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How do you maintain your weight: Real women speak

Kristin Chessman is a freelance writer, editor and mom from Southern California with a passion for travel, fashion, Disney, the beach, Italian food and all-things celebrity. Follow Kristin on Twitter @KristinChessman.

Staying fit & fabulous

Cleanses, fad diets and intense work-outs can instantly transform your body, but what works in the long run? As most women know, maintaining your ideal weight is no easy feat. We rounded up 10 real women just like you to discover how they maintain their ideal weight. Read on for weight management tips and inspiration!

Yoga at home

The simple things

For 52-year-old mother of three Susan Burger, maintaining her weight is all about staying active and making smart decisions. "I'm five-foot-eight and weigh 125 pounds and have the same figure as when I was a high school cheerleader," Burger said. "I stay fit without owning a scale, never dieting or using diet products."

Here are some of Burger's weight management tips:

  • I do some form of exercise daily for at least an hour.
  • I always take stairs when given the choice.
  • I use everyday activities to get a work-out. (Trimming boxwood hedges is great for the arms).
  • I walk my dogs every day.
  • I don't deprive myself of anything. I eat a very small portion of the 'bad' things and fill up on healthy veggies.

Make an effort

Virtual assistant Phyllis Harber-Murphy says she has to make a concerted effort to fit exercise into her routine since she works from home. "My workday usually doesn't start until I've completed about 45 minutes of stretches," she said. "I walk a minimum of 30 minutes every day, but strive for at least an hour. I eat breakfast and lunch after exercising because I read that your body burns more calories if you follow that sequence."

Exper tipsHealth and nutrition coach Lisa Consiglio Ryan offers these 5 easy ways to maintain your weight:

  • Chew your food at least 15 times per bite.
  • Exercise 30 minutes daily (or 60 minutes four to five times a week)
  • Practice mindful eating. Sit quietly at a table (without TV, computer or magazines) and slowly savor your food.
  • Eat every two to three hours. These can be snacks or mini-meals that are balanced with whole foods.
  • Drink tons of water. You should drink at least half your body weight in ounces each day.

Earn your gossip

44-year-old entrepreneur, columnist and mom Carla McDonald has a fail-proof work-out motivator. "I will only let myself read the celebrity weeklies when I'm on the elliptical machine," she said. "That ensures at least three 45-minute work-outs each week. When my knowledge of celebrities goes up, my weight goes down!"

Get your yoga on

Mompreneur Helen Georgaklis started practicing hot yoga and yogalates about three months ago and found a drastic change in her appetite. "Yoga not only helps connect the body and mind, it also helps ensure you eat well and take care of yourself," Georgaklis said. "The connection between body and mind is key to successful weight control."

Get your creative juices flowing

24-year-old Ashley Brady, style editor of TheLuxurySpot.com, makes an effort to start her day with a brisk walk. "I like to take extra time to walk a couple of stops past my normal subway stop in order to boost my morning routine into high gear," she said.

At work, TheLuxurySpot team puts a healthy twist on the 10 o'clock coffee break with a 10am smoothie break instead. "Heart-healthy pomegranates, mangoes, pineapples, strawberries and juices literally get our creative juices flowing."

Tricks of the trade

Rada K. Tierney of RKT Communications says she follows a piece of advice passed down from her great aunt, who never had a weight issue during her 92 years. "Eat a king's breakfast; eat a prince's lunch; eat a peasant's dinner." Tierney interprets this to mean a big and hearty breakfast, followed by a filling lunch (but less quantity) and a lighter dinner with a little meat, plus lots of veggies and grains.

Go green

Health and wellness coach Marissa Vicario, age 32, always gets her greens. "I eat as close to nature as possible, including lots of green veggies, fruits and whole grains. I also make sure to drink lots of green juices, which keeps my stress levels relatively low."

Mommy 'n me

Freelance writer and mother of two Priya Ramachandran schedules active mommy 'n me sessions where she and her daughter can both get exercise. "We do mom-and-daughter hula sessions, rollerskating and bhangra dancing," she said. "I love these alternate exercise forms because we're always exploring something fun, healthy and different."

Workout at the Y-M-C-A!

Like most of us, 26-year-old Ashley Schwartau admits to a wicked sweet tooth and lack of motivation when it comes to working out, but when she decided to get serious about maintaining her ideal weight and size about a year and a half ago, she joined the YMCA. "I now make group fitness classes an important part of my weekly routine," she said. "I do Zumba two to four times a week with at least one pilates class and one fitness yoga class for strength and flexibility."

Though she hasn't altered her eating habits much, Schwaratau says she's been able to maintain a weight at which she feels healthy and sexy -- who can ask for anything more?

Keep it healthy on the road

Entrepreneur and former actress Kimberly Fisher travels a lot, which means plenty of unhealthy, fatty foods on the road. To combat the urge to hit up a greasy diner, Fisher packs her own snacks, made up of raw almonds, string cheese, tuna kits and large bottles of water.

For more motivation, check out this article about managing your weight each day. Plus, don't miss these tips for a high metabolism.

More weight loss tips

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