How many times have you told yourself “I’ll never be able to lose weight – what’s the use in trying?” You’re not alone in your struggle. Many Americans are confused about effective ways to shed unwanted pounds, and many misconceptions about how to effectively lose weight exist. So if you’re feeling confused, read on!

A good way to lose weight is to put up motivational pictures of the body you want to look like, around your house. It’s very easy to lose motivation when trying to lose weight, but by having pictures readily available you’ll be more likely to keep up with your weight loss plans.

If you’re having trouble losing weight, try eating small portions throughout the day. Fruit is nature’s gift and make the perfect low-calorie snack between meals. Snacking on unprocessed food will allow your body to take advantage of easily metabolized natural sugars. It will give you energy between meals and prevent you from overeating at meal times.

When dieting for weight loss make sure you eat a variety of foods. Eating the same foods daily is boring and you will eventually end up eating unhealthy foods instead. Planning meals with a variety of healthy foods helps you stay on your diet and makes your taste buds happy.

It’s important to be patient with yourself when you are trying to lose weight. Rushing weight loss and engaging in crash diets usually does not bring about permanent results. Think about why you want to lose weight, how much you would like to lose, and create achievable goals to work towards. If you make a mistake, don’t give up! Just start fresh the next day.

A great tip that can help you lose weight is to be aware of all of the myths out there regarding diet and weight loss. Starving yourself, for example, is one of the worst things you can do to your body. The weight loss is only temporary and you can become seriously sick.

Take a before photo and an after photo of yourself to document your progress. You can actually see the physical changes you have undergone rather than just relying on a scale. It could also be an easy way that you show your friends of how much you’ve progressed.

Before you eat all of your meals you should drink a glass or two of water. This will help you to meet your daily requirement of eight glasses of water per day, and it will also make you feel fuller so you will eat a much smaller food portion.

If you are trying to lose weight, you should never eat snacks straight from the box or bag. If you do this, you are much more likely to eat more of these snacks than you realized. Therefore, you should pack the snacks into small bags and keep them stored in your home.

For someone who doesn’t know where to start losing weight there are many informational programs to join that can give you direction. A program will provide steps to follow and a path for you to stick to. Although careful research must be done to find out what program is right for the each individual.

Keep a food diary. Carry a notebook with you and write down everything that you eat and drink, and the time of day. You may begin to notice a pattern. Do you tend to snack during the late morning? This could be because you skipped breakfast. Do you fill up with snacks after dinner? You are probably snacking while watching tv, and aren’t even aware exactly how much you are eating. By focussing on these patterns, you will be able to change your habits accordingly.

If you are in the mood for something crunchy, don’t grab the entire potato chip bag and run. Instead, place one or two handfuls of the snack into a Ziploc bag to control the amount of salt you will be putting into your body. This is a great way to control portions.

When you are trying to lose weight and are visiting a food buffet, don’t go back for a second plate. Fill your first plate with fruits and vegetables and avoid the bread and dessert areas. Buffets are often full of high fat foods and it can be difficult to control portion sizes when visiting one.

Try to limit the amount of alcohol you are consuming each week. Women should drink only 1 drink a day, and men should limit it to two. Drinking alcohol will give you a lot of unneeded calories, and will also increase your appetite so you will eat more while drinking.

Start snacking. Snacking has a bad reputation but the truth is, snacking can prevent you from overeating when you have a meal because you won’t be so hungry. The key is to eat healthy snacks such as yogurt, cheese, and fruit. Snacks can give you a little boost and tide you over until you sit down for something more substantial.

Try to keep yourself occupied because boredom leads to more eating. People who are bored tend to reach for food. Discover a new hobby such as dancing, yoga or painting. It will keep your mind off food and help you discover something new about yourself. You will enjoy your new found hobby and lose weight.

Research suggests that spicier food boosts the heart rate and quickens the metabolism. Chili full of beans is an excellent example. You can rehydrate and cook beans yourself to avoid canned preservatives.

If you have to choose between diet and exercise, when losing weight, choose diet. Weight loss is dependent on closing the gap between calories taken in and expended, eating fewer calories is essential. Exercise is important to weight loss, but diet is what will really take off the pounds.

By now you’ve realized that effective weight loss is not only a doable and manageable goal, but it’s much simpler to attain than many people think. Simply by implementing a few strategies and tips, most people are able to lose weight at a healthy, steady rate, and are able to keep the weight off.