7. Slice up an avocado
This fruit is rich in potassium, a mineral that helps you lose the pooch by flushing out excess sodium and reducing water retention. Per ounce, avocados pack 60 percent more potassium than bananas, and their healthy fats blunt hunger by keeping you fuller longer. Try serving avocado-mango salsa over chicken, fish, or tofu: Chop a quarter of an avocado and toss it with 1?4 cup fresh mango, 1 tablespoon lime juice, chopped fresh cilantro, and 1 teaspoon minced jalapeño. Or, for a double hit of potassium, try avocado-banana salsa: Chop a quarter of an avocado and half a small banana and combine with 1 tablespoon minced onion, 1 tablespoon lime juice, and freshly ground black pepper to taste.
8. Ban the bottle
Giving up alcohol forever may not be realistic, but taking a break from booze can help you see how it affects your health, including your appetite, weight loss (alcohol contains empty calories), and sleep schedule. Not getting enough zzz's has been linked to weight gain in studies.
9. Time your caffeine intake
Coffee and tea can actually help you drop pounds. When you drink caffeine about 30 minutes before a workout, it helps you push yourself harder and longer. Caffeine also stimulates your digestive tract, so it eases bloating.
10. Put a cap on sugar
Foods that contain natural sugar, like fruit and milk, come bundled with fiber, antioxidants, and protein. But refined sugar can stoke hunger and cause bloating. Read nutrition labels and cut back on foods that have any form of sugar high on the ingredients list.
Cynthia Sass, R.D., is a New York City–based nutritionist and Shape contributing editor.