You want to lose weight so you'll feel better and have better health. Plus, looking great in your favorite clothes would be a definite plus.

But all the diets advertised on TV and talked about by friends seem to be expensive and not very effective. Maybe you tried one of the popular diets only to discover the foods were tasteless and meals were boring.

I even had a doctor tell me "if it tastes good, spit it out." Who wants to go through life like that?

The truth is, there are several EASY, common-sense ways to lose weight. I learned these tips after working with a husband and wife fitness team who really know their stuff. More about them later.

Here are my FIVE simple steps for losing weight. You can expect to lose 10 percent of your body fat each month, month after month until you reach and maintain your PERFECT body weight.

1. Sugar is enemy number one. I'm sure you already know that, but let me say it again -- nothing puts on fat like sugar. Avoiding cakes, donuts, and hot fudge sundaes is obvious. But did you know many healthy foods are also packed with sugar?

Watch somebody make homemade muffins. The sugar gets poured into the recipe. And what can be more healthy than a home baked muffin?

Most items at the grocery store have sugar or a corn sweetener as a main ingredient. Food makers know people love sugar, so they put it in everything they make.

2. Take smaller portion sizes. Portions have gotten way out of control. And I'll admit it, I love my "super sized" portions as much as anybody else.

But look at any old photo from 100 years ago. People didn't eat such big meals back then and EVERYONE is skinny. Yes, simply cutting back portion sizes -- and NOT skipping your favorite foods -- can help you take off pounds fast.

If you ever vacationed in France, you've seen this principle at work. French mothers teach their children it's bad manners to take a heaping helping, so the French simply eat a little less. They're also a LOT trimmer than folks in other countries.

3. Learn which foods burn fat and which simply add fat. Some are obvious. Chocolate fudge puts on fat. Celery doesn't. But food science goes a lot deeper. Talk with a nutritionist about which foods you SHOULD be eating that can burn off fat. You'll be surprised at how yummy meals are while you're still losing weight.

Try to cut back on fast food. Hey, I like my french fries as much as anyone, but you have to recognize fast food chains pack their food with fat. Fat tastes good and increases sales. So fast food restaurants try to get as much fat as they can in every item on their menu.

4. Get some exercise. Food metabolizes far better when you walk some each day. I'm talking about running a mile after dinner. Any doctor will tell you runners have all kinds of foot and knee problems.

Just get up off the couch or out from behind your desk and go for a walk. Speed up your walk every few days. You finally want to be comfortably walking so quickly you are breathing hard. That's excellent exercise and the REAL secret ingredient to losing weight fast.

5. Expect to lose weight over several months. Starvation diets are no fun and rarely keep weight off for long. Plan on losing a single digit percentage of your body weight each month for several months. You'll be losing weight and looking better while hardly noticing the change in your lifestyle.

I don't have room in this article for a complete discussion of how to lose weight simply and easily. Plan on getting in touch with a nutrition or fitness expert who can get you on a program and keep you going until you reach your goals.

I work with two fitness gurus online who have helped me and my family lose weight and keep it off. I know you can do the same. Realize YOU can be just as thin as you want while eating good food and enjoying life to the fullest.

Author's Bio: 

Carlos Gentini is a weight loss enthusiast and founder of See his site for a free video of common sense weight loss ideas developed by leading fitness trainers. Lose 10 percent of your body fat per month, month after month.