Image courtesy of Women’s Health

Let's be realistic: You aren't going to trade in your beloved potato chips for kale chips overnight. And that's why most diets fail you. So many of them depriving your body of the foods it's accustomed to--a move that sets you up for a weight-gain relapse.

And determination doesn't matter. Your brain will literally go through withdrawal--and you'll feel hungry all the time. In a study published by the National Academy of Sciences, when rats with access to sugar and chocolate-flavored food had those treats withheld, their brains pumped out five times the normal levels of corticotropin-releasing factor (CRF)--the same stress hormone unleashed in junkies trying to kick a drug habit.

So instead of going cold turkey, transition from bad eats to better ones in small steps. This will teach your body to enjoy healthy foods that satisfy hunger, and you'll shed inches. Get ready to welcome the end of yo-yo dieting--for good.

The Hunger Fix--the three-stage detox and recovery plan for overeating and food addiction from Pam Peeke, M.D, M.P.H.

Not So Fast!

Baby steps are the best way to reform your palate. This list shows examples of how to wean yourself off bad-for-you grub. Spend two to four weeks at each stage--the reward system in your brain needs time to adapt and adjust.

Bad: Fried Chicken

With the crunchy coating, it can have up to nine grams of saturated fat per serving.

Good: Baked Chicken with Barbecue Sauce

Gone is much of the saturated fat, but the finger-licking sauce is mostly sugar and salt.

Better: Chicken Parmesan

Little or no sugar here. Use no more than four teaspoons of shredded cheese to control the fat and calories.

Best: Grilled or Baked Herb-Crusted Chicken

Can save you about seven grams of saturated fat and 200 calories compared to its fried counterpart.

Finally Fit Into Your Skinny Jeans!