1. Keep a journal of what you eat. Record the amount you eat, where you eat and what you’re doing when you eat.

2. Drink plenty of water. Drinking at least eight glasses of water each day helps your body metabolize fat and decreases your appetite.

3. Eat Slowly. Give your body time to tell that it’s full. Take a break after you’ve eaten about half of your meal.

4. Eat smaller portions. Know how much you’re eating. It’s easier to see how many crackers you’re eating if they come out of a bowl you counted them into rather than out of a box.

5. Reduce mealtime distractions. It’s easy to lose track of how much you’re eating when you’re watching television.

6. Make problem foods unavailable. If you have a hard time staying away from ice cream, don’t have it in the house. If you buy cookies for the kids, try buying a brand you don’t like. If necessary, have someone else do the shopping.

7. Make healthy, low-fat foods easily available and attractive. If you like vegetables but don’t like the prep work, buy them already pre-washed and cut up.

8. Trade a bad habit for a good one. If you have a tendency to munch while watching television, try riding a stationary bike while watching it. Be on the lookout situations that trigger bad eating habits and change or avoid them.

9. Lose weight gradually. Although quick weight loss seems like a good idea, losing weight too quickly can mean gaining it back quickly. Weight loss should be gradual.

10. Don’t skip meals. When you don’t eat, your body thinks that there’s a famine and it slows down your metabolism to compensate for the lack of food, causing your body to actually try harder to store fat.

11. When shopping, plan ahead. Only buy what’s on your list. Shop when you’re full and look for low-fat alternatives to typical high-fat choices.

12. Exercise frequently. A weight-loss program is most successful when accompanied by an exercise program. As little as 20 to 30 minutes of aerobic activity three to four times a week can really make a difference.

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