Would you like to cut about 500 calories from your daily diet without even realizing it? All you have to do is turn the following tips into habits, and you’ll drop one pound per week, 26 pounds in six months, or 52 pounds by next year!

Stick to the strategy from Prevention magazine, published by Rodale of Emmaus, and watch the scale drop to a new low.


1 If you’re divvying up your total daily calories among five or six smaller meals to control hunger and lose weight, you may be able to get by with one less snack and slim down even more. According to one study, a mid-morning snack is less effective for weight loss than a mid-afternoon one.


2 It may sound counterintuitive but a Cornell study found people eat up to 50 percent more when a product is labeled low-fat. This is known as the “halo effect,” because it makes the product appear healthful, prompts us to feel virtuous and — you guessed it — we end up eating more. Here’s the rule: Eat the same amount of the “skinny” version as you normally would the “fat” version and you’ll cut calories.


3 Women who work out in the morning reduce their appetite and boost their total physical activity throughout the day, according to researchers. But here’s the fine-print: The appetite-reducing effect only lasts for a short time, until body temperature returns to normal after exercise. However, since moving in the morning apparently encourages more movement all day, try four or five short bursts of activity (take the stairs, park in the outer reaches of the parking lot, do some crunches “) for best results.