Slim for Summer Tips

11:31 AM, May 23, 2013   |    comments
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Jackie Conn's tips of the day include:

190. Don't make this process too complicated. If you are counting calories; just count calories. Calories counting AND carb counting, for example, is overkill and can easily overwhelm you so that you're unwilling to continue. Keeping it Simple pays off!

191. Seek out people whose goals are similar to yours. It's been proven that your weight - up or down - is influenced by the weight of the people in your household and workplace. In other words the people with whom you spend most of your time affect your eating and exercising habits.

192. If you are around people who are not concerned about keeping their weight at a healthy level they won't be supportive of your efforts. Spend time with people whose goals are in alignment with yours.

193. Beware of negativity. You can be your own source of negativity. Listen to your self messages. If you frequently give yourself negative messages pick some small, daily weight-related goals. Write down your goals and step-by-step plans to achieve them. Squeeze out the negativity with daily successes!

194. Why wait until you're at goal. Start living your life now! You want dessert but you don't think you deserve it or will be able to handle it until you're at goal? Wrong! You didn't do anything wrong; you don't need to punish yourself. Eating dessert while you're working at losing weight is an exercise in learning. You can't make yourself stronger if you don't challenge yourself. To be able to handle desserts one you reach your goal requires learning how to do it while you lose weight.

195. One step forward, two steps back? Some diets seem to go like this: Lose a pound this week, celebrate with a week long of over-indulging, gain two pounds next week! One of the problems of a highly restrictive weight loss plan is how you might always be looking for reasons (or excuses) for going off it. Build indulgences and favorite treats into your weight loss plan so that you maximize progress and minimize setbacks!

196. Feeling and looking good is a strong motivator. If you have lost some weight (and still have a way to go) it might be time for a new haircut or a new outfit. It's amazing how a few compliments can influence you to keep going strong!

If you missed past SLIM FOR SUMMER tips here they are:  

1. Go grocery shopping on a full stomach to reduce impulse purchases.

2. Make a list of the items you need and stick to it.

3. Shop on the outer aisles where you find dairy, meat and produce.

4. If there isn't an item on your list on an inner aisle, don't go down that aisle.

5. Marketing buzzwords like gluten free, fat free, whole grain, antioxidants, etc. don't guarantee that these foods are good choices.

6. Read your labels. The most important information is calories per serving and serving size.

7. Fruit and vegetables make great snacks and actually cost less per pound than greasy, salty processed snacks.

8. Lean meats are a good source of protein and the body works harder (burns more calories) to digest lean protein than digesting fat or carbohydrates.

9. Weight loss doesn't take willpower or super-human strength; it takes a plan.

10. Start your plan with a small, easily achieved goal and decide what steps you'll take to reach your goal.

11. Every little goal adds up and brings you to big success!

12. Weight loss goals aren't just about numbers on the scale; behavior modification goals are important for lasting weight loss.

13. Just because it says "low-fat" or "no-fat" on the label don't assume it's a reduced calorie food.

14. Think of meat as a garnish instead of the main ingredient in a meal.

15. Arrange your kitchen so that it's easy to snack on the lower fat /lower calorie foods.

16. Most diet frozen entrees are not enough food to make a satisfying meal.

17. Don't allow yourself to get too hungry. The hungrier you are, the more likely you are to overeat.

18. Smart snack choices are foods that are nutritious and low in fat and calories.

19. Chew gum, it gives your mouth something to do instead of eating.

20. If you think you're hungry, have a glass of water. If you're not hungry afater you finish you were never hungry for food, you were just hungry for something to do.

21. Raw vegetables are a good snack choice. Many are crunchy and satisfying and low in calories so you can use all you want.

22. The most important phrase to say to "food pushers" is "no, thank you". Nothing else needs to be said.

23. Dessert after every meal isn't a necessity. Make dessert a once in a while habit.

24. Watch out for substituting. It can set you up for overeating if you don't get any satisfaction from your substitute.

25. The scale can be your friend and motivator or a reminder of how far you need to go. If you let the scale undermine your success don't weigh in more than once a week.  

26. Sometimes you will get a shock when you step on the scale. You expected to see gratifying progress and it's not there. Remember that many things can influence the scale unfavorably, such as temporary fluid retention, and mask the real fat loss progress you are making. 

27. A plateau is when you can't lose more than a total of a half of a pound for a period of four or more consecutive weeks. Most plateaus are caused by an "attitude plateau." In other words you're finding it hard not to stray from your weight loss behaviors. 

28. If your plateau is because you feel your willpower slipping, it's time to fight the apathy with some "wantpower." Ask yourself what do you really really really want that you will get when you lose weight. Start focusing on the good things and good feeling you want and you'll find the power to renew your efforts!

29. To lose a pound a week you need to burn 3500 calories more than you are getting from food. An easy way to do that is to cut out 250 calories a day and increase your calorie burn by 250.

30. Weight loss progress isn't compounded daily or even monthly. Sometimes there is a delay between your weight loss behaviors and it showing up on the scale.

31. The secret to weight loss is....there is no secret! It's simply a matter of burning more calories than you consume.

32. Losing more than an average of two pounds per week isn't recommended. Your body can't let go of body fat much faster so that means some of the weight you lose is desirable lean muscle.

