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When you need to lose weight, getting off on the right foot is imperative. Doing so will motivate you and be immediately rewarding! Use the following tips to create your healthy weight loss plan and keep at it until you meet your goals.

1. Count and control your calories. Use a calorie counter or ask your doctor to determine exactly how many calories you should be consuming, in order to meet your weight loss goals. Read the labels on the food you buy and know how many calories they contain. Add them up daily, no matter how tedious this process is. The only way to successfully lose weight is to burn off more calories than you take in, so keep track of this relentlessly.

2. Cut fat, sodium and sugar. What you eat is as important as how much you eat, if not more so. Some foods automatically pack on pounds, slow your metabolism and make losing weight next to impossible. Get smart about what goes into everything and eliminate the things that will work against you. To simplify tracking ingredients, know that the more natural and less processed things are, the less undesirables they should contain. Replace the negatives with healthy positives, like enjoying fruit over packaged snacks.

3. Plan meals a week ahead of time. This will help keep you on track and develop a good taste for healthier foods. Begin your plan at the grocery store, by sticking to a list of only the foods that will help you lose weight. Avoid keeping anything in the house that can tempt you astray! Write out a menu and post it on the fridge. Plan meals that have appeal so that you will look forward to them, but make sure they are made to aid your weight loss efforts completely.

4. Use water as a weight loss weapon. Nothing is healthier for you, and nothing else will work so hard in helping you lose weight. Drink a glass or two before every meal to take the edge off of hunger, and end each meal with one also. You will find your cravings diminish, especially for dessert! Keep yourself well hydrated during exercise and throughout the day. Water will help to detoxify your system, enabling your metabolic system to operate much more efficiently.

5. Keep records of your weight loss. Weigh yourself every couple of days and make a note of the number. Add a brief synopsis of what you ate and how you worked out. This will show you the cause and effect of your efforts and where you should make changes. Recent studies have proven weight loss journals to be the single most important factor in success! These records will chart your progress and take you to the weight you want to be.

Meeting your goals in weight loss is a tough challenge. But with diligence and hard work, you will succeed. Use these tips, along with a good plan for exercise and you should see a decline in your weight within a short period of time.

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