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Bob Harper shares 5 simple tips to kick-start your diet

by Gabrielle Frank / / Source: TODAY

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Fall is almost here, and a new season always offers a fresh start. Why not choose this month to make lasting changes for your health?

"The Biggest Loser" trainer Bob Harper stopped by TODAY to share his top five small, doable tips to kick-start your diet and healthy lifestyle.

1. Swap regular rice for cauliflower rice.

By swapping rice for cauliflower rice, you'll reduce your carbohydrate intake and cut calories drastically — a cup of cauliflower has 25 calories, while a cup of cooked brown rice has 218 calories.

Plus, cauliflower is full of vitamin C and fiber. Today, you can find cauliflower rice at stores like Trader Joe's and Whole Foods. You can also make your own by chopping the florets off of a head of cauliflower and then put them in a food processor to turn into a rice-like substance.

2. Train yourself to recognize portion sizes, and measure out protein for each meal.

It's important to learn how to recognize portion sizes. It might seem tedious and annoying at first, but if you want to succeed, it's crucial, and it will get easier with time.

RELATED: Serving up some serious portion control

Here are some easy guidelines to keep in mind: A deck of cards is equal to a serving of protein; a golf ball is equal to a serving of fat; and a fist is equal to a serving of carbs.

"A food scale is the number one weight-loss tool you can buy," Harper advised.

3. Drink tart cherry juice.

Harper recommends drinking a shot of tart cherry juice before bed. Huh? This juice is an excellent anti- inflammatory that may help with muscle soreness, insomnia and arthritis pain. Warning: You might want to mix the juice with water because it can be a bit sour. Harper does this every night!

RELATED: Best home cures for your aches and pains

4. Lift weights!

Many women are afraid that weight lifting will add bulk to their bodies. This couldn't be further from the truth. Lifting weight burns fat and builds lean muscle while creating bone density. Plus, you feel strong!

5. Love yourself.

If you're happy in your own skin, you're naturally going to feel better about yourself, which will hopefully make you want to take care of yourself, too.

RELATED: How to train your brain to stay positive

A great way to practice this is by using positive affirmations and practicing gratitude, either by journaling or through acts of kindness to your family and friends.

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