Follow these tips so you can stick with your new healthy habits for the long haul.

THE BIG REWARD! All your hard work could pay off! Enter for the chance to win a trip to New York City! Send us an after photo and a 250-word essay about your Reality Checked Diet experience—include the healthy changes you made, lessons learned, struggles and success stories and you’ll be entered for a chance to win a trip to New York City where you’ll be in a photo shoot for All You! Be sure to also include your three highlighted food logs (week 1, 6, 12), your step log and water log. Entries must be received by Wednesday, August 4th, 2010. Click here to see the official rules.

Plus, continue to live the Real Food Diet for the rest of your life. Here are four tips to keep you on track:

Practice, not perfection. Regularly look back over the Real Food Diet and identify the weeks that have been hardest for you to manage. Practice those weeks again and again—not until you are perfect, but just until you feel you’ve made progress and that these new healthier habits are genuinely part of the new healthier you.

Change it up. Boredom can creep into an eating and exercise routine and sabotage your success.  A good rule of thumb is to try one new recipe each week and every 8 to 12 weeks try an entirely new activity such as the hip-hop aerobics class your neighbor told you about, a new exercise video a co-worker will let you borrow or playing tennis with your husband and kids.

Determine your “take action” weight. Weigh yourself regularly (weekly or daily) to make sure you stay on track. Be sure to know your “ take action” weight, which is a number that is 3 to 4 pounds higher than where you are now.  When you see your “take action” weight on the scale it alerts you to get yourself back on the program—start by keeping a food log for seven days to see what you are doing well and what areas need a healthy change-up.

Do a refresher course. Because old habits can gradually sneak back in, once or twice a year repeat the whole 12-week plan. As you repeat the Real Food Diet lessons they will become more ingrained into your lifestyle, making it easier to gain lifelong success.

THIS WEEK'S ASSIGNMENT: In addition to writing your essay to enter the contest, write down everything you eat and drink this week, then use a highlighter to mark anything this is processed or packaged. Compare this final log to your Week 1 highlighted log to make sure you are eating fewer processed foods.