33. Your body stores energy (calories) in two forms - glycogen and body fat. Glycogen is burned first when there is a calorie deficit.

34. Glycogen releases a lot of water when it's burned and that's what results in the dramatic weight loss progress in the early weeks of a diet. So, the satisfying big drop in weight some people experience when they first start a diet is not loss of body fat, it's loss of water.

35. As you continue to diet your body slows down its weight loss progress because it's now burning body fat. Don't make the mistake of thinking you can't lose weight just because you're losing at a slower rate than previously.

36. Wear a big ring or bracelet to remind you that your hand is reaching out to grab the candy in a bowl you don't really want or need. It's an easy way to become more mindful of what you're eating.

37. It's okay to splurge once in a while. Give yourself permission to eat those things you love and have been depriving yourself of enjoying. Savor every bite and don't sour the taste with guilt. Nothing - NOTHING!! - is more fattening than guilt.

38. Losing weight is an act of self love but too many people treat it like self punishment. Make it a point to enjoy the food you eat and increase your physical activity doing things that are so much fun you would do them even if they caused weight gain!

39. Most people blame the food for when they eat too much of it, but often it's not the food. It's the mood. If you want to tear into a carton of ice cream because you're angry stop to think about what you're doing, what's the driver behind the action, and is food going to change the situation that caused the feeling?

40. Think in positive terms. Focus on what you want instead of what you don't want.

41. Any dish can be "slimmed down" by taking a smaller serving.

42. is a dieter's thesaurus; you can find lower calorie replacements for higher calorie ingredients.

43. Many recipes can be slimmed down and still taste just as good just by cutting the fat in half. Experiment!

44. To satisfy everybody in the household serve sauces on the side so that each diner may have as much or as little as desired.

46. It's easy to add 100s of calories to your daily total without noticing them until they pile up on your hips, waist and thighs! Pay attention to both what you're drinking and the serving size. Many of the calories listed on drinks is for half or less than the container. 

47. Liquid calories are the easiest to cut back or eliminate from your diet without feeling hungry or deprived. A Starbuck's Frappuccino can be as much as 300 to 600 calories. One glass of wine contains at least 100 calories. One mixed drink can add 300 or more calories to your total. Being aware of liquid calories is very important!

48. Your body will fluctuate in weight by several pounds every day. This is not because you gain and lose body fat.

49. Portion control is necessary for weight management but the precision of a scientist is not. Weighing and measuring everything you eat can be tedious.

50. Try measuring foods you eat often once and then remembering how it looked on the plate or in the bowl.
Servings can creep up over time. Every once in a while measure just to make sure you're still in the ballpark.

51. Try this method of filling your plate and restricting your calories - Fill half of the plate with plain vegetables (no added fats or sauces) your protein in one quarter of the plate and your starch in the other quarter.

52. Protein and starch servings should be piled no higher than the width of a pencil.

53. Fast food really isn't that fast, but it can be a high-calorie trap. It's not hard to cook a great meal at home faster than waiting to get your "fast" food and it supports rather than undermines your goals.

54. The key to cooking fast, reduced calorie food is having the right tools. The most important tool is a good set of nonstick cookware. It allows you to cook without adding extra fat and that can cut 100s of calories off of a meal.

55. Finally, the weather is just right for outdoor activity. You can hire a personal trainer to take it outside with you if you're not the "gym rat" type. Go to to find a certified fitness trainer in your area who will get you in shape at an outdoor location of your choice!

56. Dogs and kids are great exercise partners! They keep you moving while you're having so much fun you forget that you "hate to exercise." If you don't have your own it's usually easy to find some to borrow for an hour or so.

57. Parties are food-centric. That makes them difficult, though not impossible, to get through without damaging your weight loss progress. Try "pre gaming" to get yourself ready for the event.  Pre gaming means setting yourself up for success by arriving at the event feeling more full than hungry. Taking the edge off your hunger can give you the winning edge over massive amounts of tempting food and drink!

58. Pre game before parties with a snack of fat free yogurt and fruit. These foods help to fill you up and keep you feeling full longer. They also help balance your diet by providing necessary nutrients that are generally not present in sufficient quantities in party foods.
Be extremely selective about your food choices. Skip anything that's not a special treat such as chips and crackers and cheese. Choose the really special foods that you rarely get to enjoy.

59. At parties and buffets take small portions and eat slowly to savor the food and get maximum enjoyment.

60. If you feel tempted to let your party plate overwhelm your good sense, pause to focus on your weight loss goals. Ask yourself if it's worth delaying the realization of your goal by overindulging. If the answer is "yes" then go ahead and indulge. Get back on track with the very next meal.

61. Forget all of the reasons you have created for why you can't lose weight. It''s not your genes; it's not your metabolism; it's not your gland problems; it's not because you're weak. If you can't be successful blame your mind. It's your "stinking thinking!"

62. Successful weight management is possible but unless you believe it's possible for you, you won't consistently behave in a way that supports your successful weight management.

63. If you have a lot of weight to lose it can be daunting. Instead of focusing on the total number of pounds to lose just work on the first 10%. Smaller goals are easier to manage and can help you sustain the motivation to go all the way.

