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The Fad-Free Diet

When it comes to losing weight, tried-and-true is always better than fast-but-fleeting. Skip the schemes and take tips from the pros instead.

Everyday Food, June 2012

Anna-Lisa Finger

Registered dietitian, Johns Hopkins Weight Management Center

Eat Less

Tough but true: In order to lose weight, you have to reduce your calorie intake. The best way to do this is to control portion sizes. This might mean measuring out your food until you can eyeball the right amounts.

Perfect Your Plate

A balanced diet starts with a well-rounded meal. Fill half your plate with produce, a quarter with lean protein such as chicken or beans, and a quarter with whole grains like brown rice or whole-wheat pasta.

Allison Adato

Author of "Smart Chefs Stay Slim"

Order Better

Restaurant options can be overwhelming. Remember that a menu is just a list of what they have, not a guide to ordering; you don't have to choose an item from each category. Share an entree or a few appetizers to keep serving sizes in check.

Eat What You Love

When people hear the word "diet," they think of plain yogurt and rice cakes. But don't forget about the pleasure of eating a favorite food. It's better to enjoy small portions of the things you love and avoid the stuff you don't.

Bob Harper

Personal trainer on "The Biggest Loser" and author of "The Skinny Rules"

Focus on Fiber

Fiber will help keep you full, which is seriously helpful if you're prone to overindulging. Having an apple and a handful of berries daily is a good start.

Power Up with Protein

Eating protein at every meal revs your metabolism, because your body burns more calories digesting it than it does other nutrients, like carbohydrates. Fish and eggs (especially the whites) are my favorite ways to get a healthy dose.

Andrea Giancoli

Registered dietitian and spokesperson for the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics

Get a Good Start

Make sure that vegetables are the first things you eat at lunch or dinner. You'll fill up with fewer calories and less fat. Clean that part of your plate first or, if you're at a restaurant, ask for a leafy green salad before getting your entree.

Take a Break

When you're eating a big meal, put down your fork or spoon in between bites. This forces you to slow down, which will help your body register fullness sooner, so you can avoid overeating.

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