How to Diet and Lose Weight

After on my 50 weight loss tips, readers submitted quite a few of their own. If you have any more to add, please leave a comment!

  • (Geoff Kleinman) Yoga. It’s been proven to help other weight loss efforts and can be a great way to shed pounds and keep sane. I do it 3-4 times a week and have noticed a big impact. My fav – Vinyasa.
  • (Rob Gibbens) Walk. I park my car at the far end of the parking lot instead of near the door. I walk up to the 5th floor of our building to go to the restroom instead of using the one across the hall. I walk laps around the building at lunch. Take the far route to wherever you’re going, and add steps to your day. Last year, I started on Weight Watchers, and lost 50 lbs. Then I stopped and I gained back 25 of it, so I’m back on it now and have lost 8 lbs in 2 weeks.
  • (Chris Pirillo) Byte when you bite. While I’m certain your significant other will frown upon this, I suggest eating your meals by (or near) your computer desk. When the plate is initially set down, take a few bites and turn back to the task at hand. Five minutes later, you’ll remember that you’ve got food sitting there – take another bite or two. Then, continue working. If you’re really, truly hungry – you’ll clear the whole plate over a period of twenty minutes, and chances are you won’t want seconds .If you’re not that hungry, your plate may remain half-eaten. Good way to force yourself to take pauses in between nibbles.
  • (Chris Pirillo) Zone out while you burn up. I’ve been a fan of the Gazelle for a while now, as it’s quite a low-impact workout (with results that may not be immediate, but certain after a period of time). The 40-minute workout flys by when I have something to watch on the television in front of me. Don’t rely on what’s on at the time, though – as if you’re bored with the programming, the workout will drag on and on and on. Try hooking up a Media Center PC / DVR, portable DVD player for your Netflix films, or a video game system (if your hand-eye coordination is sharp).
  • (Chris Pirillo) Get a digital toolbelt. I bet you use the Internet every day of the average week, so use that habit to your advantage. There are countless Web resources out there to help you through initial periods of a dietary change. Just about every one of them will try to sell you something, too – but you might be able to find what you need for free. For instance, my choice (as noted when I first announced my weight loss goals) is CalorieKing. The searchable index of foods is quite comprehensive, and can easily be accessed from their site without fee. However, I’ve found their Windows desktop client to be absolutely indispensable for tracking measurements and meals (seriously, it’s one of the best pieces of software I’ve ever purchased). Hey, I’m in front of the computer anyway – it might as well be helping me get healthier, eh?! You can’t know where you’re going unless you know where you are.
  • (Chris Pirillo) Weigh too geeky. I know they say you shouldn’t weigh yourself more than once a week, but I like knowing how I’m doing down to .2 of a pound. For this reason, I might recommend a scale that will give you precise digital measurements. A while ago, both Ponzi and I chose a Tanita scale. It allows you to have a separate setting for up to four people. More importantly, it’s quite accurate in terms of measuring weight and BMI. It’s difficult when you first step on the scale and see how much you weigh, but at least you don’t weigh more than it says you do!
  • (Chris Schlieter) Find someone who can measure your base metabolic rate (many registered dieticians can point you in the right direction), then use that information to set a daily calorie target that is appropriate.
  • (Chris Schlieter) Use a program to help with your diet and exercise diary. We had success with the PC version of FitDay (www.fitday.com).
  • (Chris Schlieter) Weigh or Measure your servings – train your self to identify the correct portion sizes. A small digital kitchen scale is incredibly valuable for this.
  • (Chris Schlieter) If using a small digital kitchen scale, cut up some small sheets of wax paper in advance. This makes it quick and easy to weigh something, then throw out the used sheet of wax paper (instead of needing to clean the scale).
  • (Chris Schlieter) Get a partner in on the program, ideally one in your household so you can keep tabs on each other.
  • (Chris Schlieter) If desserts are a high priority for you, develop the habit of having a 100-120 calorie one nightly. There are lots of choices now, pudding cups, fruit cups, and sherbet are easy to have on hand.
  • (Oltexasboy) Dieting DOES NOT work . It has to be a lifestyle change. I never was a big meat eater, so when I went To a mostly vegetarian diet, it was not a big deal. I lost 22% of my body weight and 30 lbs. In a year. My cholesterol went down to 129, & for the first time in 20 years I was regular again.( I have a thyroid problem And regular is not in my vocabulary.) There are a lot of really good vegetarian foods and meals that are easy to fix. I finally have abandoned it, but I am a mechanic, and when you eat on the run out of a lunch box, it is hard to stay on any semblance of a diet. When I started, I worked in a shop and had regular hours and eating was considerably less of a hassle. Dr. Dean Ornish, has a great book ” Eat more and Weight Less ” I recommend it highly and ” and the mag ” Vegetarian Times”. Good luck and remember, you didn’t get this way over night and you will not get skinny overnight. Again Good luck from a Texas Gnomie.
