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10 Ways To Lose 20 Pounds Or More

From eDiets - The online diet, fitness, and healthy living resource

Straight from the expert's mouth: Losing weight quickly and effectively can be a simple matter of making one little change.

To drop those pesky pounds and keep them off for good, you don’t have to give up your favorite food or eliminate an entire food group. In fact, successful weight loss could spring from something as basic as grocery shopping once a week or doing a little light cooking on the weekends.

Yes, small changes could lead to a big payoff. You could enjoy a 20-pound (or more) weight loss within one year. The more changes you implement, the more you stand to lose. It’s you who decides what works for your lifestyle.

"Little things mean a lot" is the weight loss motto of veteran nutritionist Katherine Tallmadge, author of Diet Simple (Lifeline Press) and spokesman for the American Dietetic Association. Having been in the healthy eating biz for more than 20 years now, Tallmadge has acquired plenty of ways to cut corners and cut calories by putting the smallest changes into effect. Her easy-to-digest book lists 154 mental tricks, substitutions, habits and inspirations for losing weight; it also promises you can shed pounds without even trying.

Finding such a simplistic approach hard to swallow? Well, Tallmadge has thousands of clients -- ranging from U.S. congressmen to Joe Public -- who've lost weight and kept it off with our expert's advice.

When it comes to losing weight, patience is a virtue. Tallmadge says those who lose at a slow and steady pace are more likely to keep off the weight. Unfortunately, many people are often in a hurry to shed their extra pounds overnight. These are the doomed dieters who turn to quick fixes and fads, then get frustrated and give up the fight before developing any lasting lifestyle changes.

“They get frustrated when the weight doesn’t come right off and they give up,” Tallmadge tells eDiets from her Washington D.C. office. “Studies confirm that when people have unrealistic expectations they’re inevitably disappointed, which leads them to give up.

“Unrealistic expectations keep you from valuing even the small, modest changes that you make. If a person thinks they have to lose 30 pounds in a month and they only lose one pound a week, they often get upset. How satisfied you are with the results will play a role in whether you continue or not.”

Tallmadge says small losses should be considered major gains for people struggling to achieve permanent weight loss. (She's talking about the kind of long-term weight loss we endorse here at eDiets.) She emphasizes that what works for one person might not always work for someone else, so you have to keep trying until you find what's best for you. Of course, there are proven measures that equal success time and time again.

“Weight loss is 99 percent planning," Tallmadge notes. "It’s making time on the weekends to do batch cooking so you save time during the week. Or it's grocery shopping on a regular basis so that there is always healthy food within reach.

“One little change can make a big difference.”

Here are 10 ways to lose 20 pounds or more over the next year.

1. Eat your office "supplies!" At the office you can expect to save at least 300 calories when you prepare your own lunch, 150 calories by bringing your own afternoon snack, and more than 400 calories by eating your own dinner instead of grabbing takeout. Take advantage of refrigerators, stoves and microwaves in the workplace. Bring your own supplies: quick snacks, such as pretzels and dried food, and complete meals you can enjoy when hunger strikes.

2. Eat by the clock! Your body normally gets hungry every 3 to 5 hours (depending on the size of your meals). Eating regularly during the day gives you the most control over food cravings and bingeing. If you have a fruit snack at regularly scheduled times, youll be less likely to raid the vending machine. That trick alone could add up to 20 pounds lost a year. Planning your meals ahead of time allows you to have nutritious homemade food instead of burgers and fries. Giving up evening snacks alone could knock off 15 pounds by next September.

3. Shop by the book! Go shopping every week... not just when the refrigerator is looking a little bare or when youve reached the bottom of the Rocky Road carton. Shop every single week. This ensures you have the ingredients on hand to prepare a nutritious meal. Set a specific day and time when youll always go to the store. This gets you in the habit of shopping. Having plenty of food will keep you from frequenting burger joints or doing takeout. It's a lifestyle change that could help you subtract 30 pounds a year. So many people start eating badly when they run out of food. Sometimes people underestimate what theyre going to need. Make sure you have foods that will last the week. Keep fruit in plastic containers.

4. Don’t cook on weekday! Prepare quick-and-easy meals ahead of time in bulk so you always have something in the refrigerator or freezer thats ready to go on a moments notice. Prepare batch meals on the weekends when you arent as rushed or tired as you are during the week. Whether its veal stew or white beans with garlic and basil, you can enjoy these easy favorites throughout the week without having to fuss in the kitchen for hours on end. Tallmadge's book offers 26 healthy batch recipes from famous chefs across the country. This is a surefire way to stop yourself from eating at the greasy spoons and gobbling 1,000-calorie dinners "by accident." It'll save time and your waistline.

5. Save time with frozen produce! Fresh fruits and vegetables are deliciously wholesome, but frozen or ready-cut produce are every bit as good... and theyre more convenient! Add veggies and fruit to every meal. If you add a salad to your evening meal -- and cut back on portion sizes generally -- you can lose 30 pounds in a year. The advantage of frozen and canned fruits and vegetables: theyre usually picked when perfectly ripe, then frozen or canned immediately. Fresh grocery store produce is often picked early to compensate for the long storage times. Frozen is often the most convenient choice because its been cleaned and chopped into bite sizes.

6. The secret is... plastics! Portion control is one of the biggest challenges when youre trying to lose weight. When you use plastic containers, portion control is almost guaranteed. What doesnt fit inside a single-serving container is saved for another day. Put leftovers in plastic storage containers and take them to work -- or keep them in the refrigerator for those on-the-run days. You can write the date and contents on containers so you always know if the contents are fresh.

7. Defrost the freezer! ...And make room for delicious frozen meals. There are hundreds of store items that are nutritious and low in calories. Many taste pretty darn good too. When buying frozen foods, check the number of calories on the nutrition label. If a frozen dinner doesnt include vegetables, buy some frozen vegetables or fresh produce to go with a main dish. Stocking up on delicious, wholesome frozen dinners can save you 300 to 500 calories per dinner. Eat healthful frozen meals four nights a week and youll drop a minimum of 18 pounds over the next 12 months.

8. Turn on your VCR! This is a great way to attack late-night snacking. For many of us, sitting down in front of the television is a trigger for night eating. But by recording your favorite shows and watching them the next day youre less likely to go on an all-out binge. Also, by going to bed early you will be more alert the next day and less likely to turn to sweets and other fatty foods for "artificial energy." Just cutting out late-night snacking can save you at least 150 calories a night.

9. Buy better dairy! Milk those dairy products for all they are worth. Switch from whole milk to 2% and youll save 20 calories per serving. Switch from 2% to skim and you'll slash another 20 to 50 calories per cup. Substituting low-fat yogurt for whole yogurt saves you at least 50 calories per cup. Substitute three daily servings of low-fat dairy food for the full-fat kind and youll cut out about 150 calories daily.

10. Splurge on expensive delicacies! Lets say your favorite food is shrimp, which can easily be added to make a healthy salad. You would eat a salad every day if it had shrimp on it. Well, dont worry about the cost (remember you arent using huge amounts). Think about the delicious, nutritious meal youll be able to make. If having special food in the house helps you eat more of the foods you know are good for you, the cost is justified. Incidentally, the cost will be lower than you think. When you're eating more healthful foods, youll naturally buy fewer junk foods. Studies also show when youre at a healthy weight you suffer half the medical costs! Plus, adding a salad to your lunch and dinner can save you 320 calories.

The mission of Team Beachbody is to motivate you and to educate you about health, fitness and nutrition and the benefits of maintaining a healthy lifestyle.
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