Seven habits of highly successful dieters

Maintaining healthy eating habits in our society is a life long challenge, not a three-month program. Its a challenge in which the payoffs are well worth the effort.

1. Get organized. Plan snacks ahead so when the urge to eat hits you there is something "good and easy" to reach for.

  • Peel carrots, cut celery or cucumbers ahead of time so they are handy.
  • Place no more than 10 (50 calories) pretzels in a baggie for a snack.
  • Drink water, ice tea, V-8 when you feel like snacking. Tell yourself if you're still hungry when you finish the drink that you'll have a snack.
  • When the urge to snack hits you, go out and walk around the house five times.

2. Get rid of all (or most) junk food in the house or ask a family member to hide it.

3. Don't let yourself use the old excuse at the grocery store, "The cookies are for the kids. They're not on a diet." Remember if they end up in the house, they will probably end up in your mouth.

4. If you blow it at lunch, don't write off the rest of the day.

5. Try to plan your meals at least one day ahead. The more decisions you leave to the last minute, the more chance you have of grabbing something quick and fat.

6. If you find yourself becoming very hungry mid-afternoon, or in the evening, eat a bit more nutritious food at mealtime, or anticipate the in-between-meal hunger and plan a nutritious snack.

7. Go easy on yourself. A treat here or there won't be the end of you. Just be reasonable!