Every year hundreds of thousands of people struggle to loose weight despite wonderful programs such as Weight Watchers Canada and Bodylastics. This isn't because the plans that will be tried won't work; the problem is that many of these plans are difficult to stick with. Here are a few fool proof tips to keep in mind when you pick your next diet and exercise plan.

Look at the Big Picture

When choosing a new diet or exercise plan, you need to remember that the best way to lose weight is to do it slowly and carefully. Though it is not the idea you want to hear, a good rule of thumb is to not loose more than a pound or two per week. Although this means it will likely take you longer to lose the weight, following these guidelines ensure the weight comes off properly and won't be regained as easily. Keeping this in mind, choose to eat smart foods and a moderate work out schedule. Remember that this is a lifestyle change, not a month long quick fix.

Be Realistic

The reality is that you did not gain all the weight you want to lose overnight, so it is unrealistic to think you could take it all off in a month. Using crash diets and overexerting yourself will only lead to easily regaining the weight once you come off the short term diet. Understanding how the body gains weight and how it loses it will help you set realistic goals and timetables for your new lifestyle. Setting a realistic long term goal instead of a drastic short term one will keep you from becoming discouraged and giving up.

Set Obtainable Goals

Once you've set your overall goal, weather it is to lose 40 pounds, 10 inches, or just tone and firm up your existing form, set smaller obtainable goals within the big picture. Focusing on the big end task can be overwhelming and discouraging. If you set weekly and monthly goals that are easy to achieve, you will feel a greater sense of accomplishment and dedication when you reach them. If you are unsure of what is reasonable and realistic, talk to your doctor or a personal trainer. These health experts can help you set realistic goals and achieve success.

Consider Your Weaknesses and Strengths

Finally, consider your own personality when forming a new diet and exercise routine. If you are not the kind of person who enjoys running, don't commit yourself to running five miles a day. You will become discouraged and give up. Instead, find other outlets of cardio exercise that you do enjoy and balance the difference with a sensible diet. Likewise, if you know you don't have the willpower to stick to a strict food plan, balance the difference with increased time at the gym.