When you take small, realistic steps, you’re more likely to lose weight and keep it off longer. By adding one new goal per month, these top 12 tips will help you lose weight as you gradually become healthier and fitter.

1. Stock Up: Clear out the temptations and stock your kitchen with healthy staples such as frozen or fresh fruits and veggies, whole grains, nuts and nut butters, dried beans, seeds, olive oil, low-fat milk and yogurt, and eggs.

2. Track It: Keep a food log—there are many great and free apps, and pen and paper will also work. Be accountable for what you’re eating; recognize where you need improvements.

3. Grab Snacks: Always keep a nutritious snack with you, such as nuts or an energy bar. Going more than 4-5 hours between meals can set you up to overeat.

4. Add a Class: Just because you’re not in school doesn’t mean you can’t learn new skills. Try a new exercise or take a Mommy & Me class to encourage bonding, gain interaction with other new moms and boost your self-confidence.

5. Stay Juicy: 8-10 cups of water a day will keep your energy high and metabolism fast. Add fresh fruit to your water to spike its flavor.

6. Skip Salts: Instead of salty deli meats or sausage, grill chicken and fish, or roast turkey to reduce bloating for swimsuit season.

7. Go Grainy: Get 3 servings of whole grains every day. Choose brown rice, whole wheat pasta, quinoa, or even air-popped popcorn. These foods help fill you up on fewer calories and can reduce heart disease and diabetes risks.

8. Treat Yourself: It’s healthy and balanced to include all the foods you love in moderation, especially dark chocolate. Otherwise, you’re more likely to overeat when you’re faced with them.

9. Go Play: Be active with your family no matter how young your children are. Go to a park for a healthy picnic and nature walk or play family-friendly sports like basketball, swimming or biking.

10. Avoid Alcohol:  New research is suggesting that there’s no safe amount of drinking. If you’re going to drink, drinking in moderation means no more than 1 alcoholic drink per day for women and no more than 2 for men. The lowest in calorie choices include wine, beer, or liquor without mixers.

11. Hit the Farmer’s Market: Visit a produce stand and choose a new fruit or vegetable each week to get a variety of nutrients, including antioxidants and fiber.

12. Get Moving: As a mom, going to the gym may be tough with a newborn. Make time for activity at home while baby is sleeping. Stream a spin or yoga class, you decide!, or let baby nap in the stroller while you walk.

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