Dieting doesn't have to be painful or an exercise in futility - here are 23 super tips that can help make yours easy to start and stick with.
1. Eat foods that make you work for your meal. Bone-in chicken and "u-peelum" boiled shrimp are great because you have to dig, pick and fight for every bite, making it a chore to stuff yourself.
2. Chow down on a delicious salad before dinner or lunch to fill up BEFORE the high-calorie entree hits your plate. Watch the dressings, though.
Many are loaded with fat and calories. Read your labels. Even better, stick with a little lemon or lime juice. Not only are they good for you, they taste great, and they're "thermogenic," which means they actually burn calories.
3. Drink a large glass of water immediately before each meal.
4. Snack between-meals on nourishing, unprocessed, low-cal snacks such as apples, oranges, cucumbers, carrots, celery and the like. You can destroy a full day of successful dieting with a single high-cal, high-fat snack - so be careful.
5. Eat popcorn for snacks. Served plain, it's just 25 calories per cup.
6. Spend extra time on your appearance. You'll feel better about yourself and your motivation to lose weight will soar.
7. Listen to cassette tapes in your car rather than the radio so that you won't hear all those tempting food commercials on the readio. Watch less TV to cut down on commercials even more.
8. Keep busy. A full and fulfilling life will keep you from getting bored and turning to food to fill the empty spaces. Cultivate an interesting hobby to give yourself something to do rather than eat. Volunteer.
9. Use plain, low-fat yogurt in recipes calling for sour cream and save yourself calories with every tablespoonful.
10. Put stews, gravies, and soups in the refrigerator for a few minutes before eating them. Fat will rise to the top and you can skim it off for a huge savings of calories.
11. Eat hard ice cream instead of soft to save about 90 calories per serving.
12. Try herbals such as dandelion and Brazilian cocoa to support your healthy-weight regimen.
13. Get plenty of sleep to boost your willpower. When awake, use simple relaxation tips such as closing your eyes, relaxing your muscles and clearing your mind to cut down on stress, which can lead to eating.
14. Eat slowly and savor every bite. In the end you'll eat less.
15. Don't taste foods while you're cooking them. Get somebody else to do it.
16. Eat at the same time every day. A regular schedule helps you control how much and how often you eat.
17. Instead of drinking a glass of orange juice, eat a medium orange. It will last longer and save you 35 calories. And the fiber is great for your healthy colon and digestion. One more benefit: Oranges leave you with fresh breath.
18. Don't wear baggy clothing when you eat. Roomy clothes make you feel you can eat more. Choose clothing with a tight waist so you'll stop eating sooner.
19. At restaurants order all items a la carte. The main dish alone usually is enough.
20: Use small plates. They make healthy portions look big.
21. Always shop for food on a full stomach so you won't be tempted to purchase high calorie "impulse foods." This technique really works.
22. Drink club soda with a slice of lemon instead of soda pop and save 150 calories a can.
23. Give thanks before you eat. A simple prayer or meditation will give you pause to reflect on how fortunate you are to have food at a time when billions of people in the world are going to bed hungry at night.
These reflections can help you cut down on over-eating. If it helps, think about the plants and animals that gave their lives so that you could eat and thrive. An appreciation of the life you are eating to sustain yourself really can work wonders when it comes to helping you control how much and how often you eat.