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As spring approaches, many people begin thinking about shedding a few extra pounds. You probably know by now that not all weight loss advice was created equal; some tips generally work for most people and others just don’t. The following tips have been proven over the years as being reliable, solid tips that will help you lose weight.

Set a goal and make sure that it is something you can achieve. You aren’t going to be able to lose ten pounds a week; if you set your goal that high, you are likely to be disappointed. Not only that, but when you don’t experience the success you were hoping for, you are much more likely to give up on losing weight all together. Instead, aim for about a pound a week. If you lose a little more than that, great — but focus on what is attainable instead of what you wish would happen.

Find a way to keep yourself focused on your goal. Do you have pictures of when you were ten pounds lighter? Put them up in a prominent place, like on your refrigerator. Do you have clothing that is a size too small? Move the items to the front of your closet so that you have to look at them each day. Find a visual way of keeping yourself focused on your goal each and every day.

Plan to be active and follow through with it. Aim to get at least three hours of physical activity a week, whether it is simply walking around a track during your lunch break or taking a bike ride in the evenings. While eating well is obviously important, it is crucial not to neglect this aspect of your weight loss regimen.

Pick up fruits and vegetables when you are at the grocery store so that you will have healthy snacking options. In particular, focus on foods that you don’t have to cut up very much to enjoy; often, if it is takes an extra few minutes to prepare, you aren’t going to eat it and will instead turn to junk food. Things like pears, grapes and small apples are all good options.

Drink more water. Cut out soda, ice tea and beer; these are just empty calories. When drinking milk, go with one percent instead of whole or even two percent milk. Remember, not only is water calorie-free, but it can also help you feel full for longer periods of time. Aim for eight glasses a day, and try to space them out so that you are drinking fairly constantly.

Don’t deny yourself entirely; this often leads to binge eating. Every once in a while, allow yourself to splurge and have a special treat. Just watch the portion size so that you don’t eat too much.

It is easy to get distracted by all the tips out there that promise quick and easy weight loss. The truth is, slimming down is a process, and it can be very hard. However, stick to the tips above, and you will find success.

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