25 Ways to Lose Weight and Keep It Off
experts offer 25 tips for losing weight and keeping it off
More than half of Americans say they want to
lose weight, according to a recent survey of 1,057 adults conducted
for the International Food Information Council Foundation.
Almost all say they are trying to improve at
least one aspect of their eating habits, and nearly nine in 10 are trying
to eat more fruits and veggies, the survey showed. But many of these
kinds of changes are easier said than done.
Here are 25 tips for losing weight from registered
dietitians Dawn Jackson Blatner, Elizabeth Ward, Bonnie Taub-Dix and
- Set a realistic weight-loss goals.One-half
a pound to 2 pounds a week is about right.
- Keep track of what you consume. Dieters
who keep track of everything they eat lose twice as much weight
as those who don't, research shows.
- Motivate yourself. Get a pair of jeans or
pants that are too tight and hang them in the kitchen instead of
the closet to keep yourself inspired.
- Enlist the help of family and friends. Dieters
who have support from a partner at home lose more weight than those
who don't, studies show.
- Move it to lose it. Research shows that
people who do physical activities such as walking or biking for
two to four hours a week during weight-loss efforts lose extra pounds.
- Pay attention to portions. A 3-ounce portion
of meat, poultry or fish is about the size of the palm of your hand
or a deck of cards; 1 teaspoon of butter or margarine, a standard
postage stamp; a cup of cold cereal, berries or popcorn, a baseball;
4-inch pancake or waffle, the diameter of a CD.
- Clean out your pantry and refrigerator.
Get rid of the foods that sabotage your weight loss.
- Create "a dinner deck." This would include
10 favorite quick and healthful dinners written on index cards.
Each card should list the ingredients for the recipe on one side
and directions for making it on the other.
- Avoid hunger. Eat regular meals and snacks.
Make sure you have some protein foods such as yogurt, tuna, beans
or chicken for most meals. Research suggests that protein helps
you feel full longer.
- Keep produce on hand. Place a bowl of vegetables
such as broccoli, snap peas, cucumbers or carrot sticks in the refrigerator.
You can eat them as a snack or when preparing meals to take the
edge off your hunger.
- Stock up on "impulse fruits." Keep things
like grapes, clementines, small apples, small bananas and pears
around the house. These foods are easy to eat without having to
do much cutting and slicing.
- Make some stealth changes. This will get
everyone in the family eating healthier. Buy low-fat 1% or skim
milk, low-fat cream cheese and reduced-fat cheese instead of the
full-fat versions. Use them in recipes to cut the fat and calories.
- Cut out liquid calories. Eliminate soda
and sugary drinks such as sweetened iced tea, sports drinks and
alcoholic beverages. Liven up the taste of water by adding lemon,
lime, cucumber or mint. Choose fat-free and 1% low-fat milk.
- Practice the "Rule of One." When
it comes to high-calorie foods, you won't go wrong if you allow
one small treat a day. That might be one cookie or a fun-size candy
- Pace, don't race. Force yourself to
eat more slowly, and savor each bite.
- Hydrate before meals. Drinking 16 ounces,
or two glasses, of water before meals may help you eat less.
- Downsize plates, bowls, glasses, silverware.
Using smaller versions of your serving ware will help you eat less
- "After 8 is too late." Adopt the
motto for snacks after dinner.
- Buy a pedometer and get moving. Health experts
recommend taking at least 10,000 steps a day, which is roughly 4
to 5 miles, depending on your stride length.
- Treat yourself occasionally. If your chocolate
craving is getting to you, try diet hot-chocolate packets. If you
need a treat, go out for it, or buy small prepackaged portions of
ice cream bars. If you love chocolate, consider keeping bite-size
pieces in the freezer.
- Dine at a table. Eat from a plate while
seated at a table. Don't eat while driving, lounging on the
couch or standing at the fridge. At restaurants, ask for a doggy
bag at the beginning of the meal, and pack up half to take home.
Take one roll and ask your server to remove the bread basket from
- Eat out without pigging out. Figure out
what you are going to eat in advance of going to the restaurant.
Order the salad dressing on the side. Restaurants usually put about
one-quarter cup (4 tablespoons) of dressing on a salad, which is
often too many calories. Best to stick with 1 to 2 tablespoons.
Dip your fork into the dressing and then into the salad.
Get plenty of sleep. Scientists have found
that sleep deprivation increases levels of a hunger hormone and
decreases levels of a hormone that makes you feel full. Lack of
sleep also plays havoc with your fat cells, recent research showed.
This can lead to overeating and weight gain.
- Weigh yourself regularly. That's what
successful dieters and those who manage to maintain weight loss
do. Some step on the scales once a week. Others do so daily. Some
find once a month is enough.
- Reward yourself. When you meet your incremental
weight loss goals, say losing 5 pounds, treat yourself to something
— but not food. Buy a CD or DVD you've been wanting or go out
to a movie with a friend.
Updated from a story published in January of 2011