MAKE FRIENDS WITH FAT
It may sound counterintuitive, but trust us: To lose fat, you have to get over your fat phobia. Healthy fats, like nuts, seeds, avocado, and olive oil, can actually help you lose weight (and cellulite). They provide flavor, texture, and a feeling of satisfaction, all things you need if you want to stick to a healthy eating plan. "Just use them as condiments, not the main attraction," says Delia Hammock, R.D., a nutritional consultant in New York City. Spread a tablespoon of mashed avocado onto a sandwich for lunch or toss a teaspoon of sunflower seeds with veggies at dinner.
"CHEAT" THE RIGHT WAY
The concept of a cheat day is a weight-loss staple, but it's also the Achilles' heel of many eating plans. A day of eating whatever you want can add up to thousands (yes, thousands) of extra calories. It can also make it harder to get back on track the next day, when your brain has a chocolate cake hangover. Instead of splurging for an entire day, Lisa Young, Ph.D., R.D., the author of The Portion Teller Plan, recommends limiting yourself to just one cheat meal each week. "Plan it, enjoy it, and as long as it happens just once a week you won't break the calorie bank."
FOCUS EACH MEAL ON ONE BOLD, HOT FLAVOR
Loading your plate with too many tastes or aromas may trigger the production of hunger inducing hormones that can make you overeat without realizing it. Instead, keep the flavor simple but make it stand out: Go for spices like crushed red pepper, paprika, and chili powder, all of which contain capsaicin, a compound that may increase satiety and help you eat less, according to recent research published in the International Journal of Obesity. Not into your food packing heat? Try flavorful spices, like cumin, turmeric, or coriander.