Stick to your healthy-eating goals with these problem-solving strategies.

Most goals are a work-in-progress. Sometimes it's helpful to take a step back and re-evaluate. The key to staying committed to your goal-whether it's to fit in exercise three times a day or to cook healthier recipes at home more often-is to renew your vows. Then troubleshoot the obstacles that are getting in your way. Here's some help:

-Nicci Micco

You're too busy to plan and cook healthy meals

The solution: Simplify.

Don't try to prepare gourmet meals every night of the week; stick to speedy dinners that require few ingredients and are ready in 30 minutes. If your schedule tends to be unpredictable, skew toward recipes with ingredients that aren't super-perishable.

You miss your favorite foods

The solution: Eat them.

If you're giving up all the foods you love, your "I will eat healthier" resolution needs tweaking. If your goal is to eat healthier forever, it's actually essential to make sure that the changes you're making are ones you can live with. Budget desserts-small, reasonable portions, of course-into your eating plan. Make room for a slice of pizza occasionally.

You blew it

The solution: Get over it.

For lots of people, going overboard on, say, brownies or pizza sets off a downward spiral of eating that can last for days. (Oh, well, this week is shot...I'll start again on Monday.) Learn to see little lapses for what they are: little lapses. Acknowledge, forgive and forget. Get right back on track-by planning a delicious, light next meal-that will remind you just how yummy low-calorie nutritious meals can be!

You're working hard to eat healthier but the scale isn't budging

The solution: Give yourself a refresher on portion sizes.

It could be that you're eating more than you think you are. Three ounces of meat (or other protein) looks like a deck of cards, a medium potato should be the size of a computer mouse and a quarter cup of anything should be about as big as a golf ball. Measure out the recommended portion of cereal before you dump it in your bowl and see how far it fills the bowl. Find out how much your soup ladle holds: If it's 3/4 of a cup, you'll forever know that two scoops equal a satisfying 1-1/2 cup serving.