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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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4. Love what you eat. When you eat or drink anything, do so slowly, mindfully and without distraction. By doing so, you'll increase your enjoyment and slow down your eating which will allow you the time to notice when you've had enough. And if it's a treat you're having, you'll feel so much more satisfied even if eating less because you'll have relished every bite, guilt free.
5. Lie around and do nothing. If you've ever stayed awake burning the midnight oil, here's your excuse to shut off the lights: Getting 7-8 hours of sleep every night is essential for weight loss. Individuals who are sleep deprived have higher levels of the hunger hormone ghrelin and lower levels of the fullness hormone leptin, which causes them to eat more calories. Perhaps we should rename beauty sleep to slimming sleep!
6. Don't skip breakfast. Think you'll be saving calories by skipping your morning meal? Think again. After an all-night fast, the best way to jump-start your metabolism is to eat within the first hour of waking. Studies have shown individuals who skip breakfast tend to over-consume at lunchtime or later in the day, offsetting all the calories they saved by skipping breakfast. Even if it's something small, try a quick and healthy morning meal to help set you up for success later in the day.
7. Dig into carbohydrates! Lately, carbs have gotten a bad rap. But not all carbs are created equal. We'd all be better off skimping on the sweets, processed foods and refined flours that make up so many snack foods. Leave those on the grocery shelf! But there's no reason to give up all carbs, especially the whole sources you'll get in healthful fruits, vegetables, beans, legumes, whole grains are dairy products.
8. Go out to eat. One of the first things people are told when losing weight is to cook more at home and stop eating out. This is good advice in general—but you don't have to give up on a fast takeout meal or your favorite restaurant in order to slim down—especially these days when restaurants are creating healthier, lighter fare than ever before, and sharing those nutrition facts on menu boards and their websites. There are loads of ways to enjoy eating out without blowing your diet.  Many menus offer lighter options, and good chefs are more than willing to accommodate special requests. Because restaurant portions do tend to be larger than normal, bring a friend. Split an entree to save calories and money. Or, order an appetizer as your main course.
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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

  • The point made about carbs is probably the most misstated aspect of low carb diets. No low carb diet tells you to give up carbs. Every one ATkins, South Beach, Paleo all tell you to get most of all of your carbs from veggies and some fruits. Many low carbers eat more veggies than the general population does. We just don't get the high carbs from bread potatoes etc. - 2/6/2014 9:06:40 AM
    Wow this article was great and shocking at the same time. I just saw the 13 things that I've been doing the opposite lol. This article just made me realize why I have been such a hard time staying on the wagon. - 1/2/2014 3:32:37 PM
  • Very good article. It is nice to remember I am doing several things right. - 12/29/2013 12:04:53 PM
  • Very good article. It is nice to remember I am doing several things right. - 12/29/2013 12:04:52 PM

    THANK YOU!!! - 12/29/2013 6:34:43 AM
    Love this article. GREENHOME: I love your way of thinking! Thank you. - 12/29/2013 4:05:32 AM
  • Great article. By me sticking to eating right I feel so much better. I exercise and have so much energy. Drinking my water and snacking really help. - 11/15/2013 5:19:11 AM
    Thanks Sparkpeople, what a great article, I have found some of these to be true for me even in the short time I've been on sparkpeople, such as the eating frequently. If I allow myself to get hungry I crave bad choices and usually cave to them. When I'm eating regularly it is a breeze to stick to my calorie range with healthy food. - 11/12/2013 5:33:50 PM
  • I would add three related ones that have worked very well for me: 1) As soon as I lost 10 lbs., I stopped wearing my old clothes and got a few new ones that fit properly; when I reached my goal, I go rid of ALL my old clothes and took advantage of end-of-season sales to renew my entire wardrobe; 2) I stopped wearing baggy clothes altogether, even in the house, even now that I'm thin; 3) I installed a full-length mirror in the kitchen, in which I can see myself all the time when I'm preparing food, but also where I go in the morning to say "Hello" to this new thinner person.

    This may sound vain, but it's all very nice to be healthier, but if I'm not going to look like a million bucks, where's the motivation?

    P.S. I'm 71 going on 72 (years, that is!)

    - 11/12/2013 7:49:57 AM