The first 23 of 52 here, more next week.
52 Ways To Lose A Pound A Week
An entire year’s worth of personal, winning weight loss, and keep-it-off tips from Prevention readers
You can acheive weight loss and keep it off forever. How can I be so sure? Besides mountains of research from leading experts, there are thousands of Prevention readers who have successfully done it. Over the years, their letters and e-mails have been filled with practical tips, as well as the pride and pleasure of people who feel great about themselves. They can run, jump, play on the floor with the kids, wear sexy clothes—newly empowered to do whatever they want.
That’s why I decided to create the book Win the Fat War, a collection of stories and successful strategies for permanent weight loss.
Here are some useful tips that will inspire you:
Believe in Yourself
1. Ditch all-or-nothing thinking. Every time that Sandra Wadsworth, 41, attempted weight loss, she’d quit at the first slipup. “But I finally lost 20 pounds when Weight Watchers helped me see that I wasn’t a bad person. Everyone makes mistakes. The key is to learn from them.”
2. Start with a bang. At 315 pounds, Kelly Feick had long hidden behind her blond, waist-length hair. But when she decided to take a risk and cut it, her courage to change sparked a sense of purpose and commitment. Kelly, 32, began eating healthier and walking every day. In 1 year, she dropped from a size 30 to a size 4. Pounds lost: 185.
3. Seize your strength. “I stopped telling myself that I was destined to be overweight forever,” says Adrienne Sussman, 52. “I accepted that whatever was broken, I had the power to fix.” To get comfortable with yourself, stand in front of a mirror completely naked every couple of weeks. Find one body part that you like—even if it’s your elbows! When Adrienne stopped berating herself, she shed 30 pounds.
4. Make a dream book. “Before I could change my body, I had to change my thinking,” recalls Sonia Turner, 43. “To build my confidence, I created a scrapbook of people exercising and overcoming adversity. I included a photo of my husband’s company Christmas party. I’d always stayed home because I was embarrassed, but I announced, ‘Next year, we’re going.'” When the holidays rolled around, Sonia had lost 135 pounds. She and her husband danced the night away.
5. See a pro. At age 50, George Trott was diagnosed with diabetes and heart disease. That news got him to trim down 40 pounds, but he needed to lose more. On the suggestion of his daughter, he visited a dietitian who helped him fine-tune his diet. He finally shed all the necessary pounds, and his subsequent blood tests improved too.
6. Be flexible. Kris Roberts’s schedule didn’t allow her to set up a rigid exercise routine. So Kris, 37, took a different approach. “I did whatever was most convenient. My only goal was to do something to raise my heart rate and work up a sweat every day—even if only for 5 minutes.” Her flexibility kept Kris motivated to exercise and enjoy it. She’s maintained her 50-pound weight loss for 10 years.
7. Don’t blame it on age. Connie Bissonnette, 58, had given up, believing that weight gain was a normal part of aging. Her son proved her wrong. “He said, ‘Just give me 10 minutes, three times a week,’ ” Connie recalls. “He devised a workout of exercises such as seated leg lifts and wall pushups that I did at home.” Connie began enjoying the exercises and eventually worked her way up to a 30-minute routine. Pounds lost: 41.
8. Step away from the scale. By the time Kym Hubert’s weight reached 245, the 41-year-old was checking her scale three times a day. Desperate to help, her husband smashed the scale. “It was depressing having my ‘addiction’ taken away,” she says. But she started focusing on a new weight loss interest: walking. When Kym finally weighed herself a year later, she’d lost 80 pounds.
9. Personalize your plan. Dozens of weight loss plans had failed Lisa Douglass, 29, so she created her own. “I decided to be responsible for my choices,” she says. Lisa scoured exercise and nutrition materials, chose the best advice, and developed her own program. She went from 280 pounds to 160 over a 2-year period. “Even though I still make bad choices occasionally, I like the fact that I’m making them,” she says.
Set the Right Goals
10. Build on success. More than 10 years ago, Marlene Dropp, 54, took her first walk around the block in an effort to lose some of her 200 pounds. She set a goal of 5 miles a day. When she achieved that landmark within 2 months, she came up with a new goal: to cover a mile in 13 minutes. She did that easily and lost 50 pounds in 2 years. Then Marlene began entering racewalking competitions–and had the thrill of completing a marathon for her 51st birthday.
