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12 Tips to Lose the Weight for Good

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WebMD Feature
Reviewed by David T. Derrer, MD

Want to lose weight, but feel as though you’ve already tried every trick in the book? It’s time to take a different approach to dieting. Here are 12 proven strategies to help you slim down for good.

1. Change the way you describe your goals.

 “Call it whatever you want, but don't call what you’re doing a ‘diet,’ ” says David Grotto, RD, author of The Best Things You Can Eat.

Diets have a beginning and an end -- and that’s the problem.” You will only be successful, Grotto says, when you make a lifelong commitment to a healthier lifestyle.

 

2. Make your goal meaningful.

Shift your focus from “I want to fit into that swimsuit that I haven’t worn in 10 years” to “I want to feel good and have more energy.” The latter reason reflects what’s called intrinsic (or internal) goals, which tend to have greater staying power over time.

Concentrating on the feel-good, health-promoting benefits of your efforts will help keep you engaged.

3. Review your history.

Consider what you’ve done in the past to try to lose weight -- then ditch what didn’t work, and think about what you could do differently this time.

If your downfalls were snacking at the office and waiting until the end of the day to exercise, you might decide to pack a healthy snack to take with you each day and go for a run first thing in the morning before unpredictable demands can get in the way of your good intentions.

4. Create a supportive environment.

“Our environments have a major influence on our ability to change our habits,” says John C. Norcross, PhD, psychology professor and author of Changeology: 5 Steps to Realizing Your Goals and Resolutions.

That’s why it’s smart to do things that will help, not hinder, your weight loss. If you want to make that early-morning jog happen, lay out your running gear before going to bed. Want to get in the habit of snacking on fruit, not chips? Put a bowl of fresh apples or pears on your kitchen table or counter. In other words, make it easy and convenient to keep yourself on track.

5. Form a fan club.

Tell supportive friends, family members, and colleagues about the changes you’re trying to make, Norcross says. Maybe you don’t want them to remind you of what you are or aren’t supposed to eat, but you would like them to give you ongoing encouragement or pep talks when you need them. Don’t leave this up to them to figure out. Tell them what you need and how they can help.

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