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Try on that Bikini this Month

March is a very important month for us ladies because this is the month we typically face our worst fears by trying on our bathing suits that have not seen the light of day for months.

fter the suit try on, the reality sinks in and most of us turn to the first fad diet we can find. Problem is that fad diets could take off the pounds quick but they won't keep the pounds off for a duration of time. Remember: Summer is 3 months long.

  • Change it up: We tend to measure success by the numbers on the scale. It's better to think about the shape and strength of your body. Lifting weights and exercising will help you burn calories and develop muscle tone. You may not see a rapid change on the scale by doing this, but the important thing is that you'll look and feel slimmer.

    On the other hand, quick weight-loss diets let you drop pounds quickly, but often at the expense of body tone and body strength. Set your goals toward change — change of habits (take the stairs instead of elevator) and change in what, how and why you eat (hungry? Snack on fruit, not pretzels), and stick to those changes. The pounds will come off as a result, and you'll look great.

    There are other great tips so

  • Know yourself: What do you need to do to keep yourself motivated? Is it essential to have noteworthy weight loss right off the bat, or is slow and steady just as good? Is losing weight a private affair or do you do better with a group of fellow dieters? Are there certain triggers to your eating, such as the time of day, watching TV, stress or being with certain friends?

    The more you're aware of your reasons for falling into bad eating habits, the better equipped you’ll be to clear the hurdles between you and success.

  • Remember, the tortoise won the race: The “lose weight fast” approach may be all right for a couple weeks, says registered dietitian Cathy Nonas, a spokesperson for the American Dietetic Association. “But these diets seriously lack staying power and for some people can be physically harmful." For example, skipping meals or cutting too many calories may rob your body of needed nutrients or send it into starvation mode, which could lead to loss of muscle mass and an unhealthy look.

    If you're looking for steady, yet painless weight loss that you can maintain, try cutting just 50 calories from each meal. Granted, you won't be losing weight as quickly as you might like, but the pounds will melt away slowly and steadily. Squeeze in regular exercise, and you'll be able to slip into that swimsuit even faster.

    No matter what you do to get yourself going, Nonas emphasizes the importance of “next steps,” or transitioning from weight loss to weight maintenance. Those steps should move you closer to habits that can last a lifetime.

  • Be accountable to someone: Support from family and friends is linked to long-term weight-loss success. Dieters who have someone interested in their progress and willing to take on that shepherding role are often more apt to stay the course. Try signing up for an exercise class with a friend or making plans to walk your dogs together so you can act as support and encouragement for each other.

    Starting a diet plan now gives you enough time to shape up before swimsuit season hits its full stride. Whether you start small or start big, remember: Those who fast won’t last.

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