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Stay-Slim Secrets From Dietitians

Reviewed by David T. Derrer, MD

You might think that registered dietitians have no problem staying slim and eating right. But just like everyone else, they have cravings for sweets, treats, and comfort foods.

Striving for perfection just doesn't work. "The people who are the most successful managing their weight are 'B' students who eat healthy and exercise about 80% of the time and allow themselves to indulge 20% of the time," says Dawn Jackson Blatner, RD, author of The Flexitarian Diet.

One of the best ways to lose weight is "clean eating" that tastes great, with filling, satisfying foods like fruits, vegetables, whole grains, beans, nuts, low-fat dairy, lean meats, fish, eggs, and plenty of water.

Help yourself to more of these strategies.

Eat Often

A handful of nuts and dried fruit, veggies and hummus, or Greek yogurt with fruit are a few examples of healthy mini meals. Start at breakfast. Skipping it makes you more likely to overeat later in the day.

Exercise, and Make It Fun

"Exercise every day, no matter what, and track your eating and physical activity," says registered dietitian Jackie Haven.

Jim White, owner of Jim White Fitness & Nutrition Studios in Virginia, works out 5-6 days a week and takes Sunday off to relax.

You're much more likely to stick with an activity you like. Playing tennis, riding your bike, and swimming are just a few examples of physical activities that feel more like fun than exercise.

Save Room for Your Favorites

"If you think of your diet like a bank account budget, you can account for that mid-afternoon piece of dark chocolate or glass of wine at dinner without consuming too many calories," registered dietitian Elizabeth Ward says.

She allows herself a 100-150 calorie treat every day, such as a 100-calorie fudge bar or a packet of Skinny Cow candy.

Weigh Yourself Regularly

Don't rely on how your pants fit. Weigh yourself at least once a week to avoid weight creep, Rosenbloom says.

Scaling back your portions, using smaller dishware, and adding protein and fiber at each meal will help stave off hunger and avoid gradual weight gain.

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