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Fitness & Exercise

The ABCs of Weight Loss

We've got 26 tips to help you succeed.
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Protein is the "secret sauce" to weight control. Include a source of protein -- lean meats, low-fat dairy, beans, or nuts -- in all meals and snacks to help keep you feeling full for hours.

Quit those old habits that caused you to gain weight, and replace them with healthier ones. Simple changes -- like lightening your coffee with low-fat milk instead of cream, switching to light mayonnaise, avoiding fried foods -- can help create healthier eating patterns that foster long-term weight loss.

Rely on friends, family, and/or an online community to help you in your weight loss efforts. Your motivation is at an all-time high when you start a weight loss program, but after a few weeks, it often starts to wane. Let your supporters help you get through the rough times.

Supplement your healthy eating plan with a once-daily multivitamin for nutritional insurance. Despite your best efforts, it can be hard to get all the nutrients you need every day. Taking a multivitamin will help fill in the gaps.

Track your eating patterns and physical activity every day. One of the tips of the "successful losers" tracked in the National Weight Control Registry is the importance of journaling food intake and activity. Entering this information into your online journal or in a notebook is a powerful motivator to help keep you working toward your goals.

Uncle Sam's latest dietary guidelines promise to make us happier, healthier and thinner. Tips from the government's recommendations (the 2005 Dietary Guidelines and MyPyramid) include:

  • Eat plenty of fruits and vegetables.
  • Eat more whole grains. At least half of your servings of grain foods should come from whole grains.
  • Enjoy three servings of low-fat dairy each day (yogurt, milk, or cheese).
  • Limit saturated and trans fats, sugar, and alcohol.
  • Watch the sodium content of your diet. Eat less processed food to reduce sodium.
  • Get plenty of exercise -- at least 30 minutes a day.

Volumetrics is the art of eating foods high in volume, or high-water foods. Fruits, vegetables, and soups are all examples of high-volume foods that are super-nutritious, satisfying, and low in calories. Dieters should make sure their plans are full of these healthy foods so they can feel full while still losing weight.

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