5 tips for keeping your new year's resolution to lose weight

Losing weight is said to be one of the most popular new year's resolutions, but it can also one of the hardest to keep.

Clinical nutrition expert Shaynee Roper, LD, RD, of Harris Health System in Houston, Texas told The New York Daily News, the first step is recognize that losing weight is a lifestyle, not a diet.

"A lot of people set goals and are really gung-ho in January and February, but then their energy fades because they're not making a lifestyle change," Roper said.

Roper says you'll need to make a plan and stick with it for six to 12 months, or even more.

Here are her top five tips:

1. Set small goals. Opt to lose a half a kilo a week or about two kilos a month. Start cutting out junk food, empty calories, fried foods, and sweets.

2. Jot down everything you eat and drink for two weeks. A food journal can offer clues to your daily habits and pitfalls and help you make decisions about what to eliminate, reduce, and add.

3. Identity your trigger foods. If you know you are likely to gorge on salty snacks or chocolate, keep tempting treats out of reach.

4. Find an eating replacement. Exercise, read a book, or ride a bike rather than snacking. Learn to listen to your body's clues about hunger versus boredom, for example. Exercising 30 minutes a day, four to five times a week, is recommended.

5. Reward yourself. When you achieve a goal you've set for yourself, splurge on a pair of shoes or some other non-food treat.