10 Tips for Sticking to Your Diet

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More Tricks to Stick With It

6. Keep some nutritional and low-calorie snacks on hand at work or in your car to stave off junk food cravings. Microwave popcorn is wonderful at work and it stores well. Just make sure to buy a low-calorie kind, like Healthy Choice. You might also consider cereal or health bars like Kashi, Slim-Fast, Cliff Bars or Gogurts. Again, make sure the caloric and nutritional information fits into your diet or eating plan, and plan your portions accordingly.

7. Take up walking. Start taking evening walks with your spouse, children, or a neighborhood friend. Begin with a 15-minute walk, and then gradually increase how far and even how fast you walk. Not only is this good exercise, but it's a great way to spend quality time with someone you care about and recoup from your day. Some people enjoy walking at lunch with a coworker, which is an excellent strategy for clearing your head and getting your blood flowing in the afternoon. If it's been a while since you've exercised, check in with your doctor before you get started.

8. Celebrate the little victories. This is especially important at the beginning of your diet because you'll need lots of encouragement as you make a drastic change in your eating and exercise habits. Start by noting each day that you go without your daily candy bar or junk food fix. Then take note each time you eat a small or light dinner instead of the heartier meal you might have preferred. Call a friend, get an extra hug from your spouse, whoop and holler with the kids, or take a leisurely bubble bath as your reward for good behavior. You did it! And it's the little victories that add up to diet success in the long run.

9. Know that losing weight is a long-term goal, and a lifestyle change that will be hard, but well worth it. You will be constantly vigilant about what you eat and how much exercise you get. You will deny yourself foods that you enjoy. You'll work out until you sweat profusely. There will be days when the scale doesn't move at all, and even days when it goes the wrong way. But stick to it. You can do this. Because a healthy weight means a healthier you. Better eating habits and physical activity will help you live longer. Plus, eventually you'll be able to fit into those jeans you love. You'll enjoy going clothes shopping. You'll smile at yourself when you look in the mirror.

10. Choose your vice. Okay, you've worked hard to create a diet and exercise plan that fits your lifestyle. You've stopped buying junk food. You've committed to an exercise plan. Now, give yourself one small vice that you will continue to eat or drink throughout your diet. Perhaps it's that evening glass of wine. Or a weekly ice cream cone, size small. Or a daily square of chocolate. This vice might even become part of your daily or weekly victory celebration. But the bottom line here is that you don't need to completely deprive yourself of everything you love in order to lose weight. Dieting is about moderation, not deprivation. So find one thing that will be your daily or weekly indulgence, and enjoy it!

We know you can do it!

Reviewed by Jane Forrester, M.D.


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