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28 Weight Loss Tips

When you were little and first learned to tie your shoes, someone taught you how to do it by breaking it down into smaller steps. First tie a knot. Then make the loops. Now tie the bow.

Splitting any task up into stages helps it seem more manageable, and gets you to goal quicker. The same goes for weight loss.

As you accomplish each "mini-goal," you'll feel like a winner. That sense of accomplishment is great motivation for meeting more mini-goals, and more, until suddenly you're at the weight you've always wanted.

"Making small changes one at a time is a great strategy," agrees Howard Rankin, Ph. D., a South Carolina psychologist. "It's not overwhelming, and it results in a slower, more steady weight loss."

Remember: When it comes to weight loss, slow and steady wins the race. It's the pace that will help you get to your goal, then stay there.

Do Sweat the Small Stuff
A bunch of small changes add up to big results. Maybe cutting the cream out of your coffee seems like a small feat to you. But once you've got that down you can add another small feat, then another.

"Baby steps are the way to go," said one user. "Especially when you're just starting the plan. There seem to be so many things to do, it's overwhelming. Little things become habits, and eventually the whole process doesn't seem so overwhelming."

We asked people like you — on the Message Boards and in Meetings rooms — what small steps they've taken in order to see their way toward their weight goals. This is what they said ...

... About Small Eating Changes

  • Water, water, water, water. (Your skin will look great, too!)
  • Order half portions at restaurants, or share a full portion with somebody. Or ask for a "to-go" container when you order your food, and pack up half the portion before you even start eating.
  • Cut back on butter and mayo.
  • Limit fried foods to once or twice per week.
  • Use less or no sugar in your coffee or tea.
  • Replace ground beef with "Boca" products or ground turkey.
  • Try at least one new food every week. If you're bored with what you're eating, you're more likely to give up.
  • Eat fresh, raw veggies with sandwiches instead of chips.
  • Measure your portions until you're sure you know what a cup, a half-cup, and a tablespoon look like. This will help you practice portion control, an essential key to weight-loss success.
  • Try not to drink high-calorie beverages.
  • Dip your fork in a side of salad dressing before each bite, instead of pouring it directly on your salad. You'll find that you are satisfied with much less than you usually put on.
  • Find healthy alternatives to all your favorite foods.
  • If you don't really love it, don't eat it.
  • Never eat out of a bag or box. Take out a measured/counted quantity of food and put it in a bowl. This way, you know exactly how much you're having.
  • Always eat something for breakfast.
  • Read food labels. Check serving sizes.
  • Add vegetables to everything.
  • Plan meals in advance; use that information to make out a complete shopping list.
  • Give food to guests to take home.
  • Write down everything you eat and drink, without fail.
  • Plan ahead for special occasions by accounting for higher-calorie foods before you eat them.

... About Small Exercise Changes

  • Take the stairs every single time they're an option. No more elevators or escalators.
  • Make exercise a priority, not an inconvenience.
  • Park far from your destination, so you're forced to walk; this works at the supermarket, the mall, wherever. (This also helps you waste less time looking for a parking space!)
  • View tiring chores (shoveling snow, cleaning the house, weeding the garden, taking the garbage out, grocery shopping) as a chance to get in some activity.
  • Take the grocery cart back to the store when you're done loading your bags into your car.
  • If you take public transportation, get off one stop early.
  • Work out with a buddy.

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