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Losing weight is not just about cutting calories and exercising like crazy. Losing weight requires a permanent lifestyle change. It is not realistic to think that while you are dieting, you eat exactly what you should and exercise 5 days a week, then after reaching your goal completely turn your back on what got you to your goal in the first place. Establishing a healthy view on your lifestyle and making permanent changes will set you up for success for a lifetime!

I recently came across a helpful article in Max Sports Magazine that discussed important tips to help you become a better loser and “maintainer”. Let us take a look at some of the suggestions I found particularly helpful.

1. Start with a food diary. Record what you eat, what you are doing while you eat, and how you felt. Get a solid understanding of your eating habits and what triggers your eating.

2. Set attainable goals. Do not expect yourself to lose 50 pounds in a month. This is not healthy, or possible! Make them clear, concise, and reachable.

3. When hunger hits, wait 10 minutes before eating. Cravings do tend to pass, so give it some time and see if this one will, too.

4. Get enough sleep. When we are tired, our defenses are down. This makes it easier to grab a couple cookies or throw caution to the wind. Get the quality sleep that you need.

5. Avoid sugar. The more you eat, the more you crave. It is that simple.

6. Drink 6-8 glasses of water each day. Water helps to cut down on water retention and, if taken before meals, dulls the appetite and makes you feel full.

7. Do not shop when you are hungry. This is a deadly time to shop, and when impulse buys are at their peak!

8. Keep plenty of crunchy, healthy foods around. Raw veggies, almonds, or fat-free popcorn can really help in a pinch where you must eat something!

9. Lose the weight for yourself. Do it for your health and for your satisfaction. If you do it for someone else, chances are you will fail.

10. Make the kitchen off-limits in between meals. This will help cut down on “grazing”.

11. Focus on what you are eating. Enjoy each bite and experience your food. This helps to focus your brain on the fact that you are eating, which will help you to avoid eating too much.

12. Substitute an activity for eating. Call a friend, read a book, take a walk. Anything but eating when you should not!

13. NEVER skip meals. When you skip meals, your metabolism slows down. The next time you eat, chances are that you will eat too much and binge.

I hope you found these tips as helpful as I did. Remember that weight loss and healthy living is not something you do temporarily. It truly is a decision you make to carry on for the rest of your life!

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