64. Break the rules! Everybody knows the rules for dieting and those rules make living a diet too hard to sustain. It's okay to eat after 8pm. It's okay to indulge in pizza, beer or a rich dessert. The only rule you need to observe is self-monitoring to ensure your food choices don't exceed your calorie budget.

65. Get in the habit of moving. Get up and walk for five minutes after every hour of sitting still.

66. Understand and work with your exercise personality. Find activities that are intrinsically fun/interesting/challenging enough to keep you interested.

67. If you're a risk-taker take up a thrilling outdoor sport. If you like to spend time alone thinking walking or jogging might be right for you. If you love animals consider horseback riding or engaging in obstacle course competitions with your dog. If you're highly social dancing might be right for you!

68. The National Weight Control Registry (NWCR) discovered that people who have successfully maintained a weight loss 0f 30 or more pounds for five or more years burn an at least 2800 calories a week by exercising.

69. If you have started exercising to lose weight and look better don't get discouraged in you can't see instant results. It takes 6-8 weeks before results are noticeable.

70. Exercising offers many benefits. It's good for your health, it makes you look good and perhaps best of all, it burns calories.

71. Burning extra calories gives you "wiggle room" with your food. You can fit in occasional high-calorie treats as well as eat a little more every day so that you stay satisfied, while still restricting calories.

72. Walk or run; it's your choice and it's not the speed that determines the calorie burn; it's the duration. Whether you walk or run three miles, when you've covered the distance you've burned the same calories. When it comes to burning calories the only difference between walking and running is the time it takes to cover the distance.

73. Breakfast is recommended for successful weight loss, but if you don't like breakfast you can still lose weight without eating breakfast. Breakfast can boost your metabolism a little bit so you start out the day burning more calories at rest but it doesn't make a big enough difference to force you to become a breakfast eater.

74. We tend to eat in "units." In other words the cue to stop is when the sandwich is gone, even though you might have felt full before the sandwich was even half-eaten. Learn to recognize the feeling of fullness and stop. You can always save what's left for another meal or snack.

75. Research shows that we eat about the same volume of food regardless of how calorie dense the food might be. In other words whether it's a bowl of rich, creamy soup or a clear broth with vegetables. An easy way to reduce calories but eat the volume of food that keeps your satisfied is to eat foods with a lot of air, water, or fiber in them.

76. To lose weight you need to create a calorie deficit. You need to burn more calories than you are eating. The source of the calories doesn't matter for weight loss progress, but matters a lot when it comes to healthy weight loss. It's important to reduce calories while maintaining a healthy diet that provides your body with the nutrients required for good health.

77. The difference between how many calories can be consumed to lose weight or maintain weight is smaller than you think. If you think that once you reach your goal weight you can go back to eating like you used to, you will soon weigh what you used to weigh.

78. It's important to understand that the things you do to lose weight will become the things you must continue to do to maintain a lower body weight. This can't be emphasized enough. When you get to goal you can't just "go back to normal." Your weight will come right back. Your weight loss strategies must become your new normal to maintain your new lower weight.

79. If your job has you away from home often, taking your meals and snacks with you rather than relying on finding food on the road to support your weight loss efforts can help you stay on track. It sounds like a good plan, but there may come a point when planning meals and packing them to take with you is more trouble than it's worth.

80. If eating out often is part of your life approach restaurant meals in a manner similar to the way you eat at home. If you don't start a meal with bread of tortilla chips, skip them in the restaurant. If your portions are smaller at home, don't clean your overfilled platter. If ending a meal with dessert is a rare event at home, make it a rare event when dining out.

81. If you frequently dine out it's important to know what you're eating. One way to make lower calorie choices without all the annoying questions is to avoid menu items described with words such as "battered, crispy, rich, creamy, sauce and deep-fried." 

82. Baked, broiled and grilled are good words to describe how food is prepared in a restaurant. You can further reduce calories by asking to have, "no butter be added" and "sauces on the side." 

83. Many restaurants have their menu online. It helps to explore the menu ahead of arrival and to know what you will order before you walk in. That saves the impulsive higher-calorie, on-the-spot decisions you will regret later.  

84. When you're eating out for a special occasion it's okay to treat it as such by enjoying it all - the bread, the sauces, the desserts, and maybe even a glass of wine or the house signature cocktail. Special occasions aren't the same as an "everyday meal that happens to take place in a restaurant."

85. Consider planting a little vegetable garden. Besides getting delicious, fresh produce you get a workout every time you tend to it. An hour of light gardening burns about 330 calories.

86. Everybody knows stress can be fattening if you handle it by turning to food. The good news is there are better ways to relieve stress than trying to stuff it away with cookies and ice cream. Learning non-food ways to cope with stress takes practice but it's worth the effort.

87. If you find yourself headed for the fridge during a stressful period, walk right past it and keep walking! You might also try sitting in a comfy chair to give yourself a few minutes to calm down and to let the anxiety pass. While walking or sitting relax, think pleasant thoughts and take deep breaths. Remember that food won't remove stress, but overeating and undermining weight loss efforts can cause more stress.

88. Another effective way to handle stress without food is to call your "safe friend." A "safe friend is one you can say exactly what's on your mind, let out your negative feelings and know that not a word you say shall ever be repeated!

