The Secrets to Staying Slim

5 Secrets to Get-Slim Success

Weight-loss motivation tips to help television star AJ Cook and you successfully reach your goal weight.

Marc Royce

What you do in the first few weeks of a new shape-up plan is the key to making sure the numbers on the scale keep heading south. “Its not uncommon for dieters who start a plan to drop out after the first month because they havent learned the skills they need to stay on track,” says dream team psychology expert Judith Beck, PhD.

Ahead, our experts share the five must-do moves that will help you—and our Feel Great Weight star, Criminal Minds actress and new mom AJ Cook—get to your goal weight.

Secret #1: Make it easy on yourself.
“Do online grocery shopping to buy all of your staples at one time,” says diet expert Alyse Levine, RD. That way you wont be tempted to browse the aisles weekly and impulse-buy cookies or chips. Then do yourself a big favor and donate your pantry stash of unopened personal binge-trigger foods to a shelter, she says.

Stock up on favorite healthy nibbles like grapes and almonds, and store them at eye level in the fridge and pantry. Also keep on hand practically instant, emergency dinners for when youre too tired or famished to cook, like Amys Organic frozen meals or ingredients for mini pizzas (whole-wheat pitas with shredded mozzarella, frozen veggies, and marinara sauce). Make it convenient, and youre way more likely to stay on track.

Secret #2: Have a plan for (minor) mess-ups.
Messing up is core to being human. Dont beat yourself up for it, because then you risk giving up altogether—or having a pity-party food fest.

What to say to yourself after that slipup: “‘If I stop right now, it may not show up on the scale at the end of the week,'” diet-psych expert Beck says. “Youll keep mistakes in perspective, gain confidence in your ability to get back on track, and keep losing weight.”

How to make up for it: “Eat a smaller next meal—some lean protein with salad or other nonstarchy vegetables,” Levine says. Goofed all day? Simply forgo your evening snack and stick to the plan the next day. “The worst thing you can do is try to starve yourself—youll end up bingeing by the time dinner rolls around,” she says. Missed a workout? Clean the house for an hour to make up for it, fitness pro Keli Roberts says. “Put on some motivating music, and dance as you clean. Youll torch calories—and end up with a sparkling house.”

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Kimberly Dawn Neumann
Last Updated: February 12, 2009

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