indulgences

You can still lose weight and allow yourself to enjoy the foods that you truly love now and then. If you're a lasagna fanatic, you can still enjoy the flavor, but just cut back on the portion. Eat your salad and enjoy a glass of water first, then eat a smaller amount to cut back on caloric intake. The same is true for any of your favorite foods as long as it is done in small amounts and sparingly. It will improve your morale and won't set you back unless you make a habit of doing this.

7. Be selective where you eat out

Some restaurants provide low calorie fares for their guests who are watching their weight. Before you order, check out some of the appealing dishes that are offered. You can still eat out and enjoy your food while losing weight. An excellent choice is

8. Limit or eliminate your intake of alcohol

Alcohol is quickly processed through your body's system and broken down into calories. Many people don't know this, but it converts to calories at a high rate, so when on a weight loss plan, cut it out totally or restrict your intake because just a few drinks can totally blow your numbers for the day.