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6. Know the nutritional values in the recipes you use.

Find out the amount of carbohydrates, fiber, and fat per serving. Then stay close to the appropriate portions by serving up your food on small plates.

7. Replace butter and shortening with canola or olive oil.

Both canola oil and olive oil are better choices. Both are rich in monounsaturated fat, and canola oil also has heart-healthy omega-3 fatty acids.

8. Prep for salads ahead of time.

Store a large spinach salad or vegetable-filled romaine lettuce salad without dressing in an airtight container. You can have crisp, wonderful salad with your dinner or as a snack for the next several days.

9. Make an easy fruit salad.

With a few chops of a knife, you can turn a few pieces of fruit into a beautiful fruit salad. Drizzle lemon or orange juice over the top. Then toss to coat the fruit. The vitamin C in the citrus juice helps prevent browning.

10. Choose drinks wisely.

Instead of soda, sweetened drinks, or fruit juice, drink protein-rich beverages such as skim or 1% milk. Or sip no-calorie tea, coffee, or water.

11. Slow down.

Fast eaters tend to eat more. It takes at least 20 minutes for your brain to get the message that your stomach is officially "comfortable" and that you should stop eating. So eat slowly and calmly. As you do, you'll be more aware of the textures and flavors and feel more satisfied.

12. Cut out evening snacks.

Avoid late-night snacking unless your blood sugar is too low or your doctor or certified diabetes educator recommends having an evening snack. Drink a cup of no-caffeine tea instead.