“Lose weight quick!” …..“drop pounds now!”….. “special miracle diet!” You may not expect to find those words here……focus as we do on keeping weight off, avoiding yo-yo diets and fads, nurturing healthy eating habits. Yes, most of us share these important food and diet concerns. And yet…..we still itch to lose those pounds, and preferably to lose them now. We want those pounds off! Often with good reason, too. So, in this season of starting fresh, let’s look at some weight loss tips and how they can help.

Weight loss tips and, more recently, “food rules” have surfaced in many magazine and newspaper features these past weeks. Tips usually take the form of an idea or shortcut, one thing that might help you make a better choice, avoid a bad one, or stay on track with your eating. If you look to them to solve problems once-and-for-all, they’ll probably disappoint you. However, if you look to them with an eye toward finding that “something” that can help you along, reinforce your efforts, bolster your motivation, or make healthy eating more likely….then you’ve found their best use. You can think of last week’s blog, “One Small Thing”, as offering several weight loss tips—follow any one of them for a day or a week or more, and you’re supporting both sane eating and weight loss goals. The more of them you adhere to, the more your diet, and weight loss, will succeed.

 Tips reach into areas beyond that blog, though, when they suggest ways to get yourself to follow or stick with the weight loss promoting behaviors. Today, we’ll end this blog by recapping some of the tips that show up most often. Pick one that seems reasonable for you and see how it works. Next week we’ll look more at “food rules”—guidelines now on offer to help you form an ongoing healthy, weight-friendly way of eating day in and day out. With all the conflicting information about diet out there, some reputable sources—from food writer Michael Pollan to Cooking Light magazine–have put the best of what’s known together to come up with these guiding frameworks.

 I’m taking up tips and rules right now as people look to get back on track with weight loss and healthy eating goals, and also as I launch my own series of tips and rules. I’ll be offering to email a week’s worth of daily weight loss tips, or inspirational guiding messages, to people signing up for the Eat Sanely email list. And EatSanely.com will post its own food rules too. It’s all to help us, as Michael Pollan himself says, “navigate…a treacherous food landscape.” And, of course, to reach weights we like, too.

 Weight Loss Tips on (just about) Every List:
*use a smaller plate for your meals
*chew more slowly, putting down your fork between bites
*eat breakfast *take a walk every day
*eat more vegetables *eat home more often
*bring your lunch to work
*bring a healthy snack to work and avoid vending machines
*don’t “drink” your calories (in other words, eliminate soda and juice)
*use stairs more often *park farther from your destination and walk a bit more
*stop (or cut way down) on fast-food and chain restaurant fare

Good luck!