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Each day thousands of people step on their scales to see if that extra bite of dessert, extra helping of mashed potatoes or that frappuccino pushed the dial upward. Many people take that same step to see if the CrossFit class or sacrificed calories dropped that number. Either way, stepping on the scale can cause anxietyso much so that it's often kept inside a closet or under the bed.

But the good news about weighing yourself is that if you do it daily, you might be more successful with weight loss or maintaining a healthy body weight.  According to a Duke University study at Duke Global Health Institute, lead author Dori Steinberg noted that daily weighing triggers an understanding of what people are eating and how it affects their weight.

With more than 68 percent of Americans considered overweight or obese, self-monitoring can help adjust behavior to reach goals or stay on track.  Here are five things you can do to help win the battle of the bulge.

17589-shoe-walkSTEP IT UP Count your steps daily by using an activity tracker or pedometer. Every smartphone has a simple counter on it as well, so there is no cost associated with that one. As always, try to be active by getting in at least 10,000 steps or improving your performance day by day.

COUNT YOUR VEGGIES Most Americans only consume two servings of fruits and vegetables daily. Use the 4-3-2-1 method of adding more fruits and vegetables into your diet. Strive for four servings at breakfast, three at lunch and two at dinner.  Eat a fresh fruit or vegetable for a snack and you're well on your way to better health.

17589-girl-scale-cheerBE GRATEFUL A positive self-attitude goes a long way. The more you focus on the good things in your life and appreciate where you're at, the further you'll be able to launch your successes.

SCALE IT Stepping on the scale can help you maintain a healthy body weight as well as track your weight loss. Some studies have indicated dieters who weigh themselves daily fare better than those who weigh-in less often.

WRITE IT DOWN  If it's not written down, it may not get done. We know that checklists provide a valuable tool for both driving action but also for reviewing success. Use a journal with checklists to help track your progress.

Don't be afraid to take a peek at your progress. While it may be tough on the days that you don't see a big change, it could be just the thing to keep you going when those numbers start dropping. 

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