If you're overweight, you've probably tried different diets in the past. You may feel guilty because you failed to follow through with your plans. These feelings of failure often lead to more eating and more weight gain. You may feel the stress of trying to lose weight just isn't worth it.

While you shouldn't resolve to remain overweight, you shouldn't let dieting rule your life either. Obesity causes serious health issues such as high blood pressure and increased risk of diabetes. It's possible to lose weight without feeling stressed and overwhelmed.

Eliminate the word diet from your vocabulary

The mere mention of the word diet is enough to stir up images of depravation. You need to look at losing weight as a lifestyle change. Focus on making healthy changes to improve your life while remembering that you can still enjoy the foods you love.

It's really about common sense

There's no secret formula to weight loss. Pounds dissolve when you burn off more calories than you consume. It's not rocket science. Researchers are always coming up with new diet plans. Women's magazines highlight a new diet nearly every week. If all of these so-called miracle diets actually worked, there would be no need to find a new one to put on the cover of the next magazine.

It's not unusual for overweight people to feel excited every time they read about a new diet and then feel frustrated when they fail to maintain the program for more than a few days. This creates stress. Studying new weight loss plans can be exhausting.

Keep things simple

Making a few small changes will go a long way towards weight loss success. Start out by visiting your physician to rule out medical conditions that cause weight gain. Talk to your doctor about your desire to shed some pounds. He will be able to recommend some changes or may refer you to a dietitian to help you establish a plan you can live with.

Drink a few extra glasses of water a day. Walk a little more. Replace one of your snacks with fresh fruit. Enjoy the foods you love, but make gradual changes towards healthier eating.

Portion control is powerful

Learning what a proper portion or serving is will help you gain control of your eating. Check the package for the proper serving size and measure or weigh out the correct amount. Once you learn to eyeball portion sizes, you won't need to measure and weigh everything.

If your snacking is out of control, consider measuring out individual serving portions of pretzels and chips and placing them in sandwich bags. When the urge to snack hits, you don't have to worry about eating the entire bag. Enjoy your premeasured portion. Smaller amounts still taste good and are often all you need to stifle a crazing for something sweet or salty.

Don't force yourself to eat things you hate

If you hate baby carrots, don't buy them. Many people make the mistake of buying large amounts of vegetables at the start of a weight loss plan thinking they are going to suddenly be transformed into someone who loves leafy greens. Learn to eat only the things you enjoy. Trying to force yourself to eat vegetables you hate can cause you to feel deprived which usually leads to overeating or a food binge.

Life is stressful enough without trying to force yourself into a diet mindset. Over time, the small changes you make daily will result in the number on the scale going down. You will feel less stressed while still enjoying the health benefits of weight loss.