If permanent weight loss is your goal, your key to success is not a diet. Instead, you need to focus on several little things that you can easily do every day. The following tips focus on the two cardinal rules of weight loss: eat fewer calories and burn more calories. Follow them, and your weight will go down.

When trying to lose weight a good tip that you can follow is to set realistic goals that can be attained. This will encourage you by keeping you focused on a certain target. Most experts recommend of setting a goal to lose an average of one to two pounds per week.

During the holidays, you may be faced with a lot of fatty fried foods. This may be especially true if your family tends to cook “soul foods”. You can keep all the rich flavor of these special foods but reduce the fats and calories by choosing lean ham instead of bacon, roasted chicken instead of fried, and having baked sweet potatoes instead of making a sweet potato pie.

Find another way to handle stress; many people will eat when they are stressed. Instead of looking to food for comfort, prepare some inedible healthy tactics to fight stress that work equally well, try reading a book or meditation. When you can manage stress without eating you will be that much closer to your weight-loss goal.

Never skip meals in your quest to lose as much weight as you possibly can. Skipping meals can starve your body of the nutrients that you need, which can actually harm your body and hurt your chances of losing weight. Eat three balanced meals during the course of your day.

If you are getting bored with that plate of salad sitting in front of you at nearly every meal, throw it in a pocket! Any good weight loss plan includes plenty of healthy salad but since that can get old quick, toss your salad in a pita and splash some lemon juice on it for a tasty yet still weight loss conscious treat!

One of the hardest parts of losing weight is staying motivated. Combat this problem by setting a goal and making a prize that you “win” when you meet that goal. For example, go shopping for a new pair of shoes after you lose that first ten pounds, or treat yourself to a manicure when you reach the twenty-pound mark.

Feel free to make mealtime as fun as possible. Incorporate tons of colors so it is a joy for them to eat. You can also form foods into different shapes. Make dinosaurs for your boys one night and flowers for your girls the following night. They will have so much fun looking at the food that they won’t think twice about what is in it.

When you are at the gym, go over to the free weight section and hold a 5 pound weight for a couple minutes. Notice how heavy that weight will become and visualize that much coming off of your body. You will be amazed at how much 5 extra pounds can feel.

To keep yourself from being tempted, include your family in your diet. Buy low fat versions of household staples, and have everyone eat less prepared foods. If you’d like to avoid grumbling, make these changes subtly. They may never know they’re now drinking skim milk, if you don’t mention buying it!

As you can see, these tips are all simple little changes that you can easily fit into your daily life. Although they are only small things, they can make a big difference over time. By making a commitment to trying each of these suggestions, gradually you will see your weight decrease and your energy increase.

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