89. It's not new information, but it's worth repeating. Exercise is the best way to overcome emotional eating. Choosing the right activity can be a boredom reliever, a mood enhancer when you're blue, or a socially accepted form of anger display, Exercise releases feel good chemicals called endorphins and burns calories so if you want a little treat when you're done you can go ahead - you earned it!

90. Weight management takes life long attention. That's why it's important that you find a way to manage your weight that is a good fit with your life. It's possible to make and keep small changes but drastic changes rarely last. Putting your life on hold while you lose weight almost guarantees a swift return of all of the lost pounds as soon as you "resume your life."

91. It's normal to feel defeated during weight loss. Sometimes it feels like you can't move the scale; sometimes it feels like you can't stick to your plan despite your best efforts. A good way to recommit to your goal is focus on the health reasons for staying on track. Healthy weight loss behaviors are the very things that protect your heart and reduce your risk of cancer and diabetes. Taking good care of yourself has many rewards and you're worth the effort!

92. Motivation can ebb and flow throughout the day. There is usually a pattern to the fluctuations. Pay attention to what you're doing, how you're feeling and people around you to see how that influences your motivation. When you know what are higher risk situations you can focus on a plan to maintain motivation when you need it the most.

93. Raving cravings! Sometimes you feel like you'll go crazy if you don't have a (fill in the blank) but you're worried that if you give into the trigger you will blow everything. Relax, cravings can be managed with rational thoughts and a step-by-step plan. Start by being literal. How does one hot fudge sundae blow everything? Literally, it doesn't.

94. Giving into cravings is okay. In fact it's better to give into a craving sooner rather than later. A "craving plan" can help you enjoy the craving and move on without any damage to your weight management progress.

95. Plan for managing a craving: (1) Figure out how big (or small) a serving it will take to satisfy you. (2) Determine the calories for it. (3) Work out how those calories will fit into your day; they may fit without much adjusting of meals and snacks for the rest of the day. (4) You may have to "borrow" some calories that you can pay back over the next few days with a little more activity. (5) Enjoy your craving. If you're tempted to have more remind yourself that stopping now allows you everything you want - the craving AND successful weight management.

96. If your craving plan fails and it triggers over-indulging use positive self-talk to regain control. Instead of beating yourself up for your slip, try saying something like this, "It's okay. I can do this. I am strong. I have a plan. I will get to goal."

97. Overeating isn't a sign of weakness. You are working against instincts that tell your body to eat in the presence of food. Your body's main concern is to keep you alive and to do that it needs fuel. Unfortunately your body is hard-wired to want food when it's available in the event that no food can be found later. In today's world that's not a problem; food is everywhere. Now it's a matter of your mind overriding the body's need to eat when you're not hungry.

98. If you are the only person in your household losing weight, don't segregate yourself. Preparing different meals is an unnecessary nuisance. Eating a frozen diet entree while everybody else enjoys a home-cooked meal isn't going to be a long-lasting habit either. You can all sit down to enjoy the same meal. You will need to practice portion control and track what you eat, but there is no need to cook meals for "them" and zap something for "you."

99. Cutting back on fat, eating more vegetables are two proven ways to reduce calories. It's also a healthy way to eat so making some changes in the way you prepare food is something that benefits everybody in the house, not just the one(s) who want to lose weight.

100. Too many weight loss efforts fail because the goal wasn't realistic. You may never see the weight you were in high school and the reality is that even if you could get there it won't look good. Losing 50 pounds may be desired, but taking off 35 may be what you can realistically manage and maintain.

101. If you have always been a lunch skipper, you may want to consider the benefits to your diet by eating lunch. A noon meal helps to keep your blood sugar level from dipping too low making you feel exhausted, starving, and maybe even a little nauseated by 2:30 - 3:00 in the afternoon. You might also "forget" about the goodies you grabbed from the vending machine to fight off the afternoon slump, but your body is counting those calories and the grand total might easily be more than a tasty lunch.

102. If you normally eat lunch but decided that it was an easy meal to cut to conserve calories, you are making a mistake. Cutting meals usually backfires for a variety of reasons including eating more calories through Bites, Licks, and Tastes (BLTs) to slowing your metabolism so that more of your dinner calories get stored as body fat rather than burned for fuel. To cut calories, reduce the calories in your meals; do not cut out meals altogether.

103. We are motivated by two basic urges - pleasure and pain. Weight loss goals are created by your seeking pleasure. It feels great to be at goal! We quit diets because of the pain they inflict on us. In other words, your lunches may be trips to favorite restaurants with friends and co-workers when you aren't really caring about your weight. When you decide to lose weight you stop the pleasant lunchtime dining and instead remain in the office by yourself everyday to zap a frozen diet meal. That's pain! And that is enough to make you quit. Successful weight control is learning how to eat lunch with friends, fully enjoy your meal, and make the calories work with your overall daily plan.

104. Nobody should have to give up good eating to lose weight. Indeed, with a little bit of planning and organization you can be enjoying your food more than when you just grabbed whatever was handy. Cook dinner tonight with tomorrow's lunch in mind. Cook a bigger roast than you need to serve your family. Throw in extra pasta and extra vegetables into the pot. Now you have ingredients to make really good lunches for the next few days with practically no effort. Set aside some time on the weekend or evening to prep fruits and vegetables so that making soups, salads or sandwiches is a snap in the morning.