  • (Jim Reavis) I’ve lost 40# in the last year (from 225 to 185) by reducing my food intake and thinking about what I was eating. No additional exercising and no more donuts. I also dropped coffee and sugar drinks. I feel much better, my back doesn’t hurt, my tremors have improved and my blood pressure is better.
  • (Bob Boxold) Having lost enough weight equal to a family of 2.5 person, a good portion of it reattached my flank and stuck. I have tried many programs, some good, some not so good. I like weight watchers program but have little in common with those who attend the meetings. Calories, however equal pounds. I weigh my food, a simple electronic scale; I weigh myself on a good scales once a week. I diary, after each meal. I have found this program, while not free, not too expensive. It has a windows pocket pc module, unfortunately that only works on ppc 2003 or below. I have found it to be very good for keeping track of intake and exercise (I know that a dirty word to geeks or semi geeks but it is a necessary ingredient) it is working, for me (this is not a paid advertisement I have no financial interest in this company or software but like you I was seeking a geekier solution.) Also for non geeks or those who just like the feel of paper The Vegetarian Times has great recipes if you substitute a few of high fat ingredients to lower calories.
  • (Cherry Thomas) Never eat after 2 PM. This may take some adjustment but is well worth it. I topped out at 185 lbs, 24 years ago (I’m 5’2″) and have maintained a healthy weight of 120 lbs for the last 22 years. If your urges grow too great, eat popcorn that is low fat with no transfats. It is very filling without many calories. An even better idea is to keep some canned soup and already seasoned canned vegetables on hand (I can recommend Glory) and eat those. A can of lima beans is good for you and will fill you right up!
  • (Cherry Thomas) Work out at least 3 times a week. I recommend an ipod or other listening device with a book on tape written to it. Keeps you from getting bored and thinking about all the things you could be doing instead of working out.
  • (Cherry Thomas) When you go out to eat, ask the waiter to box your dinner as soon as it is served. Most restaurants serve you about twice what you should be eating. If you box the other immediately, you are not tempted to overeat and you automatically have tomorrow’s lunch.
  • (Cherry Thomas) Stay away from fast food restaurants. They are so popular because fat tastes good. It is difficult for most people to enter one and only order coffee. If you simply don’t go near them, you never “accidentally” eat that large order of French fries.
  • (Cherry Thomas) Keep a small baggie of dry cereal in your car/purse/desk. If you are suddenly starving you have a ready made snack that is good for you and will prevent you from heading toward that hamburger.
  • (Cherry Thomas) Don’t buy or bring home high calorie food such as cookies or ice cream. Craving for that kind of food will go away once you have stopped eating it for a while.
  • (Pol Stafford) Best way I’ve found to be healthy and slender is to go raw – eating a raw food diet is healthy, easy, planet-friendly and yummy. It amazes me how little I eat and how healthy I am. When I went raw, I lost 20 pounds the first month, and I feel great a year later, down 60 pounds.
  • (Lisa Miller) Here’s a weight-loss tip that originated hundreds of years ago in Europe. Before the advent of methods of calorie counting, a few people noticed that anything “white”; refined sugar, processed “white” flour, potatoes and white rice would pack on pounds and by avoiding these things you would, over time, get down to a reasonable weight. What they couldn’t know was that these items all hit your system in the same way, just like a straight shot of sugar, requiring little effort by the body to process, leaving little or no nutritional value, and very soon you were hungry again. Many so-called “miracle diets” these days have caught on to the fact that excessive carbohydrates are a bad thing but some of them go too far. I enjoyed reading the “Hacker’s Diet” that (I think) I saw referenced in your ezine. It was sensible and honest.
  • (Norm Stoehr) At age 40, I found myself single again after 20 years of marriage. As I re-entered the dating game, I realized that the “package” (my body) was out of date, so I set about the re-design by taking up triathlon training, sometimes to the tune of four hours a day. That forced me to regard food as fuel, and I began to eat to live, instead of living to eat. As I aged (now 64), I moderated the workouts … moving to the objective of staying fit, instead of competing. Food and beer intake is still fun, but is ALWAYS a function of what I want to accomplish in a given day. That is, eating is still regarded as fuel, and timed to dovetail with any chosen workouts. Guinness, which is lower in alcohol and has fewer calories than most beer, is a reward for a good day of output.
  • (Norm Stoehr) Attitude also comes into play. If you think you’re fat, you are. If you think you’re fit, you are AND others see you as fit, not fat.
