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Nutrition Articles  ›  Healthy Habits

13 Weight-Loss Rules You'll Love to Follow

How to Make 'Dieting' Fun!

-- By Ellen G. Goldman, Health & Wellness Coach
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Seeing the words "diet" and "fun" in the same sentence might seem like an oxymoron. When we decide to lose weight, ideas of deprivation, boredom, sacrifice and even misery usually come to mind. But they don't have to. Weight loss CAN be fun and enjoyable—if you have the right attitude and set out on your journey with the right tools—and rules—for long-term success.
Research shows that what we tell ourselves is a predictor of results. A positive mindset greatly increases one's chances of success, and when we make the journey towards any goal enjoyable, we achieve it with greater speed and stick with it for the long haul.
So throw out the "dieting" rules that make you feel deprived and bored. To start, follow these rules of weight loss that not only work—but actually make the process more fun!  And whatever you do, focus on enjoying the journey, not just reaching your destination.
Weight-Loss Rules You'll Love to Follow

1. Eat more often. Out-of-control hunger is a common predictor of overeating—and giving up on any diet. When you go too long without food, your blood sugar drops, your mood and focus plummet, and you often grab the easiest thing you can, which usually isn't healthy. Instead of skipping meals and starving yourself, don't go more than 3-4 hours without eating. This will keep your hunger monster at bay and keep you happy and satisfied on your program.
2. Treat yourself. When you decide that a particular food (or even an entire food group), is off limits for your diet, research shows that we focus on that one food even more than if we simply allowed ourselves permission to eat it from time to time. If you told me I could never eat cookies again, I probably wouldn't be able to stop thinking about how much I like cookies and would feel miserable that I couldn't have them. Since willpower is in such short supply in humans, there's a really good chance that anyone would cave in eventually—and likely go overboard. So give yourself permission—and make a plan—to make room in your diet for your favorite treats.
3. Stop searching for the best workout.  What's the ideal workout for weight loss? The workout you'll actually do—not the one that worked for your friend, or that you heard burned the most calories. Research shows that if you can match the exercise plan to your preference and personality, you'll be more consistent. If you pick what works for others or what you perceive is best despite not enjoying it, you're setting yourself up for failure. When you find something that is fun, who cares how many calories it burns. In the end you'll burn the most calories when you stop making excuses to avoid a workout and actually want to do an activity!
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About The Author

Ellen Goldman Ellen Goldman
Ellen Goldman has bachelor's and master's degrees in health and physical education. An AFAA-certified personal trainer and certified wellness coach, she is also the founder EnerG Coaching, LLC. Through one-on-one and group sessions, Ellen helps individuals make positive lifestyle changes, lose weight, manage stress and attain work-life balance. Visit her at

Member Comments

  • Great article! - 7/15/2014 8:25:33 PM
    I really enjoyed the tips and I keep starting some and can't seem to finished but I hope I will find the one right thing 4 me - 7/15/2014 4:31:03 PM
  • Good advice. - 7/14/2014 8:54:39 AM
  • Enjoyed the info. I like how more and more I'm seeing that "diet" is the food you eat on a regular basis as opposed to a set of eating rules to follow. I think if we all adopted that thinking we would do better overall when it comes to making wiser food choices. - 7/14/2014 1:31:12 AM
  • THANK YOU !! ENJOYED READING THE ARTICLE. - 6/4/2014 10:44:15 AM
  • Good one. Thanks - 6/1/2014 6:42:36 AM
  • MUNCHKIN2235
    This is wonderful and useful info. Thank you so much! - 5/27/2014 5:47:35 PM
  • Wonderful article. I find the most success on focusing on the healthy foods I want to eat, versus focusing on what I don't want. If a person continually tells themselves, I can't eat this or that, then that is exactly what we they will have a problem resisting. I also enjoyed the tip about exercise for 10 minutes if that is all that you can do. I find that if I tell myself to at least try and get on the bike or go for a walk, I am more likely to do it. A little effort is better than no effort at all. - 5/21/2014 7:01:49 PM
  • I just read "Diet Cults," and I highly recommend it. One thing the author (Matt Fitzgerald) mentions is the most important factor in losing weight and keeping it off is MOTIVATION.

    And all of these tips are healthy. Thank you for encouraging people to skimp on, not cut out, sweets, and to treat themselves. Food is fuel. Food isn't "good" or "bad." It's just food! - 5/21/2014 3:42:20 PM
  • Great read. I find so much helpful information on SP.
    - 5/21/2014 3:20:47 PM
    Good article. Nice to read that am doing the right things to be in better health. - 5/21/2014 12:08:15 PM
  • Really? many of these things are what got most people in to trouble in the first place. 'Most' people have trouble with moderation especially those with a great deal of weight to lose and these types of articles just make it that much harder to be successful - 5/21/2014 11:59:15 AM
  • I REALLY needed these reminders today. Plus, the Henry Ford quote is one of my faves. I'm going to save that and add it to my motivators. - 5/21/2014 9:59:12 AM
  • SGL2010
    Terrific article. Thank you. Helpful ideas and good reminders (esp exercising in short bursts and asking if I can continue. This works for me, but do I do it? Not consistently).

    Way to go Greenhome. I will think of you when I lose 10 lbs and and re-assess my wardrobe. That's good motivation. Thank you for sharing. - 5/21/2014 7:45:21 AM
  • I loved these and try to do allot of them, such as indulge in foods I like. I also loved the carb rule. Low carb diets, such as a the no gluten diet craze is a gimmick. The only reason people lose weight off those things is usually because when they give up carbs or "gluten" they give up processed foods, refined white pastas, breads and flour as well. I switched to whole grain foods. I eat Daves Killer Bread, whole wheat flour, brown rice and whole wheat pastas. I think its much healthier, than trying to cut out all "gluten," when you do not need to do it. - 4/24/2014 6:31:50 PM