Summer is fast approaching, and weight loss is taking on greater importance. It is possible to do it alone, but a diet and exercise routine helps to get it done the right way.

If you’re trying to lose weight, as cruel as it sounds, you’ll have a harder time if you spend a lot of time around overweight people. Studies have shown a strong connection between your weight and that of people in your immediate peer group. People who hang around skinny people, tend to have healthier weights than people who hang out with heavier people. So if you are looking to lose weight, you might want to try introducing yourself to some friendly-looking people of healthy weight, whose food choices may influence your own.

Don’t do a ton of crunches if you’re trying to lose belly fat. Crunches don’t burn much fat, and too much attention on your abs can cause problems for your back and your posture. When you exercise for weight loss try to keep a balanced approach so you can lose weight all over.

You may need to replenish your dishes. Most of us have dishes, plates and bowls, that are much bigger than what a true serving size should be. A healthy dinner for an adult should fit onto a 9 inch plate. The larger the plate, the more likely you are to fill it up, over the amount that you really should be consuming.

Make sure you are sticking to your diet plan, don’t slack off. You might be tempted to cheat a little here and there but that doesn’t help you. If you do cheat don’t beat yourself up about it, just refocus and go back on your weight loss plan. Just remember that every little bit adds up, a little cheating here and there can result in your weight loss efforts being in vein.

Don’t try to eliminate all the carbohydrates from your diet to stay healthy. Yes, some carbohydrates can cause problems, but they are an essential food group and you need to include them in your diet. Just make sure you are eating the right kind. Focus on eating fruits, vegetables and whole grains.

Eating nuts is an excellent weight loss trick. Nuts will help you to stay full and satisfied. When you are hungry for a snack, nuts are the best choice. If you tend to get bored eating the same thing often, you can soak nuts in water to give them a different texture.

Satisfy your sweet tooth. Sometimes, it is ok to reward yourself for sticking to your diet. Dark chocolate is ideal, as it is full of antioxidants, which increase heart health and reduce high blood pressure. It also contains a lot of fiber, which helps to block fat absorption and gives you a feeling of fullness. While you shouldn’t go overboard, a little dark chocolate now and then is a guilt-free treat.

Before you embark on your weight loss journey, don’t be afraid to look to your friends and family for support. You can usually expect a very positive reaction, and many of your pals will make an effort to respect your weight loss program by choosing restaurants or venues where low-fat or healthier options are on the menu.

When you’re feeling hungry, drink at least one full glass of water before you start eating. If your stomach is partly full of calorie-free liquid, you will probably consume less food. Additionally, people sometimes feel hungry when dehydrated. Your body may actually be telling you it needs water, so the hungry feeling may decrease or go away, after you drink some water.

Avoiding fatty foods not only does makes your waistline happy, but also reduces acne. According to some research, there are many benefits to eating a diet that is high in protein and lower in fat. Your skin has a natural balance of oils and adding large amounts of high-glycemic foods such as fries or candy will offset that balance and really show in your complexion.

If you’re at a restaurant, eat half of your entree. Usually portions are enormous and not at all what someone trying to lose weight should eat. Eating half of the entree will satisfy your hunger and cravings, and bringing the other half home for later will keep your caloric intake under control.

Instead of eating ice cream, you can try this handy tip. Freezing some low-fat whipped topping and adding it to the top of some fresh berries, can leave you feeling just as satisfied as you would if you had ice cream. This has much less sugar, calories and fat.

Weight loss pills can be effective but should only be taken cautiously. Many pills contain only natural ingredients, while others have stimulants. Make sure that you read the labels to see what is best for you. You will always want to contact your doctor before starting any new medications.

If you are going to have a meal at a restaurant, you should avoid sandwiches, because they usually have mayo, cheese, and other fat-laden sauces. It is okay to have one, but only if you ask for it with no mayo or cheese. Get the sauce on the side so you can control how much of it is used. Another helpful hint, is to remove the top bun.

Eat something before you go out to dinner to avoid over-stuffing yourself. If you absolutely must have dessert, get something that the whole table can share like a sundae or a piece of cake. All you really need is one bite to get the flavor of the item, so only take one!

Don’t go on a crash diet! The best way to keep your metabolism running smoothly is to eat small meals spaced throughout the day. When you deprive yourself of food or eat meals irregularly, your body tries to conserve energy by slowing your metabolism, meaning that you won’t be burning off as many calories.

Remain positive and keep your goals within reach. If you stay diligent and follow your plan to a tee, there is no doubt you will see great weight loss results in no time. Then you can continue on your program in order to help you to maintain your weight loss.