10 Ways To Lose 20 Pounds Or
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 dont 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
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. Its 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
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
doesnt come right off and they give up, Tallmadge tells eDiets from
her Washington D.C. office. Studies confirm that when people have
unrealistic expectations theyre 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. "Its 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
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. Dont 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.