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It’s a new year and as we all know, most people’s resolution is to get in shape. While that’s all fine and dandy, it takes a lot of discipline to drop those pounds and even more control to maintain your desired weight after you’ve shed that fat. Getting and staying fit, exercising and eating right can be difficult tasks to achieve when you’re not used to it, and while I’m no fitness expert, I’ve certainly been making great strides in altering my old lifestyle of laziness and bad eating habits. During my journey, I’ve discovered a few ways to keep me driven and on the right track, so why not share? Take a look at these five tricks that can help you get it right for the new year, and keep it tight for years to come.

Don’t Deprive Yourself

Oftentimes, we get ourselves on diets that force out all those oh-so-good foods that are really bad. But we don’t need a quick, one-time fix that we’re going to ditch after we melt away the fat, we’re talking about changing our lifestyles here—think long-term. Our bodies need fat, so don’t think you’re not supposed to consume fatty foods, just know which ones are good for you, and indulge in moderation. (There’s good fat, and there’s bad fat, but as I said, I’m no fitness expert, therefore you can go ahead and Google the difference.)

For those junky, super-processed treats that we love so much (soda, chips, candy bars and well, you know the rest), while they really hold no nutritional value, it’s okay to chop ‘em down from time to time.  If you don’t allow yourself a day or two out of the week to enjoy those snacks you so desperately desire (remember, it’s all about moderation), when you finally get your hands on them after a long stretch of time, things won’t be pretty. So go ahead, get your Dunkin Donuts, Frito Lay and cookies and cream on every once in a while. It won’t hurt.

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