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Losing weight takes more than brute force, it takes smart thinking! Adopt the following habits as part of a good weight loss plan and increase your chances of success.

1. Document your diet. Recent studies indicate that keeping a journal of your weight management efforts yields much greater success! That’s an advantage very easily capitalized on, requiring only a pen and paper and a few minutes of your time each day. Log what you eat, how you feel and what exercises you did (or didn’t) do that day.

2. Bring a magnifying glass to the grocery store. Most companies make reading the calorie count and list of ingredients very difficult, so you need to plan on extra time for shopping too. No matter what hoops you have to jump through, always read the labels and know exactly what’s in the food you’re buying. It will make an unquestionable difference in the outcome of your weight loss efforts.

3. Enjoy being a chef in your own kitchen. Restaurants are not only expensive, they are a great source of extra calories in our meals. With special sauces, sizzling food in oil or just layering on the deliciousness to a decadent size, eating out will definitely interfere with your weight loss efforts! Get a good cookbook that allows you to create wonderful meals that won’t pack on pounds and enjoy the process of preparation and caring for yourself.

4. Limit your portion sizes. Invest in a set of dishes that includes smaller than average serving plates, it’s just plain logical! If you start out with a large plate, you’re much more apt to fill it up with more food than on a smaller one. If necessary, purchase a small scale for your kitchen and measure your portion sizes to accommodate the specifications of your particular diet.

5. Analyze the effects of the food you eat. Even if you consume something that doesn’t have a lot of calories, it can still have a big impact on the weight you gain or lose. Sodium, for example, retains water and makes it more difficult for your liver to process the food. Other foods can cause spikes in your energy levels and still others can even cause you to be hungrier than before you started eating, like high-fructose corn syrup! Be cognizant of these dilemmas and don’t be fooled by them.

6. Be kind to yourself. Don’t be a gestapo or kick yourself all over the place for slip-ups; that will eventually lead to even more bad dietary decisions later. Set smart limits and commit to following them regularly while allowing for the occasional deviation. Being overly restrictive or harsh will cause stress and resentment and both highly counterproductive to your weight loss efforts.

7. Make variety a priority. Enjoying lots of different kinds of foods will keep things interesting, increasing the likelihood of your success. Try Spanish foods or Mediterranean dishes that are full of flavor, but not calories. Make your eating an enjoyable experience that you look forward to, knowing you are making the best choices for your health and weight!

Changing your habits will change your weight! Stick to it and take pride in your efforts; you’re not only going to lose the pounds, you’re going to get a lot healthier in the process!

We have not received any compensation for writing this post. We have no material connection to the brands, products, or services that we have mentioned.