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Hungry Girl: 5 Tips to Jump Start Summer Weight Loss

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Lisa Lillien is the author of the popular Hungry Girl website and email newsletter, featuring smart, funny advice on guilt-free eating. She is also the author of eleven books, six of which debuted at number one on the New York Times Best Sellers list. Read her PEOPLE.com blog every Monday for slimmed-down celebrity recipes and more.

Instead of waiting until June to think about fitting into those short shorts and swimsuits, make a few healthy tweaks to your eating habits now. These five tips are easy. It’s all about making small changes to your everyday life. Read up!

Plan Ahead

Meal prep is all the rage these days — see Instagram for proof! I like to make large-batch dinners (like casseroles) over the weekend. Then for the rest of the week, all I need to do is reheat. For easy weekday breakfasts, I’m all about overnight oats and oatmeal bakes. Commit some weekend time to prepping proteins and veggies. This way, when you want a freshly cooked meal, all you need to do is throw the ingredients in a pan!

Increase Your Water Intake

Not only is it great for your overall body function, but drinking lots of water also helps keep you from feeling unnecessarily hungry. Sometimes when we’re dehydrated, we mistake that sensation for hunger. Luckily, this problem has the easiest solution in the world: Drink plenty of H2O! Carry a refillable bottle with you everywhere, so you’re never caught without water. Bonus: Staying hydrated will give your skin a healthy glow.

RELATED: Hungry Girl: Spring Clean Your Diet with These Healthy Food Swaps

Start Snacking

Always have smart snacks around. Eating more often might sound counterintuitive, but it will save you from getting hangry and making poor food decisions at meal times. I like to keep jerky, protein bars (with 200 calories or less), and 100-calorie packs of nuts in my purse. These treats are satisfying and won’t get smushed on the go. At home, a snack stash of fresh fruit and cut veggies (with salsa!) is a must.

WATCH THIS: Half Their Size: Lindita Weighed 250 lbs. Before Deciding To Lose The Weight

Weigh Your (Food) Options

Don’t just eyeball it! A food scale is a super-crucial kitchen tool for making sure your amounts are precise. When it comes to calorie-dense items like nuts and meats, weighing your portions can prevent a calorie catastrophe. You can find cheap scales online and at stores like Bed Bath & Beyond.

RELATED: Hungry Girl: Why You Should Be Shopping in the Baby Food Aisle If You’re on a Diet

Don’t Stress

If you’re eating healthy the majority of the time, you’re doing great. If you slip up, don’t beat yourself. Enjoy it, and get right back on track. Stress can be a contributor to weight gain, so give yourself a break, and the scale will thank you.

‘Til next time… Chew the right thing!