The No-diet Plan: The Easiest Way to Lose Weight Without Feeling Deprived

By Sarah B. Weir, Yahoo! blogger | Healthy Living

Let's face it, dieting is not fun. Eating is fun and moreover, necessary. However, if you, like many of us, have padded out with a few extra pounds this winter, you might be considering a slim-down plan for summer.

Here's a secret: losing five to ten pounds doesn't have to be torture. Unless your eating habits have truly gone off the rails (in which case you should speak with your doctor who may refer you to a registered dietician or nutritionist), you don't need to, and shouldn't, drastically alter your regular routine.

Crash diets are unhealthy. They cause unpleasant side effects such as dehydration, kidney stones, bad breath, and dizziness. Dramatically cutting back on calories can also lead to weight cycling—when you gain back more than you initially lost. In fact, the majority of dieters regain all those hard lost pounds plus more within a couple of years.

The no-diet plan

The Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics says the safest and most realistic weight loss goal is about one pound a week. Losing one pound means cutting back on about 3,500 calories. By eliminating 500 calories a day you will shed a pound a week at a healthy rate without feeling deprived.

Rather than thinking of this strategy as a diet, look at it as a budget. If you are broke, you make a tasty, cheap cup of coffee at home rather than ordering a grande at Starbucks (or at least you should). How can you make the daily swaps in your eating and activity patterns that will be the least painful?

Here are ways to cut or burn 50, 100, and 200 calories. Mix and match what works for you as long as the items you choose add up to 500 calories a day. You will soon be on the way to a sleeker physique, just in time for beach weather. Another benefit of swapping, trimming, and adding doable exercise is that your smart new habits will help you keep the weight off over the long run.

50 calories

Eat one piece of toast in instead of two, or have an open-faced sandwich
Mix juice with half water
Swap one cup of skim milk for one cup of whole milk
Eat one small handful of nuts rather than one large handful
Leave the cheese off your sandwich
Swap mustard for mayo
Leave the butter or oil off your vegetable
Swap a turkey burger for a beef burger
Swap vinaigrette for creamy salad dressing
Skip one cookie
Stand or pace when you are on the telephone instead of sitting
Push a baby in a stroller for 15 minutes
Cook a simple meal instead of ordering take out
Mow the lawn
Take the stairs (ten minutes per day)
Do a quick stretch and free weight routine while watching TV
Give a 15-minute massage

Eggs for Breakfast: Eggs are the perfect breakfast time. For starters, eggs are loaded with protein which needs a longer time to get fully digested. Two eggs, when eaten in the boiled or omelet form, ... more 
Eggs for Breakfast: Eggs are the perfect breakfast time. For starters, eggs are loaded with protein which needs a longer time to get fully digested. Two eggs, when eaten in the boiled or omelet form, comprise a healthy breakfast, of course, along with a few slices of whole grain bread. This combination of protein and complex carbohydrates helps to prevent spikes in blood sugar levels and keeps the digestive system engaged for a longer period, preventing you from feeling hungry soon. less 
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Fri 13 Apr, 2012 12:30 PM IST
100 calories

Eat one medium apple or orange instead of drinking a glass of juice
Skip eight ounces of juice
Eat a small sandwich instead of a regular sandwich
Eat one rather than two eggs
Eat one tablespoon of peanut butter instead of two
Eat plain cheese or vegetable pizza instead of pepperoni or sausage pizza
Eat broth-based soup instead of cream-based soup
Eat a half-cup less rice or pasta
Eat a baked potato instead of French fries
Eat baked chips instead of fried chips
Choose a skinless portion of chicken
Cut a six ounce steak in half and save the rest
Swap one cup of frozen yogurt for one cup of ice cream
Eat a half a piece of cake or pie instead of a full serving
Eat a cup of fruit instead of candy
Skip a glass of beer or wine
Choose light beer or wine instead of a cocktail
Downsize your plates, bowls, and glasses
Play with kids at the park for 30 minutes
Walk a dog for 30 minutes
Take an easy 45-minute bike ride
Go shopping for an hour

200 calories

Swap one cup of Kellogg's All Bran or Corn Flakes with a teaspoon of sugar for one cup of granola
Eat an English muffin with fruit only jam instead of a bagel with cream cheese
Eat carrots and hummus instead of chips and guacamole
Skip the bread and butter when dining out
Skip dessert
Skip a cocktail
Skip a can of soda
Bring air popped or light microwave popcorn to the movies
Drink an espresso instead of a latte with sugar
Order a salad and an appetizer instead of a starter and main course
Skip seconds
Eat sorbet instead of ice cream
Dance for 30 minutes
Go bowling for an hour
Clean your house or garden for an hour
Rearrange your living room
Jog for 30 minutes
Go to a yoga class
Hand wash your car
Park ¾ of a mile away from work and walk the rest (both ways)

More great tips from Susan B. Weir on her blog.

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