Start now.

Don’t wait for next week, Monday, or even tomorrow. Set out to make positive changes right away, as soon as you finish this article! Putting it off until a “start date” can backfire, because many people overeat in anticipation of cutting back for an upcoming diet. The trouble is, too many false starts and “last treats” can add up to hundreds of extra calories, not to mention lots of frustration. Remember, dieting isn’t about ditching everything you enjoy eating – it means eating them in moderation and replacing the balance with healthy choices.

Set some goals.

The last time you went on holiday, you probably looked at a map, found some directions, made reservations and made sure to pack the things you needed. With that in mind, don’t set out on a diet without goals; they are your roadmap to successfully losing weight. Noting down a few realistic expectations can give you something to aim at, such as a party you know is coming up in a few months? Make a diet road map – plan your meal options in advance – and get going!

Plan for a healthy breakfast.

Grabbing a croissant or a muffin as you walk out of the door means you’re more likely to continue to choose less-than-healthy options throughout the day. Choosing a healthy breakfast that gives you an healthful energy boost means you’ll set in motion a whole day of better choices.

Stay hydrated.

Sometimes it’s easy to confuse hunger for thirst; staying properly hydrated can be a big diet help. In fact, a University of North Carolina study found that people who drank a three pints of water consumed nearly 800 fewer calories throughout the day – not to mention the fact that your body requires water to work well, which includes burning calories. When your body is working the way it should, it’s easier to find the motivation for exercising, cooking, and eating right.

Use a hunger scale.

If you’re not eating mindfully, it can be tough to figure out why you are eating; are you hungry, stressed, sad, or bored? Try picturing a scale where 10 means you’re ravenously hungry and 1 means you’re not hungry at all. Before you eat, think of the scale and consider where you are on it, then match that assessment to how much you intend to eat. For example, if your hunger is at “1,” you really don’t need to eat – but perhaps need something to focus on like taking a walk or responding to some emails. And while you’re eating, keeping a hunger scale in mind will help you stop eating before you are over-full.

Set up your kitchen for success.

If you find that, say, keeping a packet of biscuits around tempts you into to eating them, then get rid of them! When you open your cupboard, your fridge or your freezer, whatever you see, you must be allowed to eat. Sometimes it’s just easier to have a single splurge, like enjoying a small dessert at a cafe, rather than buying a container of ice cream to keep (and tempt you) at home.

Try a new recipe.

It’s easy to feel demotivated if you are tired of eating the same old foods. So, try a new recipe using healthy ingredients. Slender Wonder has put together a recipe book with beautiful pictures to show you how you can make the foods allowed at each stage of the program, work for you. Take a trip to the shops to find inspiration in delicious, fresh and super-nutritious seasonal produce.

Keep a food journal.

Those bites, licks and tastes can really add up to big calories! Make this your mantra: if you bite it, write it. You may be surprised at where you are taking in extra calories that are keeping your weight loss efforts from taking off. Plus, a journal makes it easier to find times during the day that you can pinpoint stress eating or overeating; you can then use the journal as a tool to devise a solution to these diet-destroying eating patterns.

In summary…

Commit to making some healthy changes now! Most importantly, find the combination of motivators that gets you started and keeps you going. Make this your moment to lose weight for good!

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