Losing weight, unfortunately, isn’t a one-size-fits-all proposition. What helps one person shed pounds may backfire on another. Because we’re all so different, from our food preferences to our body chemistry, the only successful way to reach and maintain a healthy weight is to find what works for you. We’ve read the studies, the books, the reports, and the theories. We’ve been talking to experts and trying to keep ourselves trim for years. There probably are a million ways to gain 10 pounds, but here are 20 smart ways to lose them.
1. Water yourself. A recent study proved that dieters who guzzled plenty of water lost more weight than those who didn’t.
2. Eat sparingly. Divide your normal portion by two and save the rest for later. You are likely to feel full on less food than you think.
3. Go meatless. In general, vegetarians have lower body weights than their meat-eating peers. Follow their lead — at least until you drop a few pounds.
4. Go vegan. Vegetarianism not helping you lose? Take it to the next level by swearing off eggs and dairy too. Cheese can be a diet killer.
5. Consume more fresh foods. Eliminate all packaged foods and eat only fresh ingredients you’ve prepared. No bags, boxes, cans, or cartons allowed.
6. Diet 2 days a week. If you can’t stick to a program all the time, try slashing your calories to 650 a day just 2 days a week and eating normally the other days. A recent study suggests this offers protection from breast cancer as well as assistance with weight loss.
7. Not so sweet. Everyone knows sugar isn’t healthy, but when you start reading labels, you find it in unexpected places, like pasta sauce and frozen entries. Cutting the sugar out of your diet will mean healthier meals overall.
8. Cut the flour. The short-term elimination of floury foods like white bread and pastries can efficiently kick-start your weight loss plan.
9. Be virgin. Alcoholic beverages are some of the emptiest calories out there. Replace them with water, and the weight comes off.
10. Walk 2 minutes out of every 30. Short walking breaks add up to weight loss.
11. Fidget more. Studies show that fidgety types burn significantly more calories than their stationary peers.
12. Sleep it off. Recent studies have shown that those who don’t get enough shut-eye eat more and reach for more fattening grub than people who get plenty of rest.
13. Get it on. Thirty minutes of sex burns at least 60 calories for a 150-pound woman.
14. Eat at home. Meals eaten away from home have 134 more calories, on average.
15. Start a blog. The weight loss blog is practically a literary genre. Start one, and you aren’t just losing for yourself. Your public needs you.
16. Tweet your weight. Some call it the #humiliation diet, but many credit the accountability for their weight loss success.
17. Lose to win. Bring a taste of The Biggest Losers to your own gym, work, family, or circle of friends for extra motivation.
18. Veg out. Fill two-thirds of your plate with vegetables, which are fewer calories dense and more nutritious than any other type of food.
19. Go nuts! A recent study found that dieters who snacked on shelled pistachios shed more pounds than those who ate other snacks, even though they contained the same amount of calories.
20. Grapefruit diet. A recent study showed that eating one grapefruit daily helped 58 percent of subjects to lose weight.