19 Weight-Loss Tips

My son Paul made this GIF

My son Paul made this GIF

These don’t work for everybody, but they work for a lot. Take what works for you and discard the rest. You won’t know until you try.

1.  Record-keeping is often the key to success.

2.  Accountability is another key to success. Consider documenting your program and progress on a free website such as FitDay, SparkPeople, 3FatChicks, Calorie Count (http://caloriecount.about.com), or others. Consider blogging about your weight-loss adventure on a free platform such as WordPress or Blogger. Such a public commitment may be just what you need to keep you motivated.

3.  Do you have a friend or spouse who wants to lose weight? Start the same program at the same time and support each other. That’s built-in accountability.

4.  If you tend to over-eat, floss and brush your teeth after you’re full. You’ll be less likely to go back for more anytime soon.

5.  Eat at least two or three meals daily. Skipping meals may lead to uncontrollable overeating later on. On the other hand, ignore the diet gurus who say you must eat every two or three hours. That’s codswallop.

6.  Eat meals at a leisurely pace, chewing and enjoying each bite thoroughly before swallowing.

7.  Plan to give yourself a specific reward for every 10 pounds (4.5 kg) of weight lost. You know what you like. Consider a weekend get-away, a trip to the beauty salon, jewelry, an evening at the theater, a professional massage, home entertainment equip-ment, new clothes, etc.

8.  Carefully consider when would be a good time to start your new lifestyle. It should be a period of low or usual stress. Bad times would be Thanksgiving day, Christmas/New Years’ holiday, the first day of a Caribbean cruise, and during a divorce.

Credit: Zvonimir Atletic / Shutterstock.com

Christmas holiday isn’t the best time to start a diet. New Years’ Day is better. 

9.  If you know you’ve eaten enough at a meal to satisfy your nutritional requirements yet you still feel hungry, drink a large glass of water and wait a while.

10.  Limit television to a maximum of a few hours a day.

11.  Maintain a consistent eating pattern throughout the week and year.

12.  Eat breakfast routinely.

13.  Control emotional eating.

14.  Weigh frequently: daily during active weight-loss efforts and during the first two months of your maintenance-of-weight-loss phase. After that, cut back to weekly weights if you want. Daily weights will remind you how hard you worked to achieve your goal.

15.  Be aware that you might regain five or 10 pounds (2-4 kg) of fat now and then. You probably will. Don’t freak out. It’s human nature. You’re not a failure; you’re human. But draw the line and get back on the old weight-loss program for one or two months. Analyze and learn from the episode. Why did it happen? Slipping back into your old ways? Slacking off on exercise? Too many special occasion feasts or cheat days? Allowing junk food back into the house?

16.  Learn which food item is your nemesis—the food that consistently torpedoes your resolve to eat right. For example, mine is anything sweet. Remember an old ad campaign for a potato chip: “Betcha can’t eat just one!”? Well, I can’t eat just one cookie. So I don’t get started. I might eat one if it’s the last one available. Or I satisfy my sweet craving with a diet soda, small piece of dark chocolate, or sugar-free gelatin. Just as a recovering alcoholic can’t drink any alcohol, perhaps you should totally abstain from…? You know your own personal gastronomic Achilles heel. Or heels. Experiment with various strategies for vanquishing your nemesis.

My nemesis

My nemesis

17.  If you’re not losing excess weight as expected (about a pound or half a kilogram per week), you may benefit from eating just two meals a day. This will often turn on your cellular weight-loss machinery even when total calorie consumption doesn’t seem much less than usual. The two meals to eat would be breakfast and a mid-afternoon meal (call it what you wish). The key is to not eat within six hours of bedtime. Of course, this trick could cause dangerous hypoglycemia if you’re taking drugs with potential to cause low blood sugars, like insulin and sulfonylureas. Talk to your dietitian or physician before instituting a semi-radical diet change like this.

18.  One of the bloggers I followed when I had time is James Fell. He says, “If you want to lose weight you need to cook. Period.” James blogs at http://www.sixpackabs.com, with a focus on exercise and fitness.

19.  Regular exercise is much more important for prevention of weight regain rather than for actually losing weight.



Filed under Overweight and Obesity, Weight Loss

10 responses to “19 Weight-Loss Tips

  1. Any scientific proof? Just one scientific experiment (randomized controlled trial) where people lose a lot of weight (20-25 Kg) and they keep the new weight after 3 or 4 years.

    Doctors should stop doing what you are doing. This is an article from 1994.

    “Dietary treatments for obesity are ineffective”

    • Vicente, a major problem with hypocaloric diets is that most folks don’t have the discipline to stick with them, and when the quit the diet, they go back to their old ways of eating. If you don’t follow a diet, you can’t expect to see the purported benefits.


