5 Weight Loss Secrets You Can Learn from the Most Popular Diet Plans

Losing weight is not a straightforward process. For every question that gets answered, a new one pops up in its place - What should i be eating? 

Stop sabotaging your weight loss goals and start seeing real results.

Losing weight is not a straightforward process. For every question that gets answered, a new one pops up in its place - What should i be eating? What am I not doing right? Throw away your questions and put down your measuring cups - because here are some takeaway from popular diet plans that have helped millions of Americans slim down. Maybe there’s something in here for you too.

1. No snacking in front of the television

Mindless eating is so dangerous because it can easily lead to mystery pounds piling up and can derail even the most earnest of weight loss efforts. Which is why one of the first bad habits the Mayo Clinic Diet tries to get dieters to break is eating in front of the television.

Using their unique food pyramid as a guide, Mayo encourages dieters to eat lots of fruits, veggies and whole grains, and to get moving more.

They emphasize the bad habits that are derailing your weight loss goals - like mindless snacking, emotional reasons behind overeating and portion control, and setting unrealistic goals. All of this combines for a lifetime of healthy eating.

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2. Eat less, more often

Depending on who you ask, snacking can be seen as a dirty word or  way to keep on the weight loss track. Various studies have proven that eating smaller meals, spaced out, can help derail any feelings of hunger, keep you feeling full longer and prevents a  drop off in energy that comes with changing eating habits. Nutrisystem’s diet program provides 6 small meals per day to do just that.

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3. Skip the low fat versions and eat real food

The best way to control what goes into your body is to cook for yourself and use healthy ingredients. It might be tempting to swap out your homemade lasagna for a low fat version bought in the supermarket freezer section. But understanding what goes into a healthy meal will take you much further than that Lean Cuisine ever will. Kris, who lost 8.5 pounds during her first 2 weeks on South Beach, agrees. “I know that 80% of fitness is nutrition and this was an area where I struggled. South Beach helped me with that. You realize that you need to feed your body nutritious things. The food they provided was tasty—and easy!”

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4. Don’t focus on cutting out one food group

Diets work best when they’re well-rounded. If you completely eliminate one food group from your diet (carbs is usually the first to go) then the focus of the diet becomes the desperate yearning for a piece of bread as opposed to having a clear understanding of what to eat and why.

White bread is not the source of all of our problems and if you completely cut out all of the foods you love its a recipe for disaster. Instead, diet plans teach you how to eat healthier versions of the foods you already love. So keep your pizza - but try using less cheese and more veggie toppings. Or go for a whole wheat crust instead of a plain one. It’s about learning how to eat healthy for life, not just until bikini season is over.

5. It’s all about baby steps

You didn’t gain weight overnight, so don’t expect to lose weight overnight.

Diets can only be successful so long as they’re sustainable in the long term. Cleanses and elimination diets that promise dramatic and rapid weight loss seem like an easy fix, but studies show that the weight comes back - and then some - as soon as the diet ends.

Hilary, aged 40, who lost 77 pounds with the help of the Mayo Clinic Diet: “I started doing squats while waiting for my dogs to eat and taking the stairs instead of the elevator. Five minutes here, five minutes there — it adds up. The more you do, the better you feel.