Experts' Advice for Losing Weight Quickly
"Don't eat your kids' leftovers. The crusts from a PB&J sandwich or two slices of pizza add around 130 calories! Most moms don't count these bites, but cutting them out is one of the biggest changes that'll speed up your weight loss."
Rachel Beller, R.D., nutrition expert for The Biggest Loser and author of Eat to Lose, Eat to Win
"Use your social network. Studies show that people who exercise in teams lose more weight, for example. Surround yourself with people who will help you get more active, who will watch your kids for an hour while you work out, and who remind you that what you're doing is really positive."
Miriam Nelson, Ph.D., physical activity and nutrition researcher at Tufts University and co-author of The Social Network Diet
"Dig out your kids' old plates or buy small ones for perfect portion control. Your mind will see a full plate of food and sense satiety, even though you're eating less. Over the course of three meals, you could easily save 500 calories a day."
Becky Hand, R.D., co-author of The Spark Solution: A Complete Two-Week Diet Program to Fast-Track Weight Loss and Total Body Health
Give Your Metabolism a Boost
Follow these tips to trick your body into dropping more pounds:
- Go pink, red and white. Grapefruit contains a substance called nootkatone that may increase the amount of energy your liver uses. In a 2006 study, people who ate half a grapefruit or drank a glass of the juice before every meal lost more than 3 pounds in 12 weeks.
- Have breakfast. "Eating within three hours of waking up stokes your metabolic fire," says Lyssa Weiss, R.D., author of the forthcoming The Skinny Jeans Diet. Include protein and fiber, like an egg-white omelet with spinach. Up to 30% of the calories in protein are used to break it down.
- Take an a.m. walk. Hoofing it at moderate intensity before breakfast will make your body burn up to 50% more fat per minute, says Fredrik Paulun, author of 50 Ways to Boost Your Metabolism. Just be sure to hydrate with a full glass of water before hitting the road.
- Adjust the temperature. Drink ice-cold water or unsweetened iced tea throughout the day. It lowers your temperature, forcing your body to burn fuel (i.e., calories) to warm up. One study showed that drinking 6 cups of cold water can raise resting metabolism by about 50 calories daily.
We asked experts for other surprising food substitutions to help you slim down. Mix and match changes to regular diet to slash 500 calories (or more) a day and you'll lose 4 pounds in a month!
Instead of: 20-Once Vanilla Soy Latte (300 calories)
Have: 20-ounce unsweetened iced tea with stevia or lemon (0 calories)
You Save: 300 calories
Instead of: 1 cup of 1% milk in your cereal (102 calories)
Have: 1 cup of unsweetened almond milk (40 calories)
You save: 62 calories
Instead of: 4 tablespoons balsamic vinaigrette dressing (299 calories)
Have: 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar and 1 teaspoon olive oil (54 calories)
You save: 245 calories
Instead of: 2 slices of bread for your sandwich (220 calories)
Have: 1 whole wheat Flatout flatbread (100 calories)
You save: 120 calories
Instead 0f: 4-ounce rib-eye steak (310 calories)
Have: 4-ounce lean pork chop (128 calories)
You save: 182 calories
Instead of: 1 cup cooked pasta (200 calories)
Have: 1 cup tofu shirataki noodles (40 calories)
You save: 160 calories
Sources: Rachel Beller, R.D., nutrition expert for The Biggest Loser and author of Eat to Lose, Eat to Win; Lyssa Weiss, R.D., author of The Skinny Jeans Diet.