At the time of this writing, no one has yet invented the “eat nothing but ice cream and lose 10 pounds a day” diet, which means that you’re going to have to resort to the old “eat less and exercise more” tactics. Almost all diets attempt to get you to eat less food–from counting calories or “points” to limiting certain foods–but some are going to fit into your lifestyle better than others. Some easy weight-loss diets cost a lot of money, but there are many free diets that you can follow as well.
SparkPeople is a free website (see Resources) that allows you to track your calories and exercise plans. When you register for the site, a custom meal plan will be created for you, which makes it easy to know what to eat. You can either follow the specific meal plan or create your own that’s within the same calorie, carbohydrate, fat and protein ranges. On the site, you’ll also find information about eating right and fitting exercise into your busy schedule. You can also connect with a community of others who are trying to lose weight and get healthy, too.
Fast food has long been the downfall of many dieters, so you may be surprised to learn that you can lose weight while eating only fast food. The key to this diet is to make smart choices at the drive-through–don’t super size your meal, don’t order soda and don’t get dessert. Most fast-food restaurants offer low-calorie and low-fat options these days.
Although most people hate when the government tries to tell them what to do, when it comes to eating, the government recommendations at MyPyramid.gov are healthy and easy to follow Based on your height and weight–and whether you’re breastfeeding–you’ll get suggestions on how many servings of each type of food–fruits and veggies, proteins, whole grains and dairy–you should eat daily. You have a little bit of wiggle room for snacks, but when you focus on eating all of the good foods that you should be eating, you are likely to not even crave them.
Eat More, Weigh Less
Who wouldn’t want to eat non-stop and still lose weight? The theory behind the Dr. Dean Ornish’s Eat More, Weigh Less diet is that when you fill up on foods that are low in calorie, you’ll have less space in your stomach for high-calorie foods. To follow this diet, you eat a lot of healthy fruits and vegetables and stick to whole grains and lean proteins–avoiding meat–to round out your meal. Ornish discourages you from eating oils and oil containing products, sugars and other high-fat items. Take his book out of the library to learn more about this diet for free.