105. Watch out for black and white thinking. You might eat more than you planned on Wednesday but that doesn't make the whole week a total weight loss wipeout. You don't have to wait for Monday to get back on track.

106. Take "three bites" of dessert. The first three bites taste the best, so have the best bites and leave the rest. If you absolutely want to enjoy a rich dessert allow yourself three bites. If you think you can't stop at three bites, throw or give away what's left.

107. Slow down! Eating fast causes you to eat more than you need to feel full and satisfied. Try chewing each bite 10 times. Wait 10 seconds between each bite.

108. Asking family and friends to help keep you on track can be a big mistake. You may resent their, "should be eating that?" kind of support. If you snap or act unpleasant to people who are only trying to help you because you asked them to you can strain or even ruin a relationship. Own your weight loss efforts and don't make others responsible for your actions.

109. Sweat pants and elastic waistbands allow you to eat too much without feeling discomfort. Wearing slightly snug pants made of a rigid material that doesn't stretch (like jeans), however, offers a little extra awareness of when you have had enough and it's time to stop eating.

110. Have a mentor. Think of somebody you know who stays at a healthy weight. When you are faced with a situation where you are likely to overeat or make choices that don't support your weight-related goal create a mental image of your mentor and do what that person would do if faced with that same challenge.

111. Beware of boredom. Sure it's easy to eat the same frozen entree every day for lunch but it's boring, Getting bored with your food can set you up to lose control and have a very hard time of regaining control. Enjoying a variety of tasty meals to help support long lasting weight control.

112. Don't wear your clothes that don't fit. If they're too tight they make you feel fat. Feeling fat can make you act fat. If they're too big they don't flatter you or show off your progress. Seeing and enjoying your progress motivates you to keep doing the things you need to do to continue maling progress.  

113. If you don't have it, you can't eat it. That doesn't mean throw out the cookies, chips and ice cream, but if that's all you have on hand for snacks that's what you'll eat. Have the fruits and vegetables on hand that you enjoy so you can snack on them when you want something to eat. If you didn't have them you'd be more likely to overeat the cookies, chips and ice cream.

114. Work 9-5 every day! Do your best to eat a total of 9 servings of fruits and vegetables every day. If you can't reach the 9 servings always eat at least 5 servings. A serving of vegetables is 1/2 cup raw or one cup cooked. A serving of fruit is one medium fruit about the size of your fist. Fruits and vegetables fill you up, not out.

115. You can lose weight just by restricting calories and without increasing activity. Just because you can do it doesn't mean it's a good idea. Adding exercise to your weight loss program helps you to look and feel better about your weight loss.

116. Losing weight and keeping it off is like quitting smoking. It rarely happens the first time you try. There is no shame in trying and not achieving the desired results. Don't be afraid to start again and make a point to learn from your mistakes.

117. If you use food to assuage emotions it's essential that you learn new, non-food ways to cope with emotions if you want to successfully lose and maintain weight. The first step in learning new coping skills is to face problems directly and allow yourself to feel your emotions.

118. Do it yourself! No more driving through the car wash; stop paying to have your grass cut or your windows washed. Those are all chores you can do yourself and burn a lot of calories in the process.

119. Weight loss is a matter of progress, not perfection. You don't have to do everything perfectly; you only have to do it better than you were doing it before. You'll probably make some mistakes. Some days you may eat too much; some days you may hardly move. It's okay, don't beat yourself up and don't quit because you weren't perfect. Just keep trying to do a little better with your eating and exercising and eventually you will see that your efforts will add up to take you to your goal.

120. It helps to have support outside of yourself. It can be easy to get discouraged and feel as though you are trying to do something that can't be done - at least not by you. Having a buddy with similar goals can help keep you motivated through the times when you're ready to quit. Having lots of buddies is even better. Research shows that people have more success when they participate in a weight loss support group.

121. "It's too little to save, why don't you just finish it so I don't have to throw it away?" That seems to be a Mom's favorite line. It might be too little to save, but it's more than you need. Don't fall into the trap. If it has to be thrown out, out it goes. You don't have a responsibility to save food from the garbage can. If it's more than you planned to have, don't eat it out of guilt.

122. Don't kid yourself. Losing weight isn't just a matter of eating less and moving more. You have to change how you think if you are going to be able to sustain changes to your eating and exercising habits.

123. Who are you on the inside? If you think of yourself as a "fat person" you will have a hard time adopting thin people behaviors. If you think of yourself as a thin person, even if your body isn't there yet, it becomes natural to practice thin behaviors which will eventually make your outside match your inside.

124. Sustaining weight loss requires commitment to change on several levels. You must change your environment to support your new lifestyle. That means rearranging your kitchen to put the fruits, vegetables, whole grains and lean proteins within easy reach and the foods processed with added fats and sugar where they'll be harder to get.

125. Changing your environment to make it easier to be active will greatly aid in weight loss and maintenance. Clear the clothes off of your treadmill (if necessary). If your exercise equipment is down in the basement consider moving it upstairs where it will be as easy to exercise as it is to sit to watch TV. Keep your sneakers and workout clothes front and center in your closet.

