So you want to drop a few pounds. Join the crowd. Weight Loss is usually what comes to most people’s mind when the word ‘diet’ is mentioned. Although diet and weight loss are closely related, at least cousins, they should be thought of separately.

Of course, with the proper diet you can lose or gain weight. But diet is so important to good health. By starving yourself you definitely will lose weight but if you survive, your health may be a wreck.

For a moment forget the weight loss puddings, shakes, powders, pills, patches, candy bars and who knows what else.

Let’s concentrate on a few healthy diet tips that should help you reach your weight loss goals and retain your health.

Tip #1: Old advice but the best: Drink a lot of pure water.

It’s the best drink on the planet. Next best are fruit and veggie juice. Be careful with the fruit juice it has a high sugar content, even though it is ‘good’ sugar.

You must stay hydrated (not drowned). The body needs to flush out what shouldn’t be there (toxins, etc.). Another benefit is that the body will feel full so less hunger pangs, less calories, less weight.

Water helps the skin (your biggest organ) stay supple and retains its elasticity. No one wants skin that is hanging loosely. Water keeps the skin beautiful and radiant.

Tip #2: Set Realistic & Achievable Goals

Go back to tip #1 – Water Goal- Drink at least 6-8 8 ounce glasses of pure, clean water every day.

Goals are very, very important. If you don’t know where you’re going and where you have been you’ll definitely end up somewhere – lost and frustrated. Keep track of your progress and your slips, slides and successes. Be honest: The scales, at least good ones, don’t lie, only people fool themselves.

Tip #3: Be Accountable to Someone – Not You

This tip can make or break your goals. Find someone who has the same or close to the same goals that you do. Report your progress to that person and do the same for them. Criticize, complement and comment on each other’s goals. Yes, be tough but be kind. Make sure you really reveal each others successes and set backs. Keep good records and keep moving ahead. Speaking of moving. See the next tip.

Tip #4: Move it, move ALL of it.

Get out of the chair, off the couch and out of the house. O.K. the weathers bad stay in the house but do some exercise. Walk, jump rope, dance (even with yourself, put on some ‘moving music’; no one is watching). O.K. the sun is back out. Play golf, play volleyball, kick the ball (not the dog), play tennis, or just play something besides a video game.

Secret: Learn to have fun (called exercise) while burning calories. I know cleaning the house isn’t exactly like going to Disney World but you can make it fun. Put on some music and dance your way through the house. The mop and broom make excellent dance partners. Hot music burns calories.

Tip #5: Go look in the mirror – Smile

“Attitude is Everything” Your attitude will motivate or destroy everything; every goal you set. See the positive side of your dieting. Your self control and ‘stick-to-it-ness’ will raise your self esteem to new levels. Look at your ‘failures’ as learning experiences that you won’t repeat. In the world of sales it takes a lot of “no” to find one “yes” but that one yes makes all the negativity go away. Find your “yes”. The pounds will go away also.