52 Simple Strategies to Lose a Pound a Week

16. Don't start empty: Susan Carlson, 42, always chose an extra 15 minutes of sleep over a bowl of cereal, until her slim friends advised her to eat breakfast. She started slowly with a slice of toast and a cup of coffee, gradually adding a bowl of cold or hot cereal. Her lunches got smaller, and she stopped snacking on cookies and chips in the afternoon. Pounds lost: 36.

17. Earmark "occasion" foods: Rosemary Chiaverini, 50, lost 87 pounds when she began linking eating to special events. She eats hamburgers and hot dogs only at picnics, popcorn only at the movies and pasta only on theater nights. "I tie my eating to the ambiance of what I'm doing. It gives the food extra meaning," she says. It also gives Rosemary license to indulge without going overboard.

Foods That Speed Up Metabolism

18. Snack on Cereal: Teresa Pucsek's weight loss stalled because of her apple streudel, a favorite treat that reminded her of her childhood in Hungary. "I had to figure out a way to eat differently but still get that familiar 'old home' feeling," says the 80-year-old. Her solution: sweetened cereal. The sugar satisfies her sweet tooth, and the milk reminds her of her childhood. This satisfying, lower-calorie snack has helped her maintain an 86-pound weight loss for 24 years.

More: Raising the Bar: How to Choose Healthy Snacks

Eat Smart

19. Dine alone: Debbee Sereduck, 38, dropped an astounding 234 pounds when, after preparing dinner for her family, she started taking hers into the living room and didn't return until everything in the kitchen was completely put away. "This kept me from taking extra helpings or finishing the kids' uneaten food," says Debbee. "It also gave me a little quiet time."

20. Create "The End:" Linda O'Hanlon, 30, never got the "full" signal that makes most people push away their plates. "When I sat down for a spaghetti dinner, I didn't get up until every last strand was gone," she says. Instead of relying on her stomach, Linda decided to start measuring her portions. After her brain took charge, she proceeded to drop three pants sizes. Two years later, Linda's holding steady at 151 pounds and now can eyeball her portions.

21. Read the box: Phyllis Barbour, 70, ate all the right weight-loss foods, worked out three or four times a week, and was on her feet constantly. So she was puzzled when her clothes started feeling a bit snug. Then Phyllis picked up a package of her beloved bagels and read the nutrition label. One of those big, doughy delectables equaled four servings of bread. When she checked other labels, she found more of the same. "I saw an immediate difference when I started paying closer attention to serving sizes," she says. Pounds lost: 7.

More: Decoding Fat and Calories on a Nutrition Label

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