126. Changing your environment is easy; changing your behaviors may be harder. If you often eat without thinking, for example, you will need to become mindful of everything you eat. Keeping a food diary is an effective way to monitor what you eat. Make your motto: I bite, I write!

127. Emotional eating is a hard habit to break, but it can be broken. First, understand that you are eating to feel better, not because you don't want to lose weight or because you're weak. Identify some other ways to feel better without eating. What do you like to do that makes you happy? Make a list of things you enjoy and instead of turning to food when you're upset pick something from your list.

128. A new environment and new behaviors support your weight-related goals. As you practice new behaviors they become more natural actions and that increases your weight-related capabilities. For example, if you often overate to the point of extreme discomfort and were not able to stop until every morsel on your plate was gone, you might notice you have changed. Now you're capable of stopping at comfortably full and well before the point of stuffed.

129. How do you know when to eat and when to stop? Think of a scale from 1-5. 1 is extremely hungry. Your stomach growls, you may even feel faint or headachey because of low blood sugar. 2 is quite hungry and no more than half an hour to an hour away from reaching 1 on the hunger scale. 3 is mildly hungry. You will be ready for a meal or snack pretty soon. 4 is comfortably full. You aren't the least bit hungry but you're not stuffed. 5 is too full, like a balloon about to pop. You want to avoid extremes on either end of the hunger scale, Stay between 2 and 4.

130. Think twice before you drench your salad in fat free salad dressing. Fat-free doesn't mean there aren't calories and when you dump a lot of it on your salad it can be a lot of calories. Besides the calories, fat free salad dressing doesn't offer you much else, including taste. Salad dressing made with olive oil, however, helps your body get more nutrition from the vegetables in the salad. Switch to tow teaspoons of an olive oil vinaigrette. Make sure your greens are dry and shake well to coat.

131. Calories are your body's fuel. Burn through them by becoming inefficient! If you have several items to go upstairs don't wait until you are going upstairs to bed. Take each item upstairs individually. What short trips do you take in your car that you could take on foot? Park at the other end of the mall as far away from the store where you will be shopping. Put away the leave blower and use the rake.Hear some good music? Don't just sit there; get up and shake that!

132. Relationships can become touchy when you are working to lose weight and your spouse/friend/family who may also benefit from weight loss isn't interested in losing weight too. If you are being pressured to eat more and "forget about that stupid diet" assert yourself. Be pleasant, be kind and most of all be firm. Ask them to understand that losing weight it important to you and ask for their support. Explain you don't need them to be your personal diet police; all you need from them is to stop pushing food.

133. "There's nothing healthy on the menu!" This is an excuse in disguise to abandon your diet. No matter where you go to eat you can stick to your weight loss plan. If everything is battered and fried, for example, order the fried chicken, ask for just white meat, and when it is served remove the coating and skin before eating. If everything is served with heavy sauces ask for sauce to be served on the side. The point is instead of saying, "I can't" look for ways to say, "I can!"

134. No matter how calorie-laden all of the menu items may be in a restaurant, you can still keep to your diet and enjoy more than a few lettuce leaves. You can always eat a menu item exactly as it's described on the menu but eat slowly and eat just a fraction of the portion. Get the rest boxed up to take home and if you don't want to take it home "forget" the box.

135. Watch out for BLTs: Bites, Licks, and Tastes. It's easy to let BLTs slip by unnoticed but it's important to remember that the calories from those seemingly small tastes can add up fast. Two teaspoons-ful of chocolate chip cookie batter is 150 calories! If you must have a bite, or a little taste don't forget to include those calories into your daily total because whether you recognize them or not, your body will!

136. Keeping comfortable shoes with you can help you get out of the office at noon to take a walk. Wearing comfortable shoes all day will encourage you to take extra steps throughout the day!

137. What makes a craving grow so big that it threatens to permanently derail your getting to goal? Not giving into the craving! Everybody needs some wiggle room in their food plan. GIve yourself two "craving days" a week. Figure each indulgence to be about 500 calories but don't worry about precision. Just eat a reasonable serving of your craving food, enjoy it thoroughly and move on.

138. Eat some fruit or vegetables with every meal. Fruit and vegetables are good ways to add volume to a meal without adding a lot of calories. The fiber in these foods helps to stabilize blood sugar levels and that can keep you feeling full longer.

139. Don't leave home without it - a snack that is. If you're hungry and you don't have your "planned snack" with you, you may have to snack on something that is too high in calories and fat. To stick to your food plan that means your unplanned snack will cause you to reduce your next meal to compensate.

140. Lose? Gain? Or Stay the Same? There are out-of-the-ordinary events in your life. Holidays, vacations, or a wedding are some examples. These are events that are so special that you may want a little extra freedom to indulge. Since it's not an everyday occurrence you can relax your efforts a bit without feeling guilty.

141. When faced with these special events you have a decision to make. What do you want? To continue losing weight, to maintain your weight, or would a small gain be acceptable? The point is YOU decide and then make a plan to get your desired outcome.

142. You'll be amazed at how powerful you are when you approach a challenge with a plan of action instead of thinking, "oh no! I'm about to ruin my diet."

143. Nobody says you have to sit at your desk to take a conference call. As long as you're in an area where the cellular service is good why not get outside and walk while you talk?

