52 Simple Strategies to Lose a Pound a Week

Build Muscle

31. Turn a La-Z-Boy into a Busy-Boy: Lynn Oatman, 48, doesn't relax when she sits down. She hoists a pair of dumbbells up and down for about half an hour while watching TV. "I've gone from somebody who could barely lift a 10-pound bag of potatoes to bench pressing 75 pounds. It makes me feel powerful," she boasts. Lynn has dropped 60 pounds in two years.

32. Shape a new body: Watching a bodybuilding competition on TV 20 years ago spurred Sharon Turrentine—who had not exercised in years—to head for the gym. "Five pounds was the most that I could lift when I started," recalls Sharon, 55. "Now I bench press more than 100 pounds."

More: 15 Ways to Build Muscle Fast

Within 3 years, Sharon dropped four dress sizes. The person who'd once undressed in her closet decided to show off her 5'2, 109-pound body in competition. Over the years, she's brought home 15 trophies.

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Binge-Proof Your Life

33. Sip tea to de-stress: While Jeanette Green ate well during the day, as soon as she got home from work, she'd binge—leading to a weight of more than 300 pounds. She finally made a connection between her post-work habit and something from an Overeaters Anonymous meeting she'd once attended: "'If you get your head straight, your body will follow.'" The next day, Jeanette brewed a cup of herbal tea as soon as she walked through the door. Then she curled up to relax and recharge. Her teatime became a treasured ritual and stopped the munchies. She took off 140 pounds and has maintained her weight loss for more than 18 years.

More: How Yoga Relieves Stress

34. Nurture yourself without food: Coping with a fractured marriage and a stressful job, Lynne Watson found joy in only one thing: eating. Daily chocolate doughnuts, pizza and cookies led to a weight of 230 pounds—and a new low: "The way I figured it, I could end my life or take control of it. I decided to grab control." She ended her marriage, got her bachelor's degree, and started to feel empowered—and discovered the intense cravings stopped. "As I met new people, I relied on them, not food, for comfort and companionship." Lynne went on to lose 111 pounds in four years. (Learn how to be nice to YOU.)

35. Avoid food pushers: John DeGennaro, a 42-year-old truck driver, traded an alcohol and drug addiction for another one: food. Unhappy with the 232 pounds he was carrying on his 5'2 frame, John sought help from a dietitian and realized that he couldn't say no. "If I was offered a doughnut at a customer's office, I'd not only eat two more, but I'd hit every doughnut shop along my route." His solution? Make deliveries and get back to his truck. This small change, along with getting more exercise, led to a 67-pound loss in two years.

36. Dress for success: Tired of starting every winter with a closet full of clothes that didn't fit, Julie Portner, 38, took a preemptive strike and signed up for Weight Watchers one fall. With healthy food choices and exercise, as well as monthly weigh-ins, Julie lost 20 pounds in six months, and her once too-small winter clothes fit. "I've reached a point where my desire to continue fitting into my clothing is stronger than my desire to overeat," she says.

37. Postpone an indulgence:. When she sees a favorite food—like the steak fries her cafeteria serves at work—Verona Mucci-Hurlburt engages in a postponement strategy that's helped her lose 60 pounds in nine months. Instead of forbidding certain foods, she simply delays her indulgences. For example: "The cafeteria served the steak fries every two weeks. Instead of saying I couldn't have them, I'd tell myself, 'wait until next time.' Two weeks later, I'd ask myself if I still wanted them. Sometimes I did. Other times I could pass them up."

The 3-Day Detox That Isn't Crazy

38. Grab a magazine: When the fridge calls Cynthia Herrmann, 48, she picks up a magazine or newspaper. "If I still feel hungry after reading for 15 minutes, I eat. But I often get so absorbed that 30 minutes fly by, and the craving's gone," she says. Pounds lost: 90.

39. Follow the beat: Bingeing was Mark Maron's way to deal with a work crisis, a fight with a loved one or anything else that made him feel bad. One day, Mark, 36, decided to skip his usual fast-food place and head for the music store. "I picked out two CDs, including one featuring my favorite song, 'Born to Be Alive,'" he recalls. He got so pumped up that he forgot about food and headed for the gym. That habit eventually erased 25 pounds.

More: Workout Playlists: Music to Boost Your Exercise Routine

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