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With all the media hype surrounding diet supplements and weight loss tricks, it is important to take a step back and examine the fundamental principles of nutrition. These 10 tips are easy guidelines to follow, and they will contribute to healthy weight loss.

1. Shoot for 5-6 smaller meals each day, but eat at least 3 meals per day. This will help decrease body fat through a heightened metabolism, promote muscle growth, decrease sluggishness, and maximize calorie burning throughout the day.

2. Eat breakfast every day. Eating a healthy breakfast will improve concentration and performance in school and at work, provide more strength and endurance for physical activity, and help lower cholesterol levels.

3. Drink more water. This will help fill your stomach and limit feelings of hunger, enhance skin health, ensure adequate hydration, and it has been associated with joint health.

4. Eat more vegetables. Vegetables are a great source of fiber, they are low in calories, they are rich in many types of vitamins and minerals, and they can easily be added to any meal.

5. Minimize intake of refined carbohydrates and sweets. These include cakes, cookies, ice cream, bagels, muffins, sugary cereals, waffles and pancakes.

6. Minimize intake of high fat foods. These include red meats (such as hamburgers, steaks, and hotdogs), pork products, whole milk, ice cream, cheese, butter, margarine, mayonnaise, oils of all kinds, dressings, fried foods, and potato chips. A diet high in fat can lead to gains in body fat, sluggishness, irritability, and decreases in lean muscle tissue.

7. Minimize intake of soda and fruit juices. Sugar is your worst enemy. Soda is loaded with sugars and sweeteners. Fruit juices should be consumed in moderation as they also contain sugars and lots of carbohydrates.

8. Eat low fat proteins and fibrous carbohydrates at every meal. Low fat proteins include fish, turkey, and chicken. Substituting these for red meats is a great way to reduce your fat intake and still eat a satisfying meal. Fibrous carbohydrates include fruits and vegetables. These can be consumed as snacks or they can be incorporated into meals.

9. Order all dressings and sauces on the side. This allows you to control the amount that is put on your food. These are often high in fat and sodium and should be limited.

10. Avoid eating anything after dinner. Post-dinner snacks are usually the result of appetite, not hunger. The last thing you eat every night should be a balanced dinner. This will also increase your desire to eat breakfast the next day.