START YOUR DIET ON SUNDAY. Research finds that this guarantees the biggest weight loss success. The worst day to start? Tuesday.
EAT A FOOD THAT’S A CONTRASTING COLOR TO YOUR PLATE (think pasta marinara on a white plate). It can trim how much food you take (and eat) by 21%.
USE A BIG FORK TO EAT LESS. Researchers believe a big fork helps you gauge how much you’ve eaten better than a small one.
TURN OFF THE COOKING SHOWS. When dieters watch food-related TV programs, they inhale 60% more snacks than nondieters.
CHOOSE ONE STARCH (PASTA, BREAD, RICE) PER MEAL. Too many carbohydrates can spike your blood sugar, making you hungrier later.
HAVE WHOLE GRAINS AT BREAKFAST (like oats or whole-wheat toast). Their filling fiber curbs midmorning hunger pangs.
EAT EVERY 4 HOURS TO KEEP YOUR APPETITE IN CHECK. Wait too long between meals and you’ll end up hungrier and more likely to overeat.
KEEP HEALTHY MUNCHIES IN YOUR GLOVE COMPARTMENT. Try a granola bar, a single-serving bag of whole-wheat pretzels or a 1-oz bag of nuts.
STOCK THE FRIDGE WITH LOWFAT DAIRY PRODUCTS. They’ve got whey protein, calcium and vitamin D, which help burn fat and curb hunger.
EAT 15 TO 20 G PROTEIN AT EVERY MEAL (about 2 to 3 oz of meat, chicken or fish). Spacing it out is key to keeping your metabolism revved.
ADD PRODUCE TO MEALS. Fruits and veggies are the ultimate eat-less tool: They fill you up for fewer calories plus have crucial nutrients.
*Measure this amount of pasta, rice or couscous before cooking.
TRAIN YOUR BRAIN TO HELP YOU LOSE WEIGHT
You’ve found a meal plan and penciled in a daily walk on your calendar. Now it’s time to get your mind ready, which is “just as important as throwing out all the junk food in your pantry,” says Melanie Greenberg, PhD, a psychologist in Mill Valley, CA. Three ways to prepare:
ANNOUNCE YOUR PLAN TO AT LEAST THREE PEOPLE. Saying out loud that you’re planning to lose weight reinforces that you’re committed to change, and it keeps you more accountable. Tell the few people closest to you—and, if you’re comfortable, spread the word even further. Start a blog or post your progress on Facebook.
BE READY TO SAY NO. The best-laid healthy-living plans often fall by the wayside because you feel guilty about turning down invites or plans. So prepare your response in advance: “I would love to , but I’m really trying to make the time to get healthy, so I’m exercising instead. Thanks for the offer—and for your understanding!”
PUT YOUR WEIGHT LOSS PAST TO REST…LITERALLY. Saying goodbye to past failures in a concrete way can help you focus on succeeding this time. Jot down a list of the reasons you didn’t lose weight in the past, then tear it up and toss it in the trash or bury it in your backyard. A.L.C.