If weight has been a struggle your whole life, you're not alone.  I've been up and down too, but there is one secret that we can all latch onto that will help us kick the extra weight in its big fat butt once and for all.  And the experts agree.

The secret to maintaining a goal weight is pretty simple (in theory anyway) and that's to  find an eating method that works and stick with it.  It's not about hopping on a diet plan, losing weight, and then hopping off that train, because the pounds come right back, so the secret to success is to find a food lifestyle that we maintain for the long haul.

So help!

The best diet plans for 2018, according to TIME Magazine, are those that involve fruits and veggies, lean proteins, good fat, and some room to splurge so we never feel like we're being deprived of anything.  Here are a few of the best approaches to food, to get us started on a good note this year.

1.  The DASH Diet - This includes fruits, vegetables, whole grains, lean protein and low-fat dairy.  The goal is to lower blood pressure so it focuses on low salt options and keeps an eye on sodium intake.

2.  The Mediterranean Diet -  This one is high in fruits and vegetables too, along with lots of healthy fatty foods like fish, nuts and olive oil.  If a feta and walnut spinach salad every day for lunch and salmon for dinner is your dream day, this is for you.

3. The Flexitarian Diet - It's a vegetarian lifestyle for the most part, that leaves room to eat meat sometimes.  It's heavy on fruits and veggies, nuts, and almond milk and it lets you have a burger if you're craving it.

4,.  Weight Watchers - We've got to cool it on sweets on this plan because those can eat up all of our points for the day, but there are other zero point foods that we can go crazy with with like egg whites, fish, and fat free chicken breasts.  And Oprah loves it.

How about all of the above?!  I see myself in all of those options in one way or another, and maybe you do too.  I might already be a Mediterranean Flexitarian who counts points in her head and just never really labels it.

The key is probably not calling it a "diet" because that makes us glaze over and feel deprived before we can even get the fork to our mouths.  So here's to a healthy lifestyle in 2018, that keeps our weight under control and leaves a little room for pizza and cake too.  That's a plan we can stick with.


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