How to get slim — for many of us, it’s not an easy tast. Weight loss seems like an up and down battle — you lose five pounds and gain ten. Yet for others, staying slim seems to come naturally. If you want to get slim and stay slim for life, there are a few things that you must do.

First, you should watch your portion sizes. Naturally slim people tend to eat smaller portions than other people. In America, we’ve gotten a portion distortion from the enormous plates of food that they serve at restaurants. Take some time to measure out your portions so that you can start to see what a real portion looks like.

However, don’t think that you have to deprive yourself. It’s fine to have a treat every once in awhile. A good rule of thumb is to allow yourself three “cheat” meals per week. But be realistic about it. A couple of slices of pizza or a decadent dessert make for a good cheat. The whole pizza or three slices of cake does not. Everything in moderation.

You should also try to make exercise a part of your daily routine. This doesn’t have to mean breaking out the workout clothes and going for a jog (though if that’s what you like, more power to you). By simply taking the stairs instead of the escalator or walking to the corner store instead of driving, you’ll get in a bit of exercise. Little bits add up.

Pay attention. If you wear stretchy pants and never step on the scale, you’re not going to notice if you gain 20 pounds. There’s no need to weigh yourself every day, but you do want to pay attention and keep track of where you are. You can do this either with the scale or base it on how your clothes fit and feel.

Eat breakfast. Breakfast is one of the most important meals of the day and too often people try to skip it as a way of saving calories. This doesn’t work. If you want to stay slim for life, you should start every day with a good breakfast. It gets your metabolism revving for the rest of the day.

Staying slim for life doesn’t require constant dieting. Rather, by creating healthy habits for yourself, including both diet and exercise, you’ll find how to get slim is no longer an issue and the weight just naturally stays off.

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