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6 Tips to Keep the Weight Off, for Good!

If you follow a radical fad diet, you can drop those excess pounds that you put on over the holidays quickly. But what happens when you start eating “normally” again? For most people, a return to a regular diet means that the weight will creep back on—and more often than not, you’ll put on even more weight in the process. Keep reading for six sure-fire tips for successful weight maintenance.

Keep the weight off and maintain your desired look by following these suggestions:

1. Never say “diet.” The word “diet” often signifies a short-term commitment to an extreme eating plan. But the key steps to long-term weight control are establishing a healthy eating pattern you can stick with and being active on a regular basis. To maintain weight loss, you must balance the number of calories you consume with the energy you burn through physical exercise.

2. Manage your expectations. Telling yourself that you're going to eat salads at every meal and run 10 miles a week may be a bit much—especially if you’ve never come close to doing either one of those things before. Instead, set smaller, realistic goals and add a new challenge on a weekly basis to keep yourself motivated and challenged.

3. Dine in. Cooking at home is a great way to control what—and how much—you eat. Keep your fat intake to a minimum by preparing the low-calorie version of your favorite dishes, using low-fat ingredients.

4. Snack smart. Stop in-between-meal hunger pains by snacking on a piece of fresh fruit, raw cut vegetables or a container of low-fat yogurt. These snacks are a healthy alternative to chips, cookies or candy.

5. Become a calorie-burning model of efficiency.
Fight fat by burning off calories with at least 30 minutes of moderate-intensity physical activity five or more days a week. If you’re already averaging 30 minutes at a time, set a new goal and slowly increase your endurance. Be sure to check with your healthcare provider before you begin any new exercise routine.

6. Forgive yourself and get back on track. If you occasionally make mistakes, don't give up! Forgive yourself for making bad choices and keep working toward your goal. If you ate a high-calorie lunch today, find balance by eating an extra healthy dinner and adding more physical activity to your routine tomorrow.

Don’t let all your hard work go to “waist.” By following the above tips, you can avoid packing on the pounds again, and again, and again.

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