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Here are some weight loss tips that food scientists and obesity researchers personally follow to keep from having to buy the next size up.

• First: They avoid high-fructose corn syrup. Neuroscientist Dr. Nicole Avena says that people gain weight faster when they consume corn syrup, compared to those who eat the equivalent amount of table sugar. It may seem odd, since corn syrup and sugar both contain fructose and glucose. But in sugar, the two molecules are bound together, while in corn syrup, they’re separate, which can make the fructose easier to store as fat.

• Another diet tip weight loss experts follow themselves: They eat a protein-rich breakfast. Researchers at the University of Connecticut found that people who get the majority of their morning calories from protein feel fuller longer, consume fewer calories over the rest of the day and are less likely to crave late-night snacks, which makes it easier to stick to a healthy eating plan.

• Finally: If you only make one change to your eating habits this month, here it is: Chew slowly and put down your fork between bites. Food scientist Kathleen Melanson says it works because eating more slowly gives your stomach time to send your brain “I’m full” signals. In fact, slower eaters can lose nearly two pounds a month, even if they don’t change any other part of their diet.