144. You reached your goal! Now what? If you want to stay at your goal it's time to shifting your goal from losing weight to maintaining. Many people have just two gears - lose or gain. Learning how to switch gears from lose to maintain is necessary. The first step is to slowly increase your calories by an average of 250 a day and don't slack with your exercise. Continue with your weight loss level of activity.

145. It's important to weigh yourself weekly while learning how to stabilize your weight when you reach goal. Try to weigh the same time of day wearing the same or similar clothing to minimize the weight fluctuations bodies go through daily.

146. Continue to keep a food journal. This is important because if you gain or lose more than two pounds in a week you need to be able to see your eating patterns so that you can make adjustments.

147. If you gain more than an average of two pounds in three consecutive weeks give your food journal a close inspection to see if you were slipping more calories in than you planned. What about your exercise? Were you sitting more and moving less?

148. Maintenance is harder than weight loss because you have to modify your weight loss behaviors and continue to actively practice them but the motivation of watching your weight go down when you step on the scale is gone. To recreate that same sense of motivation it helps to make non scale goals for yourself and be just as determined to achieve those goals as you were when you were working to reach your weight goal.

149. Some factors to consider when choosing weight goal include how overweight you are, and what is a realistic weight you can not just achieve but maintain.Getting back to what you weighed at 18 or when you got married may turn your full-time job into weight management. A good weight goal is one that is a good fit with your life or in other words one that you can maintain with just small changes to your eating and exercising habits.

150. The Body Mass Index (BMI) is one way to determine a weight goal that is healthy. BMI is a ratio of metric height and weight. Medical and obesity experts agree that a healthy weight range for an adult is a BMI between 19 and 24. Some individuals will be healthy with a BMI lower than 19 or higher than 24 - the range is just a guide. It's recommended that you consult your physician.

151. If you are extremely overweight your physician may want you to lose 10% of your body weight. For example, for somebody weighing 350 pounds would need to lose 35 pounds. That won't get her into a size 10 or him into 34" trousers, but it can greatly improve health and reduce the risks of serious disease and get you into clothing two sizes smaller.

152. After reaching a 10% loss of body weight and maintaining that loss for 6 months or a year your doctor may want you to lose the next 10%. This approach greatly increases the likelihood of keeping off the weight.

153. There's no instant gratification in weight loss. It's neither fast nor easy and if you give into the perceived instant gratification of eating that big slice of chocolate layer cake with thick, buttercream frosting, it will further slow your progress. When there is something really delicious and right in front of you the temptation to eat it is strong. The instant gratification, however, by eating it, is quickly replaced with feelings of regret. Learn and practice the skill of flexible restraint. Figure out how much of that food you could eat right now while fitting it into your calorie count for the day. If it won't fit, make a plan to eat it another time when it will. This is called "eating your cake and having your weight loss too!"

154. Cutting calories is a reliable way to lose weight. Counting calories is a reliable way to ensure that you are cutting calories. Relying on calorie counting only is not a reliable way to ensure you are getting the nutrition your body needs for good health. Count calories but also try to eat at least 5 servings of fruits and vegetables, 2 servings of low-fat or fat free dairy (milk or yogurt) 2-3 servings of lean protein (meat, poultry, fish, eggs, or legumes) 2-3 servings of whole grains and some healthy oil in from foods such as nuts, avocados, or fish rich in omega 3 fatty acids. Limit foods processed with added fats and sugars to no more than one serving daily.

155. Vitamin and mineral supplements can play a role in ensuring daily nutritional requirements are met, but they cannot make up for a nutritionally deficient diet.

156. Despite popular belief there is no magic by drinking water when it comes to weight loss. Being well-hydrated is good for your body and good for your health. If you happen to have a fluid retention problem is can help to ease that condition. Releasing the retained fluids will create a weight loss but it's not weight loss through a reduction of body fat.

157. A popular myth is that people mistake hunger for thirst and that drinking water might assuage hunger. That is false. Research proves there are two separate neural pathways for thirst and hunger just as you don't mistake the urge to eliminate solid waste with the urge to eliminate liquid waste. The difference is discernible.

158. Some foods are said to have super weight loss powers. Grapefruit, for example doesn't turn your body into a calorie-burning machine. No food is better than any other for hastening weight loss and therefore there is no reason to spend money on expensive magic weight loss foods or to eat anything that you don't like.

159. Before you spend your money on an "all natural" weight loss pill or drink be aware that "all natural" products doesn't automatically make them safe or effective. In fact some all natural herbs are very dangerous and others are safe when taken alone but can become toxic when taken with a variety of commonly prescribed medications. Unlike prescription medicine all natural herbs do not have to be approved or even reviewed by the FDA before they go on the market.

160. If a pill, drink, or powder promises to reduce belly fat without dieting and exercise, save your money. It can't. It's that simple. The only way to reduce belly fat is through weight loss. The only way to reduce belly fat without losing weight is by means of a surgical procedure.

161. When you order an item at a fast food restaurant and your offered something to go with it and advised you'll save money by buying the combo, don't save money! Just buy your original order and nothing more.

162. Bodies need protein, carbohydrates, and fat to be healthy. Diets that eliminate or severely restrict any one of these macronutrients should be avoided. They are not healthy and unsustainable. Your body needs protein to build and repair tissue.

