12/30/2012 08:39 am ET Updated Feb 27, 2013

Master the 7 Diet 'Dos'

I can't wait for you to be the fit and fabulous person you want to be -- and you will be. Now that you're creating a healthier you, follow these tips to avoid common diet pitfalls:

1. Eat until you're satisfied. Believe it or not, if you want to lose weight, it is important to eat. Skipping meals can leave you feeling weak and hungry, which leads straight to overeating. Eat when you need to, but make sure you limit yourself to nutritious, strength-building foods.

2. Include a variety of foods. You've heard of diets that focus on one food, or that exclude whole categories of food from your life. Go for balance instead. Sweets, pasta, and breads have a place in your eating plan. The key is moderation. Make healthy foods the foundation of your meals.

3. Quench your thirst. Water helps you burn calories, boosts your metabolism, and fills you up. How's that for multitasking? Bottoms up.

4. Concentrate on your health. Diet pills, crash dieting, and products that promise instant results are never a good idea. A slow, steady, balanced weight-loss plan is the most effective and the safest. You'll feel great, and you'll protect your health, too.

5. Make it a team effort. Staying motivated is so imperative. Find an exercise buddy in your neighborhood or at your office, ask a friend or family member to help you stay on track, or take advantage of my amazing online community.

6. Get moving. If you're already eating healthy, exercise can tone muscle and give you lots of energy. Even just a few minutes a day can make a huge difference. Give it a try.

7. Put you at the top of your daily to-do list. Shift your priorities so that you can make time for yourself, without feeling guilty.

Adapted from Side Effect: Skinny, exclusively available for purchase at

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