1. Get your head in the game. “Losing weight is 50 percent attitude,” says Joy Bauer, whose latest book is Your Inner Skinny: Four Steps to Thin Forever. Studies show that successful dieters really want to change. “Make that mental commitment before you jump in,” the nutritionist says.
2. Lose the liquid calories. American consume 22 percent of their calories as fluids, in, for instance, soda, juice and coffee concoctions. "You can save major calories by drinking flavored waters, unsweetened tea and sparkling water," Bauer says.
3. Be smart about alcohol. “It packs a double whammy—not only do you get calories, but it lowers your resolve and you end up overeating,” says Bauer, who advises alternating between glasses of alcohol and seltzer when you’re socializing.
4. Make the TV room a no-eating zone. “So many of us munch mindlessly in front of the TV. Just make it not an option,” Bauer suggests.
5. Avoid trigger foods. “Make a list of the foods you know open up a Pandora’s box—once you start eating them, you can’t stop. Get them out of your house and your life.”
6. Eliminate the extras. The handful of candies at the office bowl. A few French fries off your daughter’s plate. A bite of dessert. People who nosh like this don’t feel like they’ve eaten anything, and the calories “add up like crazy,” Bauer says.
7. Plan on breakfast. “It helps curb your appetite for the rest of the day,” says Bauer.
8. Start your dinner with a vegetable first course. Eat a large tossed salad with low-fat dressing, a veggie soup, or a plain vegetable like sliced cucumber prior to having your full meal. "The combination of fiber and water fills you up,” Bauer explains.
9. Delete the starchy carbs from your dinner. Starchy foods like peas, rice, corn, bread, potatoes and pasta are all high in calories and pretty addictive. Remove them from your evening meals, and you’ll cut down on overeating. It’s okay to down these foods at breakfast and lunch, because women tend to have much more control over their eating at those meals.
10. Close the kitchen after dinner. It’s not because calories eaten after dinner turn to fat—that’s a myth—but because night time is when women relax and use food to comfort themselves. Decide not to eat then and nurse an herbal tea instead, or floss your teeth. “You’ll wake up the next morning feeling light and fresh and energized,” Bauer says.
Next: How to Banish Belly Fat
Want the latest beauty, fashion and lifestyle tips? Click here to sign up for our fabulous weekly newsletter!