We all need to lose a few pounds and these tips are to help you shift that extra bit and feel and look great.

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1. Make smarter snack choices

In the past, the thought of enjoying a snack while you were on a diet was considered a big no-no. Recent research, however, has proven that it is better to enjoy a healthy snack rather than allowing yourself to get so hungry that you wind up binging on junk food later in the day. The key is to choose your snacks wisely. Opt for foods that are high in protein and that have decent nutritional value. Good choices include cheese, peanut butter, fruit, or nuts.

2. Avoid distractions while eating

One recent study showed that eating while watching TV can result in a 40% increase in the number of calories that you consume. Other distractions ranging from doing the paperwork to sending text messages can have the same effect, causing you to eat more food than you really need. By eliminating all distractions at mealtime, you can easily cut down on the number of calories that you consume.

3. Weigh yourself each day

Daily weigh-ins can be a good way to track your progress. Keep in mind that your weight can naturally fluctuate a few pounds one way or the other on a daily basis due to water weight. However, if you see a consistent increase over a period of several days, it may be a sign that you need to make some changes in your diet or exercise routine.

4. Focus on building muscle

One of the biggest mistakes that people make is only doing cardiovascular exercise when trying to lose weight. Building muscle can actually go a long way toward boosting your metabolism. Incorporate strength-building exercises into your workout routine at least three times each week.

5. Distract yourself from cravings

If you find yourself craving a treat, consider talking to a friend instead. A quick phone call to a friend can distract you long enough that the craving will naturally go away. Over the counter diet supplements can help with this too and make you feel less hungry.  After all, researchers have found that cravings usually last less than five minutes.

6. Start your day with a healthy breakfast

Eating a nutritionally balanced breakfast can help keep your blood sugar levels steady throughout the morning, helping to prevent midmorning cravings. Choose protein-rich foods such as eggs or turkey bacon to keep you feeling extra full all morning long.

 7. Cut back on alcohol

Alcoholic beverages can contain a tremendous number of calories. Just a few extra drinks each week could cause you to pack on the pounds. One of the easiest ways to cut out calories is by cutting back on the amount of alcohol that you consume. Try just enjoying drinks on the weekends. Alternatively, opt for lower-calorie drinks like a glass of light beer or a gin and tonic.

8. Add two servings of fruit each day

Because fruit contains a lot of fiber and has a high water content, it is extremely filling. Adding a couple of pieces of fruit to your menu each day can help keep you feeling full so that you are less likely to snack on high-calorie foods.

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