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12 Tips for Permanent & Healthy Weight-Loss

Weightloss585We all know that losing weight isn’t easy. But it certainly doesn’t have to be torturous. In fact, what if it was tough but sometimes kinda fun?! Well, that’s what we’ve been doing here all week: Making the transition from regular bottomed girl to fit bottomed girl easier! (And, really, being a fit bottomed girl isn’t about looking a certain way. It’s about feeling good about yourself and your body!) Today—with the help of Pirate’s Booty and Vtrim Behavioral Weight Management, we’re giving you 12 tips to be your healthiest this year. Whether you’re a beginner or a health-aficionado, you’re sure to benefit from these simple and livable tricks for permanent healthy changes for the better!

  1. Set a Goal. Don’t just say, “I want to lose weight.” Instead, vow to lose two pounds per week until you reach your goal by exercising three to four times weekly and eating sweets in moderation.
  2. Get Serious. Yes, we’re rarely serious around here, but if you’re not serious about losing weight or getting healthy, it’ll be darn near impossible for you to achieve your goals. You deserve to put yourself first! So do what you need to do to make it happen.
  3. Home Is Where the Health Is. A new study suggests that those who are successful at maintaining weight-loss have fewer high-fat foods and more exercise equipment in their homes. Look through your fridge and pantry, and throw out or donate unopened packages of foods that are highly processed or high in saturated fat, trans fat and calories. If they’re not around the house, they sure are hard to snack on. While you’re at it, create better access to exercise equipment, too. Don’t leave a treadmill in the basement to collect dust. Move it to a room that you frequent more often. It will remind you to get your exercise on!
  4. Create a plan. It’s not a bad idea to plan out your meals in advance and create a weekly shopping list to keep you on track at the grocery store. Also, create a workout calendar with exercise dates, so you schedule time for yourself. I know it’s hard for you non-planners to do this sort of thing, but I swear that even the slightest bit of organization will help!
  5. Change Your Habits (Slowly). Try replacing processed foods with whole grains that are naturally high in fiber . Try it once every couple of days, then daily, then twice daily, then at every meal to make it a habit. Make sure to hit all the food groups and practice portion control. Always listen to your hunger!
  6. Water it Up. Water is great for weight-loss because it can replace high-calorie drinks, such as soft drinks and juices. Sticking to the “8 by 8″ (eight 8-ounce glasses of water by 8:00 p.m. daily) is a tried-and-true method to stay hydrated.
  7. Don’t Deprive. Your weight-loss regimen should not feel like punishment. Instead of depriving yourself, allow yourself to splurge on foods you love in moderation. I love having a small piece of dark chocolate each day. It makes me happy and keeps the chocolate monster at bay.
  8. Keep Snacking. Noshing on whole-grain snacks that are low in sugar and veggies will keep your energy up for that big meeting in between breakfast and lunch. Snacking will also keep you from overindulging at mealtimes.
  9. Beware of Food Cues. Food cues trip us up all the time. We smell the hint of caramel corn in the air. We see an advertisement for velvety chocolate on television. Suddenly, we find ourselves digging into the cookie jar. Reduce impulse eating by eliminating visible foods, eating cues and temptations. Give high-calorie foods a low profile. Store them in the back of your cupboard or on high shelves where they can’t be seen. Same goes for your refrigerator and freezer: store high-fat foods in the rear with healthy low-calorie options  up front.
  10. Step Away From the Couch. To stave off temptation, pick a place (your “Designated Eating Place” or “DEP” for short) and restrict your eating to this location. If you trade carrots for cookies when you’re sitting on the couch watching TV, you haven’t changed your behavior, you’ve only changed what you eat while watching TV. Such mindless eating is more often a reaction to boredom than hunger. Enjoy the foods you love at your DEP. You’ll be surprised by how much unnecessary munching you will cut out.
  11. Crack Open a Cook Book. Shake up your tried-and-true recipes with some new additions. What’s so helpful about making your own food is that you choose the ingredients and determine the portion sizes (and leftovers can be served up as tomorrow’s healthy lunch). If you’re not sure where to start, check out these healthy cookbooks that we’ve reviewed!
  12. Take the Short Way Home. When it comes to being more active and burning calories, it doesn’t matter whether it’s in one long exercise session or multiple short sessions. You can take three10-minute walks, which is just as good as one 30-minute walk. One study found that people who participated in more short exercise bouts actually lost more weight. Walking is a perfect exercise because our own bodies act as our resistance—no fancy equipment necessary. Instead of meeting a friend for coffee, ask her to join you for a catch-up walk so you can burn calories over conversation.

If you’re looking for healthy inspiration to kick off 2010, join us tonight on Twitter while we tweet live during The Biggest Loser Couples season premiere at 8/7 Central! See ya then! —Jenn

FTC disclosure: We often receive products from companies to review. All thoughts and opinions are always entirely our own. Unless otherwise stated, we have received no compensation for our review and the content is purely editorial. Affiliate links may be included. If you purchase something through one of those links we may receive a small commission. Thanks for your support!