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More Tips for Sticking to Your Weight-Loss Resolution

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Make Friends with the Bathroom Scale
People who maintain weight loss say they check their weight on a regular basis, as often as once a day. These findings from the National Weight Control Registry, a database of adults who’ve lost at least 30 pounds and have kept the weight off for at least a year, also show that keeping tabs on weight helps people nip weight gain in the bud before it gets out of hand.

Choose Achievable Weight-Loss Goals
Don’t aim for perfection. “Make sure that your resolutions are tied to behaviors that are realistic for you,” says Robyn Flipse, R.D., author of Fighting the Freshman Fifteen (Three Rivers Press, 2002). “The easiest way to determine what’s realistic is to ask yourself if it makes you happy. Why? You’re going to continue doing things you enjoy longer than tasks you view as punishment. So, if you like to dance, go ballroom dancing at least once a week or take tap dance lessons, instead of coercing yourself to go to the gym.”

Indulge, with Limitations
“Allowing yourself to enjoy a small treat, such as a chocolate-covered strawberry or two, a tasty cookie, or a small piece of good chocolate, helps ward off the feeling of deprivation, a surefire New Year’s resolution buster,” comments Evelyn Tribole, R.D., author of Healthy Homestyle Cooking (Rodale Books, 1999). Tribole says many treats hold less than 200 calories as long as you keep portion sizes in check. For the most satisfaction, select high-flavor foods and enjoy every bite.

Write Down What You Eat
Use an inexpensive spiral notebook or a file card to jot down the foods you eat and the exercise you do each day. “A food-and-activity diary allows you to see what you’re doing and lets you tweak your eating and exercise routines,” says Bonnie Taub-Dix, R.D., a New York nutrition consultant and spokesperson for the American Dietetic Association. “In the food section of the notebook, each time you eat write down the time of day, type and amount of food, how hungry you are, and what you’re doing while you’re eating.” Taub-Dix says if you’re watching television, talking on the phone, or paying attention to something other than your food, you’re likely to eat too much. 

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