(HealthDay News) -- Losing extra weight is the first step to better health. It's also important to keep those extra pounds from creeping back.
The American Heart Association offers these suggestions:
- Figure out what works for you -- what motivates you, which rewards you prefer, and which long-term habits you can maintain.
- Be realistic about how much you can lose and how long it will take.
- Pay attention to your calorie intake versus calories burned.
- Use a pedometer to track your how much you walk each day.
- Make a healthy shopping list -- and stick to it.
- There's no need to weigh yourself every day -- once weekly is fine. Try measuring inches lost, instead of pounds.
- Keep a record of the foods you eat, total calories, and exercise.
- Plan ahead for special occasions such as holidays, and make up for the extra eating before and after.