Actually I guess I should have said that the loop method only work if you are working with even number of threads. Sorry I had just assumed that you were working 2 strands.
You can use the same method to start as I do to end if you are using an odd number of threads if you anchor the thread it is just as good as the loop.
Also I am not sure if you do this but another good idea that most all of us use is make a "working" copy of your pattern then either with a pencil, highlighter, or colored pencil as you stitch you can mark off the squares that you have done. This helps keep you focused on the area tha you have finishe and what you still need to do.
I personally do not do this next idea but many members do and have great success with it and that is grid the fabric. They get a marker at the local LNS or fabric store. These wash out in the end when you have finished your work. They mark out a 10X10 grid on the fabric with the pens. This helps them know where they are with in there marked areas. If you look at some of the threads in the SAL Section of the forum you will see the gridding in the progress pictures.
I hope I am helping with these ideas and not making your head spin.