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Dieting Rules You'll Love to Follow

Breakfast is the key to dropping a jeans size. (Photo courtesy of Laura Doss)

Don't eat this, stay away from that — following a diet can seem like a total killjoy. If you're feeling depressed about how restrictive your diet is, here are some proven weight-loss rules you'll welcome with open arms.

1. Dig into a big breakfast: Skipping breakfast to save calories? That's a big mistake because eating breakfast actually jump-starts your metabolism. Your first meal of the day should include protein to reduce sugar cravings, and fiber to satiate your hunger. A veggie omelet, fruit smoothie with spinach, oatmeal with fruit and nuts, or Greek yogurt with fresh fruit are excellent choices.

2. Say yes to carbs: Before you get all excited, I'm not talking about bagels, regular pasta, and pretzels. Simple carbs made from enriched white flour offer little nutritional value and more calories than you need. Stick to complex carbs like quinoa, brown rice, and oats, as well as foods made from whole grain flour such as pasta and crackers — the least processed and as close to nature as possible. (Of course, you still need to be mindful of portion sizes.) Complex carbs are not only full of fiber that keep hunger at bay, they also contain valuable vitamins and minerals your body needs such as vitamins B6 and E and iron.

3. Eat between meals: No need to feel starved all day! Aside from your three main meals, schedule a morning and afternoon snack to keep hunger at bay. Stick to munching on snacks that are 150 calories or less, and use your two snacks as a time to fill holes in your diet such as getting a little extra protein or fiber. Not sure what to eat? Check out these 150-calorie snack ideas.

4. Set a time to indulge each day: Whether it's chocolate you long for or some crunchy, salty chips, choose a time each day where you can splurge on a little something you crave. Keep it under 50 calories and really take the time to sit down and savor it. Satisfying your edible desires is a great way to prevent breaking down and binging on huge portions of unhealthy foods later.

Keep reading for more weight-loss rules you'll love following.

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