20 Best Dieting Tips ...

I'm always thinking about quick and easy ways to drop ten or fifteen pounds. It seems like those last few pounds are always the hardest to lose! So, I've brainstormed and searched the web for the best dieting tips to help you (and me) shed that extra weight before the weather gets warm. Read on for those great tips and tricks on weight loss!

1. It is a Lifestyle, Not a Diet ...

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If you're thinking of weight loss as a one-time, two-week, quick fix, you're going to be battling this up and down cycle forever. You've got to decide that reaching your goal weight and staying there is worth changing the way you live forever, not just for the duration of a diet.

2. Control What Goes in Your Mouth...

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Although there are many great diet products and weight loss plans out there, the bottom line is that you've got to eat less than you need. Regardless of whether it comes from carbs, fat, or protein, you've got to cut your calories down to less than what you burn. If you're burning what you don't have, that extra is coming from fat... and isn't that what we're all after? Feel the burn!

3. Increase What You're Burning ...

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If you're like me, it is really hard to restrict your calories down low enough to lose weight without exercise. So, the best thing to do is to increase how many calories you're burning. So, get off the couch and get moving! Do whatever exercise you find fun... walk, run, dance, take an aerobics class... just get your muscles moving. Or check out 10 Top Exercises to Lose Weight …for exercises that'll help you lose weight faster.

4. Lift Weights ...

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Aerobic exercise is amazing - it is fun and can really burn some calories. However, if you want to burn calories long-term and tighten your flab, you've got to lift weights. Too few women are into pumping iron, but it can strengthen your body, tighten those weird places (hello, back rolls and arm flab), and increase the amount of calories you burn - even while you sleep!

5. Take a Good Multivitamin ...

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If you're restricting your caloric intake, you might also be restricting your nutritional intake. It is important that you be healthy, not just thin. So, be sure to take a multivitamin each day. My tip is to take it at night... it will give it all night to absorb, and you won't have to deal with upset stomach vitamins sometimes cause.

6. Buy a Good Scale ...

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If you're weighing yourself on an old, unreliable scale, you're less likely to get accurate results. Some old scales can vary by several pounds in just a few moments! That's going to be really disappointing for you if your scale reads too high for a day or two. So, invest in a good scale that will read your weight accurately.

7. Slow down ...

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If you want to eat less, then eat more slowly. People who shovel foods into their mouth quickly don't give their bodies time to tell them they're full. It takes 20 minutes from the time you're actually full until your brain gets the message to stop eating. If you're eating quickly, think of how many bites you could consume in those twenty minutes! So, slow that eating machine down and listen for your body to tell you that you're full.

8. Eat Fresh ...

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If you're eating lots and lots of prepackaged convenience foods, you're going to make it really hard on yourself to lose weight. Instead, think of eating as close to nature as possible. In the grocery store, this means buying things around the edges of the store... where the fresh fruit, veggies, meat, and dairy sections are. Stay away from the boxes as much as possible!

9. Buy a Pedometer ...

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We all know walking is good for you, but most of us spend our time being very, very sedentary. When you strap a pedometer on your side, you're instantly more aware of how much you move. Set yourself a goal of walking ten thousand steps every day, and you'll be surprised at how much extra exercise you get without even trying!

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10. If It is White, It Isn't Right ...

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If you want to cut back the pounds, cut back on the white stuff. White foods are usually not good for you. What I mean is that white foods are usually more refined (think white bread) and more full of sugar (think table sugar) or carbs (think white pasta). Instead of choosing white foods, choose brown ... more whole grains, more fiber, more filling, more vitamins!

11. One Change a Week ...

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Don't think you're going to get up Monday morning, eat totally healthy, run six miles, and lift weights for an hour before bed. You'll burn out in a week or two... or if you're like me, a day or two. Instead, make one change a week. Want to start running and lifting weights? Add running this week, and start weight lifting next week. Then, add a healthy breakfast the week after. Adding one new habit a week gives you time to get used to it instead of getting overwhelmed.