163. Bodies can use any macronutrient for fuel, but complex carbohydrates are its favorite source of fuel. Fad diets are often built on a low/no-carb approach. These diets seem to promote faster weight loss, but it's an illusion.

164. In the early weeks the speedier weight loss is a result of water loss, not body fat. Studies show that over the period of 6 months low carb and balanced diets produce the same weight loss results.

165. Dietary fat helps the body store and use certain vitamins. Fat should be limited to 20-30% of total calories). Monounsaturated fats (sources include olive and peanut oil) are the healthiest fat choices).

166. Studies show that people who follow very low fat diets (no more than 10% of total calories coming from fat) find it difficult to reach and maintain satiety. In other words they are very hungry.

167. Bodies respond best to a balanced approach to exercise. There are three specific exercise groups.Aerobic, Resistance (muscle building) and Stretching.

168. Aerobic exercise works the large muscle groups and is good for calorie burn and healthy heart and lungs.

169. Resistance exercise firms, tones and preserves and builds muscle mass. More muscle means the body burns more calories at rest.

170. Stretching exercises helps to keep the body flexible. Stretching should be down as part of a cool down routine. Stretching to warm up can cause injuries, it should never be done as part of a warm up.

171. Realistic expectations is a major reason why people give up on their exercise program. They want instand results and are discouraged when they don't see them. It takes, on average, 6-8 weeks before noticing any changes in your body or weight from exercise.

172. Muscle and fat are two different kinds of tissue. Many women are afraid that exercise will turn their body fat into muscle and they will look bulky and manly. They need not worry.

173. It takes hard work to become bulky with muscle and most women don't have the necessary genetics to allow them build muscle like a man. Walking on a treadmill will not build muscle mass.

174. If somebody who has been sedentary suddenly starts to exercise there may be a temporary weight gain. It's NOT new muscle or fat turning to muscle, it's water!

175. The muscles store extra energy, in the form of glycogen, to meet the needs of the increased exercise. Glycogen holds water causing temporary water retention. It's temporary; fluid will balance in a few weeks. Don't use the weight gain as a reason to go back to being sedentary.

176. It is true that genes play a role in a tendency to become obese, but it's only one third of the equation. Environmental roles (what a child eats and physical activity level) allow the obesity genes to express themselves.

177. Parents who struggle with their weight might decide they lost their personal battle but are determined not to let that happen to their children. It's necessary to understand that parents are role models.

178. When it comes to helping your kids maintain healthy weight the chance of success if very low if the approach is "Do as I say, not as I do."

179. Stop the diet talk, the negative body talk and the food labeling (i.e. healthy foods/junk foods, fattening foods) around your children. Such talk teaches children to have negative body image and food issues. Moreover that kind of talk doesn't help you reach your goals but it can make your feel guilty and discouraged.

180. There's a new caveman diet that bids followers to eliminate cereal grains, legumes, dairy, refined sugar, processed foods, potatoes, salt and refined vegetable oils. If you don't eat many oversized meat servings, you could indeed lose weight. Eliminating so many foods could restrict calories although they could be replaced with calories coming from saturated fats in the meat.

181. What do you do on those days when you seem just so hungry all day long? If you're trying to lose weight a day like that presents a huge challenge. It's not as black and white as it seems - stuff yourself or stick to your plan and feel uncomfortably hungry all day. There are many options, and yes, eating until you're satisfied is one of them.

182. Front-load your calories. Eating more calories at breakfast and lunch and fewer at dinner is a good idea because most people tend to be more active before dinner than after dinner. By front-loading your calories you burn more of them for your body's energy needs.

183. A "honeymoon period" in diets describes the early stages when everything is wonderful and lovely and the downsides to restricting calories are overlooked because it's just so great to be losing weight. Beware, this stage rarely lasts more than six weeks.

184. Somewhere around the sixth week of a diet the thrill is gone. This is when resentment sets in about the deprivation that dieting results. People get tired of forgoing their pizza, beer, chips, and ice cream in order to reduce their weight. They are sick of the treadmills and the stair steppers and the overall atmosphere of the gym.

185. The work to lose weight doesn't seem commensurate with the speed at which the weight comes off. This is when some people "think" they're as committed as they ever were, but the reality is their eating and exercising behaviors don't support that reality.

186. If weight loss is going to be successful and sustainable there needs to be a renewed commitment when the thrill is gone. This is when a dieter decides that losing weight is worth the effort of both staying with it and learning how to make eating and exercising behavioral changes that are not punishing or deprivational but rather new habits that make the dieter feel good.

187. Trust yourself! Trust yourself to have the ability to get to goal. Trust yourself to make choices that will get you to goal. Trust yourself to be able to get back on track if you should temporarily lose your way. Trust yourself to know that you are following the right path for you.

188. You're going to need patience. Taking charge of your weight is a timely process. You are on a lifelong journey. Rushing won't give you the desired results; patience and perseverance will!

189. Be fearless. Fear takes away your power. You can handle any challenging situation and any food no matter how much you love it and how fat in calories it may be, if you keep your fear in check. To stop fear from stopping you, celebrate your victories. Focus on your strengths not on your fears.

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