Cheat-proof your diet

We've all heard the expression, "Where there's a will, there's a way."

But when it comes to losing weight, sometimes finding that focused determination—and summoning it back up day after day—can be the biggest challenge of all. Willpower killers (stress, crazy schedules, temptation) are everywhere, and they can make you lose the resolve to, say, leave that brownie in its place.

Weight-loss expert Susan Albers, a doctor of psychology, is here with tricks that'll keep you from caving in.

Praise yourself
Write down all of the small victories you score throughout the day. Keeping track of what you do well instead of dwelling on your goof-ups will build your confidence and remind you that you can do it.

Get more sleep
Investing in some extra zzz's (think seven to nine hours per night) boosts your willpower by regulating hormones that control appetite. When you're sleep-deprived, those hormones get out of whack—causing your self-restraint to plummet.

Don't dump snacks
It's easier to stay in control when you have light bites at the ready. So keep your purse and desk stocked with good-news snacks (fruit, nuts, granola bars), and load up the fridge with grilled chicken and other lean proteins. That way, these healthy picks will be waiting for you when you're starving, making it a no-brainer to reach for them and stay on track.

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