12. Buy Smaller Plates ...

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We all know our portion sizes are out of control. One major reason for this is that our dinner plates have increased in size dramatically in the last thirty years. So, go out and buy an eight inch wide dinner plate... this was the most common size in the 1960's, and back then we weren't as fat! If you've got less room to load up your plate, you'll automatically eat less. Read more about how the right plates can help you eat less in 7 Fastest Ways to Lose Weight …

13. Don't Ever Banish a Food ...

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Don't ever tell yourself, "I'll never eat that again." What does that do? It automatically makes you think and obsess about getting that food any way you can. Instead, tell yourself, "I'll eat cake only at birthday parties," or "I'll have a chocolate milkshake once I've lost 15 pounds." This way, you can still enjoy your favorite foods but on your terms.

14. Shop with a Full Tummy ...

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Don't go to the grocery store when you're hungry. Every tempting snack and convenience food will magically jump into your shopping cart. Instead, go to the store when you're full of healthy foods and not tempted to pick unhealthy snack things. You'll make a lot better choices when you aren't motivated by hunger.

15. Eat Three Squares a Day ...

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If you skip meals, you'll make it up somewhere. Don't think that skipping a meal will help you cut calories. Instead, your metabolism will drop into "Don't starve me!" mode, and you'll just pig out at your next meal. Instead, eat three healthy meals each day and add a few smart snacks in there, too. You'll feel better and lose weight faster, too! Check out 4 Tips on Eating More Often and Losing Weight … to find out why eating more often is good for your diet.

14. Turn off the TV and Sit at the Table ...

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If you eat while you watch tv (or do anything distracting, for that matter), you'll eat more. Instead, focus on what you're eating and really enjoy it. Don't zone out and let your mind wander while you're eating, or you'll be prone to eat more than you intended.

15. Don't Eat Family Style ...

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Family style eating means bringing all the food to the table in big bowls, and this is a proven way to encourage overeating. Instead, leave the extra food in pans on the stove. Serve portions (small portions, by the way) on each person's plate and take them to the table. This makes it a lot harder to keep grazing on food once you're full.

16. Make Dinner Your Last Bite ...

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Make a commitment not to snack after dinner. It isn't good for several reasons. Number one, you really don't need it... chances are that you're pretty much done burning calories for the night, so you don't need the fuel. Also, the food will just sit in your belly and not process very well, and you'll be more likely to store it as fat. Instead, be satisfied with your dinner and stop the late-night snacking. Check out these useful tips on How to Cut Calories in the Evening.

17. Eat More Protein ...

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Protein, like fiber, fills you up. Know that satisfied feeling that you get when you eat a great steak? It is the full feeling you get from proteins in your belly. So, add healthy protein to your meals and snacks whenever you can. Looking for good sources of protein? Beyond the obvious beef and chicken, consider peanut butter, lowfat yogurt or cheese, or a handful of nuts.

18. Healthy Breakfast = Less Calories All Day Long ...

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Starting your day with a healthy breakfast will help you eat less all day. When you start your day feeling full and satisfied, you are free to make better food choices because you aren't hungry. If you're like me, and you're already pressed for time in the morning, it can be hard to find time to fix a big breakfast. It doesn't have to be complicated... a breakfast sandwich, a healthy bowl of cereal, or an egg white omelet are all great choices.

19. Don't Confuse Hunger with Thirst ...

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A lot of times, I think I'm hungry, but I'm really just thirsty. I don't drink enough water, so I'm often dehydrated, and that's not a great way to try to lose weight. Drink more water, and you'll automatically feel more full and less hungry. But, if you're feeling really ravenous, drink a big beverage and weight twenty minutes. If you're still hungry, go ahead and eat something... but I bet you'll find yourself feeling full a lot of the time. By the way, did you know that drinking or not drinking water effects your looks? Read 6 Beauty Effects of Drinking More Water … for the details!

20. Clear Your Cabinets of Temptations ...

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If you're surrounded by the foods you can't say no to, it is only a matter of time before you eat them. If your honey loves potato chips and ice cream, but you can't control yourself around them, you've got to compromise. Maybe he could keep those things at work instead, but you don't need them in the pantry. Your willpower can't be that strong all the time, so make sure to limit your temptations.

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I hope these tips and tricks can inspire you to get on the weight loss train! If we try some (or all) of these ideas, we'll be looking hot and short-shorts ready by the time the weather warms.

Do you have other great ideas? I'm sure we'd all like to hear - and try - them, so post them in the comments section!

Photo Credit: ::reflecting truth::

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