Losing pounds doesn't have to be torture (we're looking at you, cayenne-pepper cleanse). Adopt at least three of these behaviors - they're simple to integrate into your day-to-day routine, and all are enthusiastically backed by nutritionists - and you'll be thinner and healthier in days. (Plus, the weight will stay off.)
1. STEP ON THE SCALE DAILY
If your regular weight increases several days in a row, it's a red flag letting you know you need to cut back a little or beef up your workouts slightly.
2. HAVE FRUIT TWICE A DAY
Fruit has no fat and is mostly water, so it'll fill you up while leaving less room on your plate (and in your stomach) for high-cal fare. Don't freak about fruit's carb count - we're talking the good kind of carbohydrates that contain lots of healthy fiber. Make sure to add some of these fat-burning foods to your daily diet too.
3. SCULPT THREE TIMES A WEEK
Doing 5 minutes each of push-ups, lunges, and squats (in 30-second intervals) will help build and maintain muscle mass. Try Victoria Secret model Marissa Miller's flat-blasting moves. The more muscle you have, the higher your metabolism will be, so you'll torch more calories as you go about your day.
4. REACH FOR YOUR CELL
Next time your mind gets stuck on a certain food, call a friend and redirect your brain by asking how her day's going. Research shows that cravings only last about 5 minutes, so by the time you hang up, the urge to devour junk will have subsided.
5. VISUALIZE YOURSELF THIN
When you feel your willpower breaking, conjure up a mental picture of yourself when you looked and felt slim. Need a boost? Learn how to act like you have it going on, even when you aren't totally feeling it. The visual motivation keeps you focused on your goal weight and reminds you that it is attainable, since you've achieved it before.
6. STAY ASLEEP LONGER
Getting to bed just 30 minutes earlier and waking up 30 minutes later than you normally do can help you make better food choices, researchers report. Also, when you're well-rested, you're less prone to snacking out of fatigue or stress. If all you want to do is close your eyes until morning, can't seem to nod off, here's how to zap these sleep-killers.
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