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7 Weight Control Habits

Here are 7 simple habits that can help anyone enjoy a healthy diet and keep their weight under control without feeling hungry all the time.

1. Always drink a glass of water before eating a meal. This fills your tummy so you are not as hungry. It also helps to relieve any cravings. Some cravings are not for food but are actually cravings for water. Your body may be feeling dehydrated. Coffee and soft drinks actually cause more dehydration. Plain old water is what your body wants. If ice water gives you a tummy ache, just ask for water without any ice. Some Hollywood celebrities carry a supply of bottled water in their cars and they secretly drink a bottle before going into a restaurant to meet their friends.

2. Always start your meal with a salad. Salads fill you up and are low in calories. Skip the creamy and fatty dressings and get an olive oil and vinegar type instead. Olive oil is one of the fats that are good for you. Get in the habit of eating salads with lunch and dinner whenever possible. If you need a between-meals snack, try some veggies dipped in nonfat ranch dressing. Salads and raw vegetables are filling and satisfying.

3. Use a smaller plate when eating at home. Larger plates encourage you to eat larger portions. This fact is not lost on restaurant owners. It is no secret that restaurant plates have grown larger and larger over recent years. The reason is simply to make more money. Restaurants need to make as much money as they can from each table of customers. When you sit down to eat they want you to buy a larger more costly meal. They don't care about your waistline, only about their own bottom line.

4. Split an entree when dining at a restaurant that serves large portions. When asking a dining companion to split an order, just say that you never finish it all and you don't want to see it go to waste when there are children who go to bed hungry. Who can argue with that? Many people will be relieved to have someone to split an entree with. They never eat the whole meal either. Plus you will either both save some money or you can use the extra money to order something extra-fancy as to reward yourselves.

5. At breakfast time, get in the habit of having scrambled eggs or oatmeal. These two foods make low fat, healthy meals that fill you up and keep you going all morning. Professional athletes swear by these two breakfasts. One woman who won a "best body" contest said she ate scrambled eggs (Eggbeaters) every single day. You can have some ham with your eggs once in a while but just be sure to pass on the fatty fried bacon and sausage.

6. Eat more chicken at lunch and dinner. You can't go wrong with grilled, skinless chicken breast. It is a low fat, high protein food that models and bodybuilders live on every day. Grilled chicken can be prepared in such a variety of ways that you can eat it five times per week and not have the same meal twice. Some choices are chicken fajitas, chicken Caesar salad, teriyaki chicken, barbecued chicken, chicken and pasta, you name it.

7. Skip dessert. You will have a lot of company. A recent restaurant industry study showed that sales of dessert are down and continue to go down. Many people get in the habit by practicing saying "Oh no thanks, I never eat dessert." After a while it becomes a habit. Some desserts pack on more fat and calories than the entire meal did. Skip dessert and if you crave chocolate bring some along. Those after dinner chocolates with mint are always nice to clear the palate and make you feel like you've had a small indulgence.

These 7 habits can make a real difference in any weight control and healthy diet plan. Try them and stick to them until they become second nature. Good luck with your health and fitness goals.

Monica Nelson writes articles about women's health, including reviews of popular women's diets, what are effective tummy flattner exercises, and which are the best online nursing schools.

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