HG Lisa's Daily Habits to Keep the Weight Off

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Dear Lisa,

I read somewhere that you lost 20 pounds and have kept it off for years. What do you do on a daily basis to maintain your weight loss?

Curious in Cape Cod

Hi Curious,

Yup, I've been maintaining a weight loss of 20 - 25 pounds for about 12 years now. (Give or take a few pounds here and there.) And there are definitely certain daily habits that I can credit with helping to keep those unwanted pounds away...

HG Lisa's Daily Habits to Keep the Weight Off 1. Keep moving. I always, always, always find time to exercise. This is key for me! And I'm not talking about high-intensity stuff. But I walk no less than 15,000 steps every day. I like to walk on the treadmill while watching my favorite TV shows. (I'm currently Dateline obsessed!) I've found that a step counter really helps me to stay on track. If the afternoon hits and my steps aren't adding up quickly enough, I just start walking all around the office! If you're on a budget, get an inexpensive pedometer. If you're looking to invest, go with a Fitbit or BodyMedia Fit. Get more exercise ideas here.

2. Order smart. Learning how to read a menu and not being afraid to special order are so important. I never blame the situation or make excuses when I eat out -- there's always a better-for-you option. Need some help? Check out these survival guides -- they'll help you find a good choice on any menu. Another tip? Look up the menu online ahead of time.

3. Pack emergency snacks. Whether I'm traveling out of town or just heading to the office for the day, I always keep a few purse-friendly snacks with me. You never want to find yourself super hungry and without any good food choices nearby. Click here for the need-to-know info on emergency snacks.

4. Live by the 80/20 rule. If you're a longtime subscriber, you've definitely heard this before. The gist of it is that I make really smart food choices about 80 percent of the time; the other 20 percent, I loosen the reins a bit. I don't think it's realistic to aim for 100 percent perfection, so I find this concept to be the perfect balance for weight management.

5. Drink water... lots of it. Staying hydrated is essential. And I honestly feel less hungry when I drink a ton of water throughout the day. Sometimes, I'll drink hot water with lemon at the start of my day. I got hooked on that when testing out the Hungry Girl Diet. That trick is especially great if you don't like water that's plain and/or ice cold.

6. Bite it? Write it. I don't keep a fancy journal -- sometimes I just use a napkin or a piece of scrap paper -- but I do keep track of everything I eat. It keeps me honest about what I'm putting in my mouth. If I'm not willing to take two seconds to jot it down (along with its calorie count), I probably shouldn't be eating it!

7. Plan ahead. If I know I'm going out to a big dinner, I'll eat a light lunch and get in some extra exercise. On days when we're testing a bunch of recipes at Hungryland, I'll make a decision to have small portions of everything and count them as my lunch. Eating shouldn't be stressful, and planning ahead takes any worry out of the equation.

For lots more info on weight maintenance, check out The Hungry Girl Diet. There's a tremendous section that really breaks down all the tips and tricks I've come up with over the years. Enjoy!

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Today, November 19th, is the 323rd day of the year. Celebrate that with this 323-calorie Veggie-Quinoa Teriyaki Stir-Fry!

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