Nutritious food, regular exercise and strong motivation are the ingredients for rapid weight loss. Eliminate fatty foods, sugary desserts and excess alcohol and you’re halfway home. Customize your diet according to the American Heart Association’s guidelines for a healthy diet or follow a low-fat vegetarian regimen to boost your chances of success
Determine how many calories you need per day. Do not eat more calories than you can burn (see Resources).
Plan a diet to include vegetables, fruits, whole-grain foods, fish and lean meats. Eat fish twice a week, and replace poor diet choices with more fresh fruits and vegetables for better results.
Trim fat from meat and skin of poultry. This makes the meat healthier, so you do not need to cut it out of your diet.
Cut down on sugar and alcohol. Sweets can be a great dieting saboteur, so the less you eat, the faster you’ll see results.
Avoid trans fats found in partially hydrogenated oil. Olive oil and canola oil are healthy oils.
Use fat-free or low-fat dairy products. This includes fat cottage cheese, reduced fat sour cream, skim milk and cheeses made with skim milk and nonfat or at least low-fat yoghurt.
Exercise at least 30 minutes per day. You can do it in 10-minute increments for those who are pressed for time.
Tips and Warnings
Use Harvard Pyramid to help you plan your meals (see Resources).
Too little fat vegetarian programs, see the recommendations of Dean Ornish, Terry Shintani, John McDougall and Gabe Mirkin.
Stay motivated by joining Discovery Health’s National Body Challenge free program (see Resources).