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Summer is almost here and you still have twenty or thirty pounds to lose. How are you going to do that? Sometimes simple, easy changes are just the thing that can get you started and help you see results quickly. Patience, however, is important because the weight did not appear overnight and it is not going to disappear overnight either. It will take some time for you to develop the healthy exercise and eating habits that are going to make your weight loss permanent. Here are some tips that can help.

Take a little time and think about just what it is that makes you gain weight. Do you have trouble resisting certain foods? Is it difficult not to nosh when free food is within reach? Are you too tired or too busy to shop for or to cook healthy meals? Is your partner supportive of your weight loss efforts? There are usually a wide variety of factors for most people that cause them to gain weight. Identifying these can help identify the first steps. If it’s junk food that’s your weakness, throw it all out and fill the refrigerator with healthy alternatives instead. If it’s intense emotions that spur your eating, find alternative outlets for those emotions such as calling a friend or taking a walk.

It is almost impossible to lose weight by cutting calories alone. You have got to get moving to lose the calories and then the weight. It doesn’t have to be an aerobic marathon, but it should be a regular exercise routine, so it can become a habit. Ideally you will do some form of exercise three or four times a week and stick to it. It is also good to be active whenever you can. Park away from the store and walk in. Take the stairs instead of the elevator. Get up at work and walk around. Pace while you are on the phone. Fitting in little spurts of activity throughout the days adds up.

Think ahead to those occasions when it may not be easy to make a healthy choice and have a plan. Know that conference will not have any healthy options for lunch? Take your own or ask to do a special order for the luncheon. Any caterer worth their salt won’t blink an eye at a special request, happens all the time, just get it in ahead of time. Tend to crave chocolate late at night? Drink a cup of Oolong tea with a couple of squares of dark chocolate an hour before bed. Both are rich in antioxidants and two squares won’t throw off your diet. The Oolong tea will actually help burn off calories, too.

Fill up on fruits and veggies and try a bowl of soup before the meal. Eating lots of high volume foods is a great way to fill up without filling out. Foods that are high in water such as green, leafy vegetables, watermelon, cantaloupe, apples, and pineapple are filling and very good for you. Also, eating a bowl of soup before the main course will help fill you up so you won’t eat so much. The soup should be something that is not cream based, such as vegetable or chicken broth.
These tips will help get you started on a path to steady, sustained weight loss that you should be able to keep off for the long term. It is not only about losing weight, it is also about being healthy and feeling good.

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