From making the decision to go for it to staying motivated, our Cooking Light Diet community members have been there. Here are their best tips.


Make a Plan

"I set a start date to give myself a couple weeks to get mentally prepared. By the time my start date comes, I am excited to get started. I have a plan in place and grocery shopping completed. Winging it is never good when I am starting out." —Peggy McNamara Dangerfield

Seek Support

"For me, what really works is [having] a community that can give me support. I can create a better me with the support of others to lift me up. I've tried doing things solo, and it just doesn't work for me. Sometimes all we need is a hand to help pull us out of our own way." —Elena Harris

Clean House

"Purge the kitchen of any foods that may cause you to slip. Once you have ... established your new lifestyle, those things can be slowly added in if desired." —Amber Tegeler

Focus on the Bigger Picture

"When I decided to start my weight-loss journey, I bought a journal and kept track of my food, water, moods, and especially what made me grateful for the day. My grateful posts could not be diet-related. It made me focus on what I was dieting and not on the diet itself." —Lauri Dabbieri

Enjoy Your Food

"Practice mindful eating. Set a place at the table that is attractive; use nice glassware and good plates. Sit down to eat. Acknowledge in appreciation of the food on your plate. Eat slowly. Put your fork down between bites, and take a sip of water. Eating slowly and mindfully gives your body time to let your brain know that you are getting full. When you feel satisfied (not stuffed!), stop eating." —Andrea Lee Carter

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Know That It All Matters

If you find yourself in a rut or, worse yet, a plateau, remind yourself that you're doing right by you. "Keep trying. Every little things makes a difference to your overall health, even if it doesn't immediately affect your weight." —Andrea Haight

Remind Yourself of How Far You've Come

"What helps me most is keeping a very unflattering before picture handy. I have it on my fridge and on the home screen of my phone, and I cringe every time I see it. I never want to go back to that again." —Cynthia Mason Moran