Forget about dropping a dress size. Lose a whole person with this advice.
- Step 1: Plan your meals in advance so nothing is left to chance, and keep diet-sabotaging foods out of the house. Some people find it helpful to set aside each day's daily food allotment. That way, when the food is gone, it's gone – and there's no more eating until the next day.
- Step 2: Join a support group in your area or search for one online: You'll find several devoted to people who have 100 pounds or more to shed. Checking in with a group will help you stay motivated over the long haul, since it may take a year or more to lose the weight in a healthy way.
- Step 3: Make the commitment to follow your new way of eating for life. Put a "before" picture of yourself on the fridge, or a chart documenting your hard-won weight loss, to prevent backsliding. Good luck!
- FACT: New Yorker Michael Hebranko earned a place in the Guinness Book of Records when he lost 700 of his more than 1,000 pounds in just 19 months.
- Step 4: Schedule some cheating. Knowing you can have a forbidden food on a regular basis helps you stay on track, both on your diet and once you're on a maintenance plan.
- Step 5: Do some weight training, even if it's just lifting soup cans while you sit on the couch watching TV. It will help you work up to a moderate exercise program once you've shed some pounds.
- Step 6: See your doctor. You may have an underlying medical issue that, if treated, will help you control your hunger. Your physician can also offer help and resources to help you come up with a nutritional plan.
- Step 7: Improve the quality of the food you eat. Replacing fat- and sugar-laden processed foods with fruits, vegetables, whole grains, fish, and lean meats will allow you to cut calories without going hungry.
- TIP: Find empty-calorie foods you can give up entirely, like soda, sugary coffee drinks, French fries, and chips.
- : Consult a physician before embarking on any diet or exercise plan.