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12 Tips to Lose the Weight for Good

6. Be flexible.

Something is bound to pop up that can throw you off track (the grocery store sells out of your favorite salad ingredients, or your favorite Zumba class moves to a new time).

Expect the unexpected. You might have to create a backup plan on a moment’s notice -- like trying a new class at the gym, or buying celery or snap peas to go with your hummus.

The key is to be ready, willing, and able to revise your routine and find ways around obstacles, Norcross says. Don’t let one surprise throw off your whole routine.

7. Be your own BFF.

“When you miss the mark, show yourself some compassion. You’ll avoid letting a slip become a fall,” Norcross says. His research on New Year’s resolutions found that most people who succeed at keeping them say their first slipup strengthened their resolve.

So give yourself a pep talk, just as you would a close friend. Then dust yourself off, learn from the lapse, and pick up where you left off.

8. Tune into your hunger.

To prevent overeating, rate your hunger on a scale of 1 to 10, with 10 being extremely hungry. Eat when you’re in the middle of the scale, psychologist Leslie Becker-Phelps, PhD, says.

If you know you won’t be able to eat later, have a snack or small meal when your hunger is low. This helps you avoid getting overly hungry, which can set you up for overeating later on.

9. Make yourself accountable.

Keep a food and exercise diary on paper, online, or with an app on your phone. 

Consistently recording your eating and exercise habits, along with weighing yourself regularly, gives you some advantages. Seeing the results you want motivates you to keep going. If the results aren't so great, you can make changes to fix that.

You can monitor your progress any way you want to. Experiment and pick the method works best for you and that you are most likely to do.

10. Know your emotional triggers.

Using food to handle boredom, frustration, stress, anger, or sadness can sabotage your efforts, Becker-Phelps says.

Feel your emotions, but don't let them get the best of you. Figure out what helps you relax and feel positive. Try listening to music, chatting with a friend, or going for a walk.

11. Make sleep a priority.

Studies show that not getting enough sleep triggers hormonal changes that can lead to feeling hungrier.

There’s no underestimating the importance of a good night’s rest. The recommended amount for adults is 7 to 9 hours of shut-eye per night.

12. Practice mindful eating.

Chew your food thoroughly, and put your fork down between bites. Eating more slowly will help you appreciate your food more and “give your stomach a chance to notify your brain that you’ve had enough,” Grotto says.

Once you get that signal, “put down your fork and ask yourself, ‘Can I stop eating now and walk away from this table satisfied?’ ” Grotto says.

If the answer is no, eat some more. If the answer is yes, push your plate aside and focus on the conversation or something other than the food.

Reviewed on July 08, 2014

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