4. Cut Out Artificial Sweeteners

Artificial sweeteners are frequently found in many reduced-calorie foods, processed products, and diet or decaffeinated drinks. Study after study connects artificial sweeteners to weight gain. Whenever you eat, your body is trained to expect calories, but it's not getting them when you eat zero-calorie sweeteners. You end up craving more food and not feeling full. What's more, artificial sweeteners are up to 7000 times sweeter than natural sugars and this can desensitize taste buds. As a result, artificial sweeteners can cause you to overeat.

Cut artificial sweeteners out of your diet and enjoy natural sweets like fruit and antioxidant-rich dark chocolate.

5. Cut Out Soda

The average American drinks 53 gallons of soda a year; if it's regular soda, that comes to about 49 pounds of sugar. Soda is loaded with caffeine, high-fructose corn syrup and calories. In addition to contributing to weight gain, soda increases your risk of diabetes, bone weakening and tooth decay. Even diet soda is packed with artificial sweeteners. Additionally, the carbonation in soda cause air bubbles to form and expand in your abdomen. When they burst, carbon dioxide gas dispersed in the stomach, which can cause excess bloating.

6. Get Moving!

Part of any effective weight-loss routine is exercise. At minimum, make sure you're walking at least 10,000 steps a day. Beyond that, select a workout routine that best fits your fitness and lifestyle needs.

Blast Fat
Fitness guru Tony Horton, creator of the P90X workout, has a plan to help transform your body in just 10 minutes a day. Try this special workout plan to trim and tone your body.

5-Minute Workouts
This Oz-approved series from celebrity trainer Joel Harper will tone your core, butt, arms, thighs and more in minutes.

Run a 5K
Get in shape and hold yourself accountable by signing up for a 5K race.

Next: How to trick your body into losing weight


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