Ditch the strict "diet" mentality. Say you have an off day (or week); it's too easy to get discouraged and give up. Thinking of being ON or OFF a diet can really derail you. So do the best you can when making food choices, but be realistic: No one's perfect. If you have a bad day, oh well! Just jump right back on that wagon. Beating yourself up = a bad idea.
EAT BREAKFAST. It's called "the most important meal of the day" for a reason, people. Many studies show that eating a smart and substantial breakfast is hugely beneficial when it comes to weight loss and maintenance. Your body needs fuel to get going each day, and if you wait too long to fuel up, you're likely to wind up super-hungry and make bad food decisions. Need b-fast ideas? That's what we're here for: Click, click, and click!
Let yourself splurge now and then. The 80/20 rule (eating smart 80 percent of the time and loosening up the reins the other 20 percent) really works. If you allow yourself the occasional indulgence, you won't feel guilty when you do indulge, and it'll be easier to get right back to more sensible chewing. Moderation is important, even when it comes to guilt-free eating.
Read up and write down. Read the nutritional info on the foods you eat, and make sure you're applying this info to the portion you're actually eating; it's not always the same as the given serving size. More and more restaurants are providing nutrition info these days, so check it out and get informed. Our Survival Guides are also handy. And to determine about how many calories you burn in a day, check out an online calculator like this one. Once you've got the deets, keep track of 'em. Food journals may seem dorky, but they totally work.
Move! No, we don't mean relocate (unless your proximity to the local donut shop or fried-food mecca is causing you trouble!). Find something active that you actually enjoy; it doesn't have to be traditional "exercise." Running/walking on a treadmill while watching reality TV? Sure. That hula-hooping DVD you've been eyeballing? Why not? And don't underestimate the power of the buddy system. If you sign up for fun exercise classes with a couple of pals, you'll be less likely to bail. Even a daily a.m. jog or lunch-break walk with a friend makes regular activity easier to stick to. Plus, you'll get to keep each other up-to-date on the latest gossip. Click here for more tips!