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The ABCs of Weight Loss

We've got 26 tips to help you succeed.
WebMD Weight Loss Clinic - Expert Column

Think you know your ABCs? I'm not talking about the classroom basics you learned in first grade, but the fundamentals of weight loss success. Here are 26 of my best diet tips, from A to Z:

A is for attitude. A can-do attitude will help you get over the inevitable hurdles of weight loss. Anticipate slip-ups -- they happen. But instead of letting them derail your weight loss efforts, learn from them and get right back on track. You don't have to be perfect to lose weight and be healthy. Just keep your eye on the target and keep moving forward, one step at a time.

B is for breakfast. It really is the most important meal of the day. Don't leave home without eating something nutritious to get your metabolism perking and give you energy for the day ahead. It can be a banana, low-fat yogurt, cereal, last night's leftovers, etc. A small meal that contains both fiber and protein can keep you feeling satisfied until lunchtime.

C is for calories. They do count. Get into the habit of reading food labels to help you make healthy choices. And keep in mind that all the information listed there is based on the portion size the label specifies (which may not be the size of the portion you usually eat). Monitoring your portions and learning more about the calories in the foods you enjoy will help you meet your goals.

Diets don't work. There are hundreds of diets that will help you lose weight, but what good is losing weight if you gain it right back? Eating crazy food combinations or eliminating food groups is not the way to keep weight off. Instead, choose a nutritionally balanced plan with enough calories to keep you from feeling famished (like the WebMD Weight Loss Clinic eating plans).

Eating regular meals is essential. Experts agree that you should go no longer than 4 to 5 hours between meals. Otherwise, intense hunger can trigger a binge. Some experts believe dieters have better control if they eat several mini-meals throughout the day. Choose the meal pattern that works best in your lifestyle, but make sure to eat at least three meals per day.

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