  • (Matt Patterson) First and foremost… drop the soda if you drink it. Water or if all else fails Green Tea is your best bet. I prefer good old water myself. You can cut out a lot of extra calories with this step alone.
  • (Matt Patterson) Exercise. I have a dog who needs a few walks a day so I get a couple of miles in that way. But what I recommend more than anything else is Matt Furey’s Combat Conditioning. When I was starting my weight loss program I was looking into something where I could work out, trim fat but not have to go to the gym as I didn’t really have a solid, reliable workout partner. That is when I found Matt’s site and I haven’t looked back since. I bought his combat conditioning book and did the Royal Court for 30 days which is a series of only 3 exercises. I couldn’t believe the impact on my muscles as well as the aerobic workout that it gave me. And the best part is, I can do it anywhere as there is no equipment needed. I know the title sounds a bit intense and maybe not what a geek would want/need. But you’ll be amazed at how your body will change. You’ll lose the fat and boost your energy in no time.
  • (Billy Stewart) I don’t even think of it as a diet. I think more along the lines of “eating healthier foods and getting more exercise”.
  • (Billy Stewart) I weigh myself once a week. My weight can fluctuate 2-3 pounds a day; so it is best to average it out for the week.
  • (Billy Stewart) I go to the YMCA 3 times a week.- I do weights twice a week. I do the treadmill 3 times a week. (I swim sometimes too).
  • (Billy Stewart) I have found it best to have small snacks during the day. If I wait to long between meals, my blood sugar drops, I feel real hungry and then I gorge on junk food.
  • (Billy Stewart) Sometimes it is helpful to treat yourself every now and then. Just get back to your healthy habits the next day. Don’t think of it as a disaster because you treat yourself once in a while.
  • (Mike McDonald) Buy an exercise machine that can be connected to the ifit.com website. Sure their membership costs about the same as a monthly subscription to Tivo or the latest MMORPG (you can get a one month free trial), but the coolness factor of having an internet based program control the speed and incline of my Treadmill along with music and the voice coaching of a personal trainer has been motivating for me. I’ve lost over 25 pounds since the beginning of the year.
  • (Lorraine) I just cut all my meals in half, eat half one day & the other half the next, I lost 20 pounds this way. Of course it may not suit everyone’s idea of dieting but I really don’t think I could eat a full meal now in one sitting. I am now quite a bit under my goal weight & I really only continue because it has become second nature to me & I do it automatically.
  • (Bo Hanson) This is WereBo from your Lockergnome Forums 🙂 My tip for weight loss (guaranteed works for me) is to use smaller dinner plates 😀 … Mrs WereBo cooks wonderful healthy meals with lots of fresh veg etc. then dishes it all up on large dinner plates. When she visited the USA 2 years ago, I was left cooking the same food for myself. My portion size was a bit off and when served on the usual dinner plate, it looked near empty. I piled the food onto a smaller plate (approx 1/2 size) and it looked well full, kidding my stomach that a full meal was in front of it. It works!! I lost 1.5 stone (21 lb) in 3 months and it’s stayed gone… I’m still down to 10.5 stone (147 lb) although, during Winter, it went up to about 155 lbs. I’m expecting it to drop back down when I start hitting the summer salads again 😉
  • (Jamie) My name is Jamie, and I’m an RN in the Emergency Department. So of course, working with nurses, I work with a bunch of really good eaters. Not that we eat well. But we know how to eat. Still, we are constantly being told by doctors and each other how we SHOULD eat. But with all the surrounding doctors offices, nursing homes, and ambulance crews constantly bringing us goodies, it’s never easy to follow our own advice. Still, I have some.
  • (Jamie) Eat foods high in fiber. Add a cup of baked beans to your meal. You’ll fill up faster, feel fuller longer, and get loads of needed fiber, and nutrients. Studies have shown that fiber is what makes us feel full, not fat as we used to think.
  • (Jamie) Sometimes, it’s good to FEED your craving. If you crave chocolate, have a small piece or two. Otherwise, in your need to satisfy a craving, you may eat way more calories and fat snacking ‘healthy.’ It is said that it only takes a few bites of what you truly crave to satisfy the craving.
  • (Jamie) Most people have no idea what a normal serving is. Sometimes it helps to truly measure out what you eat just to see. 4oz of meat is really small compared with a serving you may get at a restaurant. It should be about the size of your palm, and about 1/2 inch thick. So if your out, order the 8oz steak, and cut it in half. That’s considered a single serving!
  • (Jamie) Much like Chris’s ‘sit at your computer’ trick, distraction can really help you NOT to eat. I find that if I go out with friends, I concentrate more on the conversation than the food. So eat with people! It’s easy, however, to eat MORE than you would if you are watching television. That’s because your hands are free, and your mind isn’t on your meal. So if your going to watch TV and eat, put small portions on your plate. Maybe by the commercial break, you won’t want seconds so badly. Or watch CSI while you eat. Guarranteed to work with your diet. Unless your a nurse… We can eat through anything.
