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Young African Woman Cooking SaladIf weight is a regular disappointment or stress in your life, surely the same can be said for fad diets, promise-the-world workout equipment and exercise routines better suited for an Olympian. Still, you want to eat healthier, feel better, particularly in the summer.

Here are some practical steps for the average person. If executed, this combination can lower you by a size within six weeks. But, more importantly, it may change regular eating habits to sustain long-term health.

Stick to a 75-25 ratio. There are versions of this suggestion everywhere, but the idea is to make vegetables the star of most meals at three-quarters while turning meat into the treat with the final 25 percent.

Cut out juice and lattes. The sugar in virtually all fruit juices is simply not worth it. Instead, eat fresh fruits and down some water to stay hydrated. With coffee, the dairy and sugar loaded into most of your frothy favorites are bad news. Stick to black coffee or tea and you may not want to go back.

Think about the carbs. White processed carbs, that are predominant in so many of our faves, create a vicious cycle of fat storage. Instead, consider unrefined carbs, found in things like brown rice and oats.

Swap in the soups. Eating a bowl on the front-end of a meal can reduce calorie intake by 20 percent. Swapping soup for a sandwich at lunch also reduces carbs while boosting your veggie intake.

Cut back the alcohol. Since it reacts like sugar chemically, the same insulin resistance can promote weight gain. Cut it out or back for six weeks and you will feel the difference.

Everybody reacts differently with diet changes and we all have different levels of discipline. Even so, using this as a guidepost for long-term habits can help you drop weight, boost energy and find your healthy.