Diets don't work. Not only do they make you miserable and feeling hungry, they actually make you gain weight by slowing down your metabolism. Instead, watch your portion sizes, don't consume sugary beverages, eat slowly, do a little exercise, and you'll be shedding those unwanted pounds in no time.

Anyone who has ever tried dieting knows the immediate feeling of deprivation that accompanies most weight-loss plans. In time, you'll find you need less food to feel satiated. Here are some steps to weight loss :

- Don't deprive yourself
You don't want to feel deprived or hungry because drastically cutting calories will only slow down your metabolism by driving your system into famine mode. Don't count calories; just eyeball your portions. Within a matter of a couple of weeks, you will be adjusted to the new serving sizes and they will seem normal.

- Mini meal is the operative word
Ideally, every time you eat, your plate should have some protein, a little fat and a little fibrous bulk to ensure that you feel full and satisfied. This takes some planning. It ultimately means losing the "mindlessly munching on pretzels" habit.

- Eat delicious and well
Every diet regimen should permit the occasional treat and nice meal out. Eat delicious food, but eat it in smaller portions. Learn to enjoy ordinary food as well as extraordinary delicacies.

- Eat your calories, don't drink them
If you add commercial beverages, juices and sugary lattes to your diet, you practically need a calculator to tally the calories that don't do a thing when it comes to fulfilling your appetite. Stick to water and tea and get your calories from more filling and satisfying foods.

- Exercise is the perfect partner
Your diet will be all the more successful if you combine it with regular exercise. Approach your exercise and diet plan with a focus on how you look and feel, not how much you weigh. In other words, think in inches lost, not pounds. Remember; muscle weighs more than fat.

- Make meals last
Yes, two Balance protein bars have only 360 calories and also contain vitamins, minerals, fiber, protein, fat, and carbohydrates. But you can down these suckers in a matter of seconds. The satiety centers of the brain may not get the message right away that you've had enough. Eat slowly, chew carefully and don't put more food in your mouth when you haven't dealt completely with the last bite.

Everyone knows that bigger portions won't fill the empty spaces of our lives or give us lasting relief from unpleasant moments. Discovering your triggers is a step toward self-control, which is the basis for eating less.