  • (Jim) It may sound trival but when you drink water or other “cold” drinks… add ice. The body uses more energy maintaining your body temperature. I find the drink more refreshing ice cold and feel that every little bit helps. If you use 10 calaries a day… that is a pound a month… aproximately.
  • (Chris Conder) Love yourself. Eat good food. Do not put rubbish into your system and it will perform well for you. You are what you eat! If you think you are fat, you will get fatter. If you diet, you will always have to diet. Therefore, you must think you are thin. You will always be thinner than someone else, so think you are thin and you will just get thinner and thinner without dieting. ever! Honest, this really works.
  • (Debora C) Water, water and more water!! I actually used water to maintain my weight even in my teen years. One full glass just before sitting down to any meal fills you faster and keeps you full longer and all dietitions will tell you that rarely do any of us get enough water. 6 8ounce glasses per day is the minimum!!
  • (Susi) Drink LOTS of water. This is one of the easiest and best things you can do. Often, when you feel “snackish,” you’re really craving water. Drinking 64 oz of water a day (8 glasses) not only keeps you hydrated, but it keeps you feeling full.
  • (Susi) Make sure to eat lots of fruits and veggies. Cut out fruit juices and replace them with the real thing. Fruit juices have as many calories as sodas and lack the fiber of the whole fruit. Eating a fruit or vegetable that contains a lot of water helps you fight off cravings and will satisfy your need for fiber.
  • (Susi) Like others mentioned above, don’t be afraid to “indulge.” There’s nothing wrong with having a little wine and a piece of chocolate during the day. But when you decide to satisfy your sweet tooth, do it somewhere away from distractions. Don’t wolf down the chocolate while watching Lost. Sit at the table and really savor the taste of your treat!
  • (Susi) Eat several small meals a day, around five. It’s strange to do at first, but it keeps your blood sugar up and you’re less likely to binge at a meal. It is also very satisfying! You feel like you’ve done nothing but eat all day (because you have), but then you realize you’ve been eating small healthy meals, which is very rewarding!
  • (Susi) Find something inspiring and carry it with you or put it where you can get to it easily. I actually kept Ponzi’s post from last year about how hard it is to battle weight and I reread it every now and then (I’ve lost 25 pounds since then!). Little affirmations/guidances and things like that help you stay on the right path!
  • (Susi) One last one… JOURNAL! Make sure you write down everything you put into your mouth each and every day. It puts everything in to perspective and should you begin to gain weight again, you can go back and look at that past week or two to see what affected your progress. No sense in omitting or flubbing things in your journal because you’re only lying to yourself.
  • (Jen Wiederick) While sensible eating is always a good idea, there’s only so far it can take you. For the rest, find a physical activity you actually LOVE. I promise, it’s out there. For me it ended up being rowing – but unless you find something that gets you up and out and moving on a regular basis, you’ll never break through the plateau. And if you just workout because you *have* to, you’re likely to end up stopping when you’ve reached your goal, and much more likely to put a large portion of the weight you just lost, back on.
  • (Alex Williams) Sell the car. Ride a bike. Walk. Avoid dairy like the plague. Share your meal with the significant other. Portions are too huge, anyway. NDrink water. That’s what works for me. The car one is the toughest. Perhaps I should add that you may want to move to Portland, Or. I would not want to ride my bike to work in Dallas! Wait…am I wrong? Is Dallas a bike city?
  • (Dan Ciruli) My co-workers and I are all doing this for our New Year’s Resolution: on January 1, we each did 1 push-up and 1 sit-up (well, 1 crunch). On the second we did 2. And so on. Today was the 75th day of the year, so I did 75 pushups and crunches this morning. By the end of the year, of course, we’ll be doing 365 a day, and we will have done over 66,000 during the course of the year. My brother did this last year and practiced portion control (no change in diet, just portion size): he lost about 25 pounds and, moreover, looks like he was chiseled out of a piece of marble now!
  • (Rob Stevens) Surprised no one has mentioned this yet. Dance Dance Revolution! Sure, you’ll feel like a fool at first, but do it in the privacy of your own home and get the hang of it. I lost 60 lbs. playing DDR over six months. Nothing like making exercise a game, much like what Jen was saying.
  • Eat whole food, not processed one. For example, substitute whole wheat bread for white bread.
  • (Christopher M. Knight) “Working Out” sucks…so “Train” instead. The difference is perception because when you are “training” for an event or an end-outcome, it makes it easier to stay focused on the tasks needed to achieve the end-outcome. Grab an event, such as a triathlon, marathon or even a trip to your favorite beach as the reason for your ‘training’ in the gym.

