TODAY   |  March 01, 2014

Want to get healthy? Join Jenna Wolfe’s challenge

30 Days to a Better You is about small, smart changes that anyone can make, and TODAY's own Jenna Wolfe will be offering a challenge to every American to get off their butt, out of their bad habits and into shape.

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This content comes from Closed Captioning that was broadcast along with this program.

>>> a better you."

>> and so, for the month of march, our fitness guru, newsperson and all-around -- [ inaudible ] jenna.

>> i was just going to say, there's 31 days in march.

>> i know, but 30's easier for people to grasp hold of. so, i'm really excited about this. here's what this is. i am challenging you to take some small steps , small ones to make a big change in your life right now. up, up. eight. last four. nice, marce. if getting fit and eating healthy were easy, everybody would be doing it. so, starting today, i'm setting forth a challenge, a 30-day, 30-tip journey to a better you. you put effort into your job, you put effort into raising your kids. put a little effort into your health and fitness . the numbers are alarming -- 155 million american adults are overweight or obese. and compared to other developed nations , we fair worse in diabetes and heart and chronic lung diseases . it's part of the reason i got certified as a personal trainer. you didn't become somewhat unhealthy in a day. you're not going to become completely healthy in a day. this is a process. and all those small changes start at home.

>> drum roll !

>> in your refrigerator.

>> i love that you have hard-boiled eggs in here. grapes.

>> the girls love the grapes.

>> here's a red flag . you've got a lot of white bread in here.

>> yes.

>> nutrition expert and registered dietician joy bauer says with a little bit of information, working mom kim baccelo could shop smarter.

>> most of the time, the biggest problem is the soda and fruit juices . a lot of what i also find is full-fat cheese and it's so easy to swap that out with a 2% reduced fat.

>> reporter: swap out sodas for seltzer water and a splash of fruit juice . forget 2% milk because whole milk is 3%, so go skim or 1%. when you reach for the bread, read labels. if the first ingredient isn't whole wheat, skip it. like your condiments? that's okay, just switch them out for a lower fat alternative. and greek yogurts, hummus, apples and baby carrots all great for snacking. if you're looking for smarter snack choices at the office, and it's okay to snack, just snack wise wisely. oh, this double cheeseburger with french fries and chicken nuggets , not a smart option. we've got two snack drawers here. we've got your bad snacks and your good snacks. you have a sweet tooth , you want something? don't opt for the cupcake. get yourself maybe a chocolate protein bar. have half of it. a change here and there may not make a noticeable difference to you today, but over the course of a few weeks or a few months, you'll definitely feel it. all i'm saying is you're going to understand what it means to be a little bit healthier and to make smarter choices, and those smarter choices will eventually lead to things that will make you healthier and happier. all right, so, to kick off the challenge, there are two small things i want you to do. first, i want you to start with a food diary. so, lester, erica and dylan and i do this every single day. i want you to write down everything you eat every day this month. no cheating. if you eat it, write it down. this is going to help make you accountable for your choices. second, i want you to get someone to do the challenge with you. having a friend to motivate you and keep you on track, i promise you will make a huge difference. so, every night, the four of us e-mail the group our food diary, so we're all accountable over time . then you stop making bad food choices, because other people are reading your diary. it worked for the three of us. lester lost 300 pounds. so, here's the deal. remember, guys, this is a journey towards a healthier you. it's not a sprint. so, please be patient. so, over the next month, i'm going to be sharing tons of tips here on the "today" show, also online, small changes and small things you can do, and this is how you can live a healthier life. go to today.com, sign up for the challenge. i promise, by the end of the month, you will definitely feel a difference.

>> we've been doing that food diary, and it works. you reach for something unhealthy, you think, oh, but i'm going to have to write it down and then you guys will see it.

>> half the time, you're just like, i don't feel like writing it down, so it's easier just not to have it.

>> i also get great ideas for all of you guys. i hadn't thought about that for a snack or maybe i should put that in a salad. it's a great motivator, jenna. we're excited about it.