Review some of the basic do's and don'ts of a good diet to find your best balance.
Step 1: Make breakfast simple Never skip breakfast. Keep breakfast simple, quick, and healthy, by sticking with high-fiber options. Don't load up on fast foods, snacks, or sugar.
TIP: Keep trail mix or dried fruit handy if you're pressed for time and have to eat on the run.
Step 2: Concentrate on protein Realize that protein keeps you feeling full longer than carbs do. Protein also absorbs water and creates a further sense of fullness, which help you avoid overeating.
Step 3: Eat good fats Eat fatty fish, nuts, and other healthy fats. Flaxseed oil activates leptin, an appetite-suppressing hormone.
Step 4: Get rest Get good rest. When you don't, your body produces more ghrelin, a hormone that stirs hunger, rather than generating the leptin needed to feel full.
Step 5: Reduce sizes Remove chips and treats from big bags, dividing them into smaller storage bags, to control the impulse to finish everything at once. Researchers have found that people who ate from large bowls consumed 56 percent more food than those with smaller bowls.
Step 6: Eat veggies Eat vegetables that are low in calories, and packed with fiber, to fill up. Steer clear of peas, corn, acorn and butternut squash, or potatoes, which are too starchy.
TIP: Make it a rule to avoid buffets -- they make portion control and limiting yourself more difficult.
Step 7: Eat in the light Eat in lighted rooms, where you're more self-conscious of others watching. You'll also be able to see your food, which makes you more aware of how much you're eating.
Step 8: Drink water Remind yourself that if you feel thirsty, you're already dehydrated. Drink water on a regular basis, whether thirsty or not, to avoid feeling empty.
Step 9: Don't skip meals; don't compromise health Don't snack after dinner. When you eat late at night, the body stores fat, and that digestion process interferes with sleep. Good luck with your diet.
FACT: There are about 3,500 calories -- or stored energy --per pound of fat.