11. Use a symbol. Dinah Burnette, 38, hung an expensive black dress on her closet door. At 245 pounds, she couldn’t even pull it over her hips. “I tried it on every 4 weeks. When I eventually got in it, the buttons were 4 feet apart!” she laughs. One year later and 100 pounds lighter, she fit into the size 12 with room to spare. Ten years later, Dinah still keeps her size 24 dress in the closet as a reminder.
12. Move to eat. Rick Myers’s choice was this: Eat fewer calories, or burn more with exercise. He chose the latter and took off more than 50 pounds. In the beginning, Rick, 46, could barely walk for 15 minutes at a time. Now he runs about 1 hour every day, covering roughly 7 miles. “I switched from walking to running to burn even more calories,” he says.
13. Fill up. A 50-year battle of the bulge ended when Helen Stein, 73, admitted her love of eating. Instead of cutting down, she eats large salads, big pink grapefruits, whole cantaloupes, and big chunks of watermelon. These make her feel full without the fat or calories piling up. And Helen hasn’t regained an ounce of the 38 pounds that she lost 15 years ago.
14. Seduce your tastebuds. When Alice Layne, 42, traded in pizza for international cuisine, she lost 67 pounds and four dress sizes. “The new tastes transformed my palate.”
15. Get it fresh. Carla Tuckerton, 44, stopped having headaches and lost 20 pounds when she gave up highly processed foods. “Almost everything I ate was processed and loaded with artificial sweeteners or salt. I was practically living on frozen dinners, diet sodas, and sugar-free desserts.”
Now Carla buys fish and chicken from a farmers’ market, shops for organically grown fruits and veggies, and cooks her own meals. Spring water with a slice of lemon has replaced colas, and she drinks her tea unsweetened.
16. Don’t start empty. Susan Carlson, 42, always chose an extra 15 minutes of sleep over a bowl of cereal, until her slim friends advised her to eat breakfast. She started slowly with a slice of toast and a cup of coffee, gradually adding a bowl of cold or hot cereal. Her lunches got smaller, and she stopped snacking on cookies and chips in the afternoon. Pounds lost: 36.
17. Earmark “occasion” foods. Rosemary Chiaverini, 50, lost 87 pounds when she began linking eating to special events. She eats hamburgers and hot dogs only at picnics, popcorn only at the movies, and pasta only on theater nights. “I tie my eating to the ambience of what I’m doing. It gives the food extra meaning,” she says. It also gives Rosemary license to indulge without going overboard.
18. Snack on cereal. Teresa Pucsek’s weight loss stalled because of her apple streudel, a favorite treat that reminded her of her childhood in Hungary. “I had to figure out a way to eat differently but still get that familiar ‘old home’ feeling,” says the 80-year-old. Her solution: sweetened cereal. The sugar satisfies her sweet tooth, and the milk reminds her of her childhood. This satisfying, lower-calorie snack has helped her maintain an 86-pound weight loss for 24 years.
19. Dine alone. Debbee Sereduck, 38, dropped an astounding 234 pounds when, after preparing dinner for her family, she started taking hers into the living room and didn’t return until everything in the kitchen was completely put away. “This kept me from taking extra helpings or finishing the kids’ uneaten food,” says Debbee. “It also gave me a little quiet time.”
20. Create “The End.” Linda O’Hanlon, 30, never got the “full” signal that makes most people push away their plates. “When I sat down for a spaghetti dinner, I didn’t get up until every last strand was gone,” she says. Instead of relying on her stomach, Linda decided to start measuring her portions. After her brain took charge, she proceeded to drop three pants sizes. Two years later, Linda’s holding steady at 151 pounds and now can eyeball her portions.
21. Read the box. Phyllis Barbour, 70, ate all the right weight loss foods, worked out three or four times a week, and was on her feet constantly. So she was puzzled when her clothes started feeling a bit snug. Then Phyllis picked up a package of her beloved bagels and read the nutrition label. One of those big, doughy delectables equaled four servings of bread. When she checked other labels, she found more of the same. “I saw an immediate difference when I started paying closer attention to serving sizes,” she says. Pounds lost: 7.
22. Check your fluids. For Lent, Jim Gorman, 33, substituted water and club soda for sugary beverages and alcohol. By Easter, 40 days later, he was 20 pounds lighter.
23. Switch your plate. Eating less wasn’t easy for Gretchen Harvey, 32, until she substituted a salad plate for a dinner plate. (The former holds only about 60 percent of the amount of food.) “I was still seeing a full plate of food, so psychologically it didn’t seem that I was denying myself anything,” she says. Gretchen lost 30 pounds.