Want to know the key to weight loss success? The number one reason people don't succeed at weight loss is because they try quick fad diets instead of making healthy lifestyle changes.

This actually backfires not only because they don't lose weight, but they damage their self-esteem in the process ("Why can't I lose weight? I guess I just can't do it. I must be a failure at dieting").

This ultimately leads them to stop trying. The truth however is that anybody can lose weight, regardless of past history with diets.

But here's the key. You have to realize that weight loss success is the result of long-lasting lifestyle changes in one's thinking, diet, and exercise. Not a quick 2 week fad diet.

With so many different guidelines on what and how much you should eat, developing a healthy diet can be confusing.

To help you kick-start your weight loss, here are some basic dos and don'ts of healthy eating, which will help you become your own weight loss success story.

DO: Focus on eating healthy foods instead of focusing on what you can't have ('junk foods'). It's a basic psychological principle that we are drawn to what we focus on.

Think about what you can incorporate into your diet to make it healthier. This gives you a more positive focus instead of that dreaded diet 'deprivation' mentality.

Food pyramids generally recommend incorporating a lot of fruits and vegetables into your daily diet. These can taste delicious and give you tons of energy after eating them.

Also, take some time and read about the benefits of healthy foods. This will help you to want to eat them and you'll also feel better about yourself when you eat them. (Because you know how much they're helping your body).

DO: Divide up your daily caloric intake into several small meals. Eating several small meals while you try to lose weight will help you feel satisfied rather than hungry. (Hunger is the enemy of all dieting plans!)

Fresh fruits and/or vegetables make great snacks. Other healthy snacks include whole grain pretzels, low-fat yogurt, peanut butter on whole grain crackers and whole grain cereal.

By doing this you also help to keep your blood sugar steady throughout the day and your insulin levels lower. (Insulin, among other things, signals your body to store fat).

DO: Exercise. Most weight loss success stories incorporate some sort of exercise into their daily or weekly routine.

Physical activity is good for your body and mind. Try to find exercise you enjoy rather than something you don't like. Because if you don't enjoy it, you won't stick with it.

Take a daily walk with a friend. Run on your treadmill while watching your favorite show. Take a bike ride in a local park.

In general, try to combine strength training exercise with aerobic or heart-pumping exercise. Strength training can include lifting weights or doing some challenging stretches.

Exercise is also a great way to stretch your caloric budget every day as it helps to build and increase metabolism.

Physical activity won't undo the effects of a poor, high calorie diet. But it can give you that little edge, especially when you know you're going to be eating extra that day.

DON'T: Don't cut "unhealthy" foods completely out of your diet. Cutting unhealthy foods, such as cookies, cake, brownies, and ice cream out of your diet will only leave you craving these foods.

Plus, it may lead to overeating these foods once you finally give in to temptation.

Instead, plan to eat unhealthy food in moderation - with no guilt.

If you are craving ice cream, for example, eat one 1/2 cup serving. If you are craving a chocolate chip cookie, eat a small to medium sized cookie.

Eating unhealthy food in moderation won't ruin your diet and can actually help you achieve weight loss success faster since you don't feel deprived.

DON'T: Don't avoid fat completely. Having fat in your daily diet is actually healthy.

In fact, according to the Mayo Clinic, fat helps your body in numerous ways. It gives you energy, aids in the production of hormones that help your body clot blood, constrict blood vessels, and regulate heart rate.

Fat also carries vitamins to the blood, maintains healthy skin and hair, and helps keep your body insulated.

It is important however to know what fats are good and bad for you.

Monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats are good for you. These fats can be found in canola oil, peanut oil, olive oil, fish, nuts, and flaxseed.

Try to avoid cholesterol, saturated fat, and trans fats whenever you can.

Foods that contain these types of fats include, but are not limited to: beef, pork, veal, dairy products, butter, palm oil, and lard.

DON'T: Don't use food to cope with stressful or upsetting situations. This is a big one as many people ruin their diets due to stress eating.

Invest time in finding healthier ways to deal with uncomfortable feelings. Healthy ways to cope with feelings include writing in a journal, taking a walk, talking with a friend, and listening to music.

So there you have some tips for jump-starting your weight loss success plan. Remember that true weight loss success means a lifestyle change.

Do what you can and build new 'thin' habits into your life at a pace that feels comfortable for you. By taking the steps above, you're on your way to losing weight and keeping it off.

Author's Bio: 

Vienna Miller writes for Weight Loss Meal Delivery - offering reviews of Weight Loss Meal Delivery services.

It's been proven that people lose more weight when they eat prepared meals. For more information on which services offer affordable diet meal delivery to your area, visit the Diet Delivery Services