5 Tips for a Successful Weight Loss Journey

Trainer Chris Powell shares tips for your personal weight-loss journey.

August 6, 2010, 1:20 PM

Aug. 6, 2010 — -- At a whopping 630 lbs, 24-year-old David Smith literally was eating himself to death. Doctors told the Phoenix native to lose the weight or that he would only have about four years to live.

After a lot of soul searching, Smith decided to shape up. With the help of a fitness trainer named Chris Powell, he lost an astounding 401 pounds naturally.

Smith's dramatic weight loss and their story of friendship have garnered worldwide attention. From television appearances in the United States and abroad, to an online fitness program called Reshape the Nation, the duo are on a mission to transform the lives of others. Powell has put together tips for those contemplating or starting their own weight-loss journey.

CLICK HERE to see photos of David Smith's amazing transformation.

David Smith and I put together our best tips for long-lasting weight-loss success. It is a long and sometimes bumpy journey to successful weight loss, but it's one that is both rewarding and physically satisfying. Our motto is that it is about the journey, not the destination.

Of all the advice David and I have given over the years on diet and fitness, these five tips are at the top of our list as being the most effective on your journey to reshaping yourself:

1. Create an Environment for Success

Willpower is overrated when it comes to those certain foods that you just can't say "no" to. If it is in your house, you're going to eat it, period. To be successful in any nutrition program, you need to remove "reward" foods from your house, workplace and hiding spots. Don't worry, you can always have them on your reward day. But in order to succeed, you need to get them out of the house. Let's create an environment for success!

2. Start Moving

Movement of any kind will help you along your journey. Whether you're on your feet all day or you sit in a cubicle for 40 hours a week, a lifestyle of movement is equally important to your long-term health! Walking alone has been proven to be one of the most effective ways to optimize fat-burning. There should be no secret as to why the most incredible weight loss success stories have been accomplished through good nutrition and walking. Let's reshape ourselves, get out there and move!

More Tips for a Successful Weight Loss Journey

3. Set the Pattern

When starting a journey with a transformation goal, we must strive for "results by design," and set a pattern for success. Create a routine! Fortunately, this isn't rocket science. We need a structured and patterned nutrition program and light exercise. With a routine structure designed to meet your goal, you can troubleshoot any obstacle you encounter. Plateau? No problem. Adjust the pattern and you'll easily break through the plateau. Knowing that you can and will have continued success as long as you keep some structure ... that is priceless and lasting!

4. Hydration

Water may be the easiest, yet most overlooked weight loss tool. While everyone knows drinking water is essential for survival, what they don't know is only slightly less important is consistently drinking the right amount of water. Water is essential to our wellness and to our weight-loss success. Did you know water consumption can even affect our metabolic rates? Because when we don't drink enough water our livers have to work overtime to help compensate for our water-deprived kidneys.

It's easy to forget to drink water, so I prefer to carry around a gallon of water to keep me accountable to my hydration. But carrying a quart or the smaller 16-ounce bottles is fine! To stay hydrated, I like to use the 10-gulp rule: When the water touches my lips, I have to take 10 gulps before I put it down. It is surprising at how quickly it fills you up!

5. Stay the Course

On our journey there will be obstacles:

Stay the course!

By the time we reach our destination, our course will not have been a straight line, but if we stay the course, it won't matter! With a good support system; family, friends, community, and co-workers, we can stay the course!

For more weight loss tips and strategies, visit David Smith and Chris Powell's website, Reshape the Nation.

CLICK HERE to see photos of David Smith's amazing transformation.

ABC News Live

ABC News Live

24/7 coverage of breaking news and live events