You’ve taken the first step toward putting your health back into your own hands, you’ve decided to diet. As you almost skip through the grocery aisles radiating with positivity and hope for the future, your cart begins to fill with fruits and veggies that will help you reach your new body goals.

Fast forward to day 3, and my how things have changed. The pizza shop you pass by on your way to work is now not only calling you by your name but visiting you in your dreams. The slices, dripping with cheese, are whispering sweet nothings into your ear, and have been for the past two nights. Ohhhh, but it doesn’t stop there. The pretzel shop smells like bliss, the raspberry rhubarb scone in the coffee shop window is always on your mind, and the only thing nourishing you is the Brussel sprouts in your ziplock.

These are the most memorable moments of a diet, feelings of extreme desire with little to no satisfaction. That is until you say, no more! No more can I resist you, and you find yourself going on a fast food rampage consuming everything in your path.

The truth is diets don’t have to be this disappointing. When done correctly, a diet program can be a great kickstart to a healthier lifestyle. Diets are best used when they slowly assist you in improving your eating habits, rather than completely altering your lifestyle overnight.

We’ve compiled a list of 10 do’s & don’ts for dieting based on research results from the doctors on WebMD. Use these tips to help you foster healthy eating habits and achieve your body goals.

  1. Weigh yourself at least once a week. It helps you create awareness and stay on top of losing weight. Keep in mind that your weight fluctuates by multiple pounds throughout a single day.
  2. Consume less saturated fats. You can substitute out butter for olive oil when cooking to help reduce your intake of saturated fats.
  3. Drink water before you eat, as it helps to fill you up.
  4. Don’t skip meals! Skipping meals leads to your body being undernourished, and it makes you more vulnerable to breaking your diet.
  5. It takes 15 – 20 minutes after you begin eating for your mind to register that your body is full. Through eating slowly, you allow your body and mind more time to communicate.
  6. Plan every meal. Having a meal plan helps you stay on track and ensure your diet is well-balanced.
  7. Keep a food diary, studies have found that weight loss has doubled for individuals who keep food diaries because they are more accountable.
  8. Carbs are ok when they come from whole grains, fruits, and veggies!
  9. Don’t go cold turkey on all your favorite fatty foods, instead consume them in less frequent and smaller portions than you presently do toward the beginning of your diet.
  10. Stay well rested, lack of sleep can cause hormonal changes which increase your hunger.