Here is a baker's dozen of basic lifestyle changes you can use to help you lose weight and keep it off. 

1. Set realistic goals:  Studies show that the more slowly you lose weight
the more likely you are to maintain that weight loss.

2.  Timing is Everything:  Trying to change you eating and exercise habits
during high stress just makes it harder.  Start modifying your eating habits
when you have the time and energy to focus on your program.

3.  Try teamwork:  Ask a friend, family member, or co-worker to do the
program with you.  You can be support for each other.

4.  Get the food facts:  Read the labels and ask questions.

5.  Write it down:  Find out exactly what you're eating , how much, and when
by keeping a food diary.  For a couple weeks each time you eat or drink
something, write it down, and include the time and how you are feeling at
the moment.  It's information that can guide you in identifying the foods,
times and activities that lead you to overeat ot eat inappropriate foods.

6.  Measure twice, cut once:  For the first few days of your new eating
style, measure and weigh you foods.  It can train your eye for appropriate
serving sizes while also making you more aware of the foods you eat.

7.  H2O it: Drinking at least 6-8 glasses of water a day can help you feel
full. Often when we think we're hungry, we're actually thirsty.  So next
time you yearn to snack, have a glass of ice water instead.

8.  Go easy on fat-free:  Just because a food is fat-free doesn't mean it's
calorie-free.  Many fat-free foods are high in calories.  Also the fat-free
promise can lead some people to eat twice as much.  To make the most of
fat-free treats, eat the same modest amount of a fat-free snack as you would
have eaten of the non fat-free one.

9.  Slow down:  Put your fork down between bites and take the time to really
enjoy the flavors and textures of your food.  You'll enjoy your food more,
help your digestion and probably eat less.

10.  Limit Alcohol:  Alcohol is just loading up on empty calories.  Many
times, folks don't realize drinking alcohol is like eating a candy bar--lots
of calories and little else.

11.  Neat Sweets:  Opt for moderate amounts of foods that satisfy the old
sweet tooth but don't add significantly to your overall calorie count.
Choices include fresh fruit, sugar-free gum or candy, marshmallows, jelly
beans, dried fruit and some hard candies.

12.  Take 10 deep breaths:  That urge to snack is coming over you.  Instead
of heading for the vending machine, close your eyes and call to mind an
image that calms you.  Then take 10 long, slow, deep breaths with long, slow
deep exhalations.  This is good for impulsive eaters.

13.  No food, no fun?:  A life of denial is no life at all.  No food is bad.
A food becomes bad when you have it too frequently and don't watch what
you're eating the rest of the time.  It's about balance.  If you're going
out to dinner, eat lean at lunch and breakfast and snack on fruit.  The next
morning, do your exercise and get back on track.