52 Simple Strategies to Lose a Pound a Week

22. Check your fluids: For Lent, Jim Gorman, 33, substituted water and club soda for sugary beverages and alcohol. By Easter, 40 days later, he was 20 pounds lighter. (If water sounds too boring, try one of these 25 Delicious Detox Smoothies.)

23. Switch your plate: Eating less wasn't easy for Gretchen Harvey, 32, until she substituted a salad plate for a dinner plate. (The former holds only about 60 percent of the amount of food.) "I was still seeing a full plate of food, so psychologically it didn't seem that I was denying myself anything," she says. Gretchen lost 30 pounds.

Get Moving

24. Use nervous energy: When you're under stress, your body releases adrenaline in anticipation of either fighting or fleeing. But in combating everyday stress, that biological response can urge you to eat. When Robert Kim, 36, took up running to deal with pressure, he lost 45 pounds.

More: 5 Tips to Get Moving

25. Breathe, don't gasp: LisaKay Wojcik, 33, was so overweight and out of shape that two minutes' worth of low-impact aerobics left her so breathless that she called 911. A doctor at the hospital told her that she was breathing incorrectly. "He told me to breathe in through my nose and out through my mouth while exercising, and to exhale harder to force a deeper inhale. This sends more oxygen to the muscles." Two years later, LisaKay had lost 215 pounds and gone from a size 36 to a size 2.

26. Catch up to reading: Books on tape helped Rebecca Harding, 49, run off 68 pounds and keep it off for 15 years. "I played the tapes only when I was running," she says. "Recently, when I ran to a tape of The Horse Whisperer, I went almost 9 miles up a steep hill in the rain."

27. Stretch out: At 220 pounds, Melissa MacKinnon, 33, decided to try yoga. "It looked so relaxing and easy, so perfect for my imperfect body," she says. Melissa's energy level soared, and as she became more attuned to her body, she began to crave vegetables, not chocolate. She replaced refined sugars with whole grains. "As yoga rewired my mind, I learned to take better care of my body," she says. Melissa's held to her 60-pound weight loss for seven years.

The Best Fitness Goals for 2014

28. Get out: Sharon Evans, 38, got involved in orienteering (a sport where you find your way using only a compass and a map) to improve her navigational skills for backpacking. Being out in the fresh air replaced eating in front of the TV. As her orienteering skills grew, her waistline shrunk. Pounds lost: 20.

More: 5 Fun Ways to Exercise Outside

29. Phone-ercise: When Jeri Jefferis, now 57, left her job as a phys-ed instructor, she worried about regaining the 30 pounds she had lost earlier. With two small children, she was hard-pressed to find time to work out. Then she realized that chatting with friends, listening to phone solicitations, even being put on hold were opportunities to keep in shape. "Sometimes I'd simply pace the floor. Other times, I'd do squats or leg lifts. If I hadn't started doing that, I know I'd have a weight problem today."

30. Act out: Kirie Pedersen's job was making her fat. "Virtually every day for six years, I was glued to a chair," says the 48-year-old. Kirie began stretching in the morning. She swung her arms vigorously when she walked. "I'd also set a timer to go off every hour," she says. "That was my cue: For 15 minutes, I'd squat, skip, wiggle, dance—whatever I felt like doing—just like kids do." A year later, Kirie was 40 pounds slimmer, wearing a size 6 instead of a 14.

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