If you want some straightforward advice on losing weight, download my top 50 weight loss tips.
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11 thoughts on “How to Diet and Lose Weight”

  1. Intense workout routines can seem like a chore. There is no need for this in order to stay in shape. I find that the best thing is to find a sport that you actually enjoy playing, then you will feel inclined to play it regularly. For example, I love to play tennis and badminton, usually with friends and/or family members. Not only will you be enjoying yourself with what becomes a healthy, social hobby, but you will indeed be burning calories without even thinking about it. Fitness should be implemented into our lives in enjoyable ways!

  2. drink LOTS of milk, walk whenever you get a chance, try not to eat very much @ nite, if eating pasta have some salad.

  3. If you have an iPhone. Get the weight bot app. It lets you track your weight and will graph your weight loss results. You can also password protect it so no one can see your info which is nice if your sensitive (like me) about how much you weight.

    Ben

  4. all of these ideas/suggestions are super….however, i have one that is unique and was not listed in this article…Vision Map Videos….and they are very effective…..check them out….i have one that is pre-made and i also produce ones that personalized for each individual…..enjoy!!!

  5. I’m 62 and learned years ago that diets are bunk. To lose means you must maintain and its the maintenance where most people fall down. The bottom line is that you have to expend more calories than you take in but what you take in has to be beneficial to your body. I exercise 3 x weekly at the gym [freeweights; elliptical, stairmaster] + spin once a week; walk the hills near my home most every night; and I watch my diet like a hawk. No sodas [cans of sugar]. No recreational fats [corn chips, potato chips]. Limited red meat. Low sodium. No salt… use pepper instead. Small portions of everything but salad that includes large quantities of nuts. Use olive oil instead of vegetable oil. Proteins after exercising. Potassium before. Diet/exercise is a lifetime thing… not a fad. At 64 I’m 6’2, 175 with low body fat and killer abs & lightening reflexes.Wouldn’t trade my life and regimen for that of anyone else.

  6. Counting calories means knowing how many calories are in what I eat AND drink. There’s no reason to be an absolute teetotaler with the book, “Does My BUTT Look BIG In This BEER? Nutritional Values Of 2,000 Worldwide Beers,” even including Weight Watchers POINTS.

    Sometimes I need more than what a light beer offers. With this book, I can weed out what regular-brewed beers my diet regime can handle…and still lose weight.

  7. I think the best tip is to be healthy, eat healthy meals – plan recipes using vegetables and fruit drink water – I watch cookery programs for inspiration. Exercise regularly and in varied ways to keep your interest going. I have found that if I stick to the same exercise too much I lose interest and my enthusiasm drops so change my exercises all the time and also it is good for you to use a range of muscles. I also take fat binders to help me achieve my natural weight loss goals

  8. The best way to limit food intake is to eat only when hunger strikes, and in doing so, by taking only small meals. If an individual is used to eating 3 slices of bread, cutting it down to 1, as a starter, would be a good idea.

  9. I alwaus thought walking was for wimps but only really started losing pounds once I started walking one hour at 4 mph.
    Doing this along with riding bike on a 800 calorie a day diet
    did the trick. 40 lbs in 4 months and now down to 131 lbs on a 5’10” frame. Love wearing those Levi 510 super skinny’s 🙂

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