      • Hi Steve,
        thanks for anwering my comment.

        One study:
        Weight regain occurred in spite of moderate (but increasing) levels of energy intake, as compared to normal weight children

        Another one: have a look at the BMI evolution. In the last part of the study they are not losing weight, with a BMI of 40 and a caloric intake of 900 kcal/day. Is that their fault?

        Have a look at Fig2 in this study. The caloric deficit induced by regular exercise is lower than expected. The authors conclude “This indicates that compensations aimed at preserving body energy progressively attenuated the ability of the protocol to induce a negative energy balance and to provoke weight loss.

        You can also read this study. The participants never stopped “eating less” and “exercising more”. Nevertheless, they were regaining the lost weght.

        The method doesn’t work. Doctors should stop saying they know a way to lose weight. They don’t. I asked you for scientific proof: you didn’t give it to me. Why? Because scientific evidence that proves hypocaloric diets work doesn’t exist. Hypocaloric diets have never been shown to be useful for weight loss. They are a fraud.

        You should stop saying you know what works, because you don’t.

        As the more credible medical profession is refusing to blame its prescriptions patients are left to absorb the stigma of failure.”

        You should watch this video and read this and this.

      • Is it too early to mention Nazi Germany and the cachectic bodies of concentration camp survivors and dead victims?
        Or how about Ancel Keys starvation experiments around the time of WWII?

      • No, it is not too soon.

        We should run a study asking the descendants of the nazi camps’ survivors about the successful weight loss diet of their dead relatives. Do you think they will worship the method as a family treasure given to them by the nazi soldiers?

        What is the method you propose based on that experience? Starving people to death?

        Do you think this method has any kind of health complications?

        Do you think they lost muscle mass or just fat mass?

        Those people were forced to starve to death. Is that what you propose, a forced internment in a concentration camp to make sure that the participants don’t eat “too much”? Does the weight loss phase finish when the participant dies, as was the case in the nazi camps?

        Since that is all of the evidence you have to defend your assessment, I am sure you tell your patients that your diet advice for counting calories is based on undisputed top nazi science. Do you also suggest that they watch a couple of concentration camps’ documentaries before starting the diet?

        Starving people to death is a successful and healthful weight loss method. That is really an interesting idea coming from a medical doctor.

        I assume you know nothing about Keys’ experiments (I suppose you mean the Minnesota Starvation Study). The participants were eating circa 3200 kcal/day at the baseline. They ate 1600 kcal/day during the semistarvation phase and they all reached a weight plateau around week #20 and further weight loss could not be induced (see). Do I need to remind you thay their intake was completely controlled? Once the semistarvation phase (24 weeks) finished they started the refeeding protocol (this study was really about the refeeding phase, not about the weight loss). After 12 weeks of refeeding (with increasing caloric intakes that were always below baseline values: 65%, 90% and then 100% from baseline values) they had already regained almost all their previous fat mass, but not their lean mass (see). So, your second proof about a succesful weight loss experiments is an experiment in which the participants did reduce their caloric intake and they didn’t lose fat mass (check Fig.1 in this article for data of caloric intake and fat mass). Moreover they were so hungry that they suffered from hyperphagia when they had ad libitum access to food. But don’t get me wrong: they didn’t regain the fat mass because of the hyperphagic phase.

        When you read about this study, please note that the participants lost 3 times more fat mass in the first 12 weeks (C12-S12) of the semistarvation phase, compared with the second 12 weeks (S12-S24) of that phase. And fat mass loss stopped and they were eating only 50% calories of the baseline level.

        Moreover, Steve, the participants in the Minnesota Starvation Study were lean. They didn’t need to lose weight. This study can’t be used as a proof that an obese person can lose an important amount of weight and keep the new body weight in the long term. No obese participants in this study. No long-term weight loss in this study.

        I asked you for just one scientific experiment (randomized controlled trial) where people lose a lot of weight (20-25 Kg) and they keep the new weight after 3 or 4 years. I am still waiting for that experiment.

        You are a medical doctor. You should know better.

      • I’m not aware of any RCT weight-loss trial lasting over two years.

  2. By the way, this is what science says about the ineffectiveness of hypocaloric diets for weight loss: 3 Kg lost after 4 years of dieting. It just doesn’t work.

    Just have a look at Fig 1.

  3. Great article. Thanks for sharing 🙂

  4. My favorite way to help me stay motivated to loose weight and exercise is number three. Another person can really be helpful on keeping you on track for what you are doing. I usually go exercise with my sister. We make sure that we are both working towards our common goals. Plus, it can also be fun hang out times!