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There is nothing better than being in shape to keep you happy and healthy. If you have a few pounds you would like to lose, then spend a few minutes with these helpful tips that will guide you on your way. Whether you know a lot or a little, a little push never hurts.

One of the hardest parts of losing weight is staying motivated. Combat this problem by setting a goal and making a prize that you “win” when you meet that goal. For example, go shopping for a new pair of shoes after you lose that first ten pounds, or treat yourself to a manicure when you reach the twenty-pound mark.

When trying to lose weight, it is important to remember that reducing the quantity of food consumed is just as important as replacing unhealthy foods. Healthy foods are only healthy if you eat them in moderation. Junk food isn’t terrible to eat as long as you limit the amount. Moderation is key when losing weight.

A great weight loss tip is to pack your lunch. No matter how carefully you make your selections, food choices at restaurants are always going to be higher in fat, calories, carbs and sodium than what you can make yourself. You can still treat yourself to a lunch out on occasion, but make a habit of taking your lunch with you most days.

Leaner meats and cuts are an easy way to cut fat. Try to avoid creamy sauces; instead try salsas and chutneys. This makes your meat juicer and more flavorful. Chutneys are sweet and fruity and add excellent flavor to your protein.

Do you often have difficulty sticking to an exercise schedule or nutritional plan? Then ask a family member or friend who is also looking to lose weight to pair up with you. This will provide someone to remind each of you about scheduled exercise sessions or to stay within your diet’s guidelines.

Don’t feel guilty if you love to eat your favorite snack foods. All food can be unhealthy if eaten too much. If you really love these foods all you have to do is reduce the amount you eat or, give yourself a daily limit as to how much you can eat.

Next time you eat out, try asking for half your meal in a to go box before it’s even served. Most restaurants have portion sizes that are more appropriate for two or three people, and by eating half of your meal and getting the other half in a to go box, not only will you be cutting your calories in half, but lunch for the next day is already taken care of!

If you are on a diet, do not go out with friends who like to consume large portions at restaurants. This will allow you to avoid a situation where you would be tempted to consume food that will not help in your journey towards trimming down and looking your best.

Steaming vegetables is a great way to avoid adding fat during preparation. You can also try using herbs, lemon juice, or vinegar in place of butter. If you prefer to saute your vegetables, avoid using oil to prepare them. Using broth or a flavored vinegar is a great substitue for using oil during preparation.

While it is tempting to assume that losing weight is ideal no matter what, it is important to make the distinction between loss of fat and loss of muscle. The latter, of course, should be avoided by including some type of physical activity into your weekly routine. Unless you exercise, your body’s natural response is to burn fat only after it has exhausted muscle.

To aid in your weight loss, then look to the color blue. Blue, as a tranquil color, works as an appetite suppressant. You could use a blue tablecloth, eat off blue plates, or even dress in blue. Stay away from colors like red, yellow or orange because these will increase your appetite.

For your weight-loss goals, you should try yoga as it is more than just for fitness. A recent study shows that those who practice yoga have a lower body mass index than those who practice other forms of exercise. Another good benefit to yoga is that it encourages mindfulness so that you pay more attention to your feelings of being full at dinnertime.

The amount of sleep you get is very important in weight loss. Your mental health affects your physical health, so get an adequate amount of sleep each night. Losing sleep can lead to more tension and stress during the day, which can cause obesity. Those who are depressed are likely to sleep more each day and be more overweight.

To help you lose weight you should attempt to eat several smaller meals, instead of the traditional 2 or 3 large meals. Eating smaller meals, spread out through the day, is a great way to increase your metabolism. It also lessons the likelihood that you will binge on unhealthy foods.

Hopefully these ideas have given you either new found knowledge or an affirmation of things you already knew. Both are important in getting going when it comes to weight loss. Remember to use these ideas, not only for losing, but also for moderating when you reach your goal. Keeping yourself fit and vibrant is a great way to enjoy your life.