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Only by making a serious commitment to change, he said, will you achieve success. To get there, he says, stop expressing negative thoughts about the lifestyle changes required to lose weight and get fit.

"Stop fighting it and stop negotiating with yourself," he says. "Do it because you care about yourself, not to lose 10 pounds."

2. Ease Into Weight Loss

When most people decide to lose weight, they go cold turkey on the Chunky Monkey and chips and dive into a Spartan menu of vegetables and cottage cheese, determined to do an immediate overhaul of their diets.

Wrong approach, Greene says. Gradual is better. "Don't radically change your entire diet overnight," he advises. Phase in healthier foods a little at a time.

"Don't give up all your comfort foods at once, and don't look at snacks as foods that get you into trouble," Greene says. Eating right can and should include snacks, he says: "Snacks are effective weight loss tools. They bridge hunger and help you not to overdo it at a meal."

3. Skip the Scale

It's a knee-jerk reaction. You've been on a diet for oh, 24 hours, and you're eager to see progress. Of course, you'll weigh in.

Think again, Greene says. "Stay off the scale for the first month to six weeks," he suggests. This will be a challenge, he knows, for most people, who can't wait to see the pounds drop off.

But the scale gives you a somewhat inaccurate idea of what is going on. You may have lost only water weight, for instance, or you may get discouraged if you haven't lost as much as you hoped for.

If you're dying for feedback, focus on how your clothes fit, he suggests.

4. Shift the Diet Focus

"Instead of focusing on cutting calories [only], which drops your metabolism, focus more on activity levels," Greene says. "It's the bigger of the two."

Activity burns calories. Exercise like weight training also builds lean muscle, helping to boost your metabolism over time. So it offers a short-term and long-term advantage to meeting your fitness and weight loss goals, Greene says.

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