1. Eat Natural, unprocessed, whole foods
2. Eat Fruit and vegetables at every meal
3. Eat until satisfied , not full
4. Stay hydrated
5. No booze or sugary treats
6. Eat protein with each meal
7. Earn your carbs
For more on the guidelines see this page: Healthy LifeStyle Rules
Use the 90% rule
Stick to these rules for 90% of your meals. If you are having 21 meals in a week , then you stick with the clean eating rules for 19 of those meals. For 2 meals each week you can loosen it up and fall outside of these rules. This is your 10% meals. I think this is manageable for most people. Will it be easy? No, but nothing good comes without a little hardwork.
Exercise every day
Exercise every day for at least 30 mins. I think this habit should be kept up 100%. I am not saying you have to go the gym, just get up and move, increase your heart rate and get your muscles pumping. At least 3 days of the week get a good sweat going and get out of breath. The other days can be a brisk walk or do some activity you enjoy. Make exercise part of your daily life. Don’t tell me you don’t have 30 mins each day to spare. It doesn't even have to be all at once, you could do 3 x 10 min blocks.
Humans are not supposed to be sedentary, but we are becoming increasingly more so. People are becoming weaker, less fit, and fatter. Truth. If we don’t make an effort to move our bodies through all movement patterns and use all muscles, then we lose the ability to move through those movement patterns and the muscle wastes away. I heard a good analogy recently which compared this with the sad cases of the orcas in captivity that have the collapsed dorsal fins. Orcas have a massive dorsal fin which can grow to 6 feet. This is made up of fibrous tissue. In the wild, orcas travel great distances and can move very quickly. This movement and the pressure of the water keeps the tissues of the fin healthy and therefore the fin is strong and straight. When the orca is in captivity they swim very small distances and often around in circles. The fin doesn't get worked out as much so it becomes weak and falls over. This is basically what is happening to a lot of humans.
A simple sustainable formula, to keep you healthy and lean for years to come!