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Diet Experts Share Their #1 Weight Loss Tip

A single letter differentiates the word "coach" from the word "couch." But when it comes to achieving weight loss goals, that difference is a weighty one.

Solicit the advice of a diet coach, researchers say, and you could drop up to 9 percent of your body weight in 24 weeks—an unusually big success for a weight-loss program. Forgo the support, and there's a 50 percent chance you'll give up on your goal and find yourself on the c-o-u-c-h. That's according to two recent studies that looked the benefits of health coaching on weight loss.

One benefit of a diet coach, study authors say, is that they hold you accountable, even when your willpower wanes. But emotional support is just one benefit. The expert knowledge of a registered dietitian is invaluable and can help you cut through the crap and focus on the simple, basic information you need to get results. That's why we reached out to leading dieticians from across the country for their number one weight-loss tip—the single piece of advice you need to stay off the couch, out of the cookie jar and focused on your weight loss goal. Here's what they had to say. After you check out their advice, take a look at the 40 Unhealthiest Foods on the Planet for your cheat shet of what to stay away from if you want weight loss succss!

Be Boring

"Repetition builds rhythm. Be boring. Most successful losers have just a couple of go-to breakfasts or snacks. Make an effort to pinpoint these for yourself. "Hmm, I'm starving what should I have?" doesn't often end well. You can change the rotation every few weeks, but pre set meals or workouts on certain days will help tremendously." – Lauren Slayton MS, RD, Author of The Little Book of Thin, Founder of Foodtrainers

Use the Half Plate Rule

"Make half your plate vegetables and/or salad. The vegetables are nutrient-dense, high in satiating fiber, and low in calories. By eating the veggie half of your plate before anything else, you will take the edge off your hunger, eat less overall calories, and still feel full and satisfied. Keep eating this way and the pounds will painlessly melt away." – Danielle Omar, MS, RD, Blogger at Food Confidence

No time to think up a healthy meal to make? Bookmark our brilliant list of 20 Lazy Dinner Recipes for Weight Loss!

Practice Portions

"Weigh and measure your foods, particularly when you start to change your habits; then at least once a week, and then on occasion. Yes, this is arduous and annoying but it keeps you honest and your eyes accurate when you eat away from home. It's easy to fool yourself about portions, yet a hundred extra calories of salad dressing, cheese, fruit or even lean meat can make the difference between pounds shed or no change on the scale." – Hope Warshaw, MMSc, RD, CDE, Author of Diabetes Meal Planning Made Easy

Bookend Mealtime

"Open and close the door to every meal and snack by drinking a cup of water. Since our bodies are mostly water, and water is the medium in which every calorie is burned, staying hydrated can help keep your metabolism burning steady. Thirst is often misread as hunger, so staying hydrated is also one of the most important habits you can develop to better decipher when your body actually needs more fuel." – Tammy Beasley, RDN, CEDRD, LD, Owner of RevItUP! for Life: Your Healthy Lifestyle Roadmap

Bonus: It's possible to burn fat with detox water!

Hide Your Vices

"Keep foods like fruits visible on the counter and put all else away. The foods that are visible will be eaten and those that are not will be forgotten about (or less likely to be eaten). Out of sight, out of mind." – Christopher Mohr, PhD, RD, Nutrition Consultant at

Forget the Shouldn'ts

"Lose the 'diet' mentality. Focus more on what you should be eating versus what you shouldn't be. Change the negative thinking into positive." – Keri Gans, RDN, Author of The Small Change Diet

Eat Leaves and Confetti

"A 'salad' a day keeps my clients (and me!) in check. But it's not the lame lettuce-only salad many think of. Have a leafy green base, be it kale or spinach, and top it with a protein, a sprinkle of quinoa or brown rice and then what I call the confetti: either a little fruit, nuts, or cheese to keep it exciting." – Carlene Thomas, RDN, Author of The Wedding Wellness Workbook: Your Nutrition How-To Before 'I Do'

Want to give your greens an energizing boost? Find out the 29 Best-Ever Proteins for Weight Loss!

Master a Dozen

"Cook as much as you can. Familiarize yourself with a dozen-or-so simple, healthful, and tasty recipes you can make at home. There is something very empowering about whipping up healthy fare at home, and you won't have to worry about deciphering deceptive marketing claims the food industry commonly employs." – Andy Bellatti, MS, RD, Dietitians For Professional Integrity

86 Fruit Juice

"Drop all added sugar. Drop the juice, and eat the whole fruit instead!" – Debra Riedesel RD, LD, The Cycle Diet for Women

Plan 2 Days Out

"Plan your meals, even just a day or two in advance, and take the time to cook whole foods at home as often as you can. Don't forget the vegetables; they should be your focus." – Claudia Zapata, MS, RDN, Blogger at


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