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Losing weight requires discipline and thinking in a number of areas, from what you eat and how much of it to how you feel afterwards. Use the following seven tips to complement your efforts to lose weight and see if they don’t give you a much needed boost in more ways than one.

1. Fit exercise into your schedule. Most people fail to devote enough time to working out in their day, due to being busy. Avoid this mistake by setting aside time specifically to walk, run, do cardio or aerobics and stick to the schedule. Weight loss without exercise just isn’t effective.

2. Quit processed foods. They are loaded with fats, sodium and usually calories, not to mention being unhealthy with all those chemicals. As convenient or yummy as they may be for you, they will be very counterproductive to your weight loss goals.

3. Avoid calories from beverages. They add up much quicker than most people realize, and can actually increase hunger. Don’t reach for a soda, even if it’s “diet” when you are thirsty and trying to lose weight, grab a bottled water instead. Also, minimize the damage from frothy lattes and specialty iced-coffees by making that in your own kitchen. Stick to the basics and keep cup size moderate.

4. Add fruits and vegetables to every meal. Nobody gets the recommended amounts everyday, and for the person needing to lose weight, they are needed even more. The natural sugars and plentiful vitamins and minerals will work with your body when trying to shed pounds. Have apple slices with breakfast, carrot sticks with lunch and pile on the green vegetables (hold the butter!) for dinner.

5. Moderate your portion sizes. People tend to think that an extra spoonful is harmless, but it adds up quickly. Understand portion measurements according to the instructions of your weight loss agenda and stick to them. Any deviation will throw-off the entire program and leave you wondering why you can’t make progress on the scales. Also, it can help to serve food on smaller plates.

6. Change the way you snack. Eating a handful of almonds can actually work with your metabolism and digestion, as can low-fat yogurt. The choices you make with between meal snacking make an enormous difference in your weight loss efforts; look at snacks like dietary aids, rather than small indulgences. Make calculated and informed decisions and speed-up the weight loss process.

7. Find alternatives to eating when you’re stressed. Most of us lean on comfort foods when we are overwhelmed by stress and when you need to drop a few pounds, that’s a bad habit. Try turning to your favorite exercise instead or music, meditation and reading. Not only will that nervous nibble add undue calories to your day, the guilt will just lead to more stress.

Dieting without losing weight is depressing and frustrating. Use the above tips to make the positive changes necessary to actually make more progress in your weight loss efforts. Once you see the scale move towards the left during weigh-ins, stick to your healthy habits and continue toward your goals.

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.