These 5 simple tricks are the key to losing weight

In one of the best articles I've read about what it takes to actually lose weight (besides knowing the whole "eat less, move more" piece of advice), a social psychologist who studies motivation tells Health Magazine and CNN.com the top habits of highly successful dieters.

As someone who's lost 100 pounds, I'm always on the lookout for new dieting advice because I think the biggest struggle comes with keeping the weight off. From believing in your success to exercising your willpower "muscle" with baby steps, these simple ways to lose weight—and keep it off—are great for anyone who has ever dieted.

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Read more ¿Qué más? Obvious news of the day: Eat less to lose weight.

1. Set concrete goals for where you want to get: Making vague statements like "I want to lose weight" isn't going to help you achieve them. Make it clear exactly what you want by writing down a clear target, like "I want to lose 25 pounds", for better motivation.

2. Don't work off of an "I can't eat this" list: Apparently one of the best ways to face temptations when dieting is to have a solid "if-then" plan to help reach your dieting goals. Work on phrases like "if the bread basket comes, I will have one piece and send the rest away" to help you deal with potential pitfalls.

3. Write down your milestones but keep going: Make sure you're tracking your progress, like getting on the scale at least once a week and marking down the days you exercise, but you also have to be wary of not losing sight of your long term goal, either. Celebrate for every 5 pounds you lose but keep on going.

4. Believe in your success but know it won't be easy: Be what they call a "realistic optimist", meaning that you should know that you are able to succeed in your weight loss efforts but you can't think that it will come easily. It turns out that accepting the "Yes I can, but it won't be easy" mentality is actually really important for your weight loss success since it helps you put in more effort.

5. Exercise your willpower "muscle" with baby steps: Self-control is like any other muscle in your body. It can be different depending on the person and situation. The best way to stay on track is to exercise it with baby steps, like adding in one more vegetable to each meal or replacing that afternoon high-calorie (and high sugar) latte with a sugar-free herbal tea and milk.

Read more ¿Qué más? Want to know what's really making us fat?

What do you think is the #1 key to losing weight successfully? Which of these tips has helped you the most?

Image via Mrs Magic/flickr