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Diet Motivation Tip 2: Go Slow
Diet success entails making real lifestyle changes, and that doesn't happen overnight. "You have a better chance at keeping the weight off if you lose it slowly. People who are starving get irritable and have a higher failure rate," Kulze tells WebMD. "If you cut back 200 calories a day, you won't even realize it and the weight will come off and stay off." If you keep in mind that optimal weight loss is 1 to 2 pounds a week, you'll be less frustrated

Diet Motivation Tip 3: Expect Setbacks
Everyone is bound to give in to temptation (hello, hot fudge sundae) from time to time. The danger isn't a single splurge but letting it become an excuse for an all-out binge. Call it the "I've already blown it so I might as well eat the entire bag of Oreos" syndrome.

Diet Motivation Tip 4: Don't Be a Perfectionist
So what do you do if you've scarfed down a pint of ice cream before noon? "Perfectionist thinking gets in the way of success more than anything I know," according to Vicki Saunders, RD, who oversees the inpatient weight loss and lifestyle program called Transformations at St. Helena Hospital in Napa, Calif. "A 100-calorie indulgence is just that. But if it's perceived as a failure and a reason to give up, it can turn into a thousand-calorie indulgence." Bottom line when you slip up: Forget about it. Tomorrow is a new (healthier) day.

Diet Motivation Tip 5: Use the Buddy System
"It's hard to make major lifestyle changes when you're swimming upstream by yourself," says Saunders. Finding other people with similar goals can greatly improve yours odds of diet success. When your spirit - or willpower - flags, having people to call on can provide the support you need to continue. Saunders recommends looking for people at your local gym or Y, Overeaters Anonymous, or an online support group. "Having a support group to turn to, whether it's your family or people in a weight-loss chat room, can make all the difference" for diet success.

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