4 Surprising Ways to Speed Up Slimming Down

Hoping to drop a dress size before your upcoming class reunion? Determined to cut a slimmer figure when you hit the beach come summer? Slimming down fast is a matter of choosing one or more of these quick weight loss strategies—and implementing them, stat!

Slimming Down on a Deadline? Try These Tricks!

1. Eat Breakfast Twice

Instead of having your usual lunch, make your midday meal another breakfast. Eating breakfast twice during the day isn’t our idea. Lately several big cereal manufacturers have been touting it as a novel weight-loss method.

Help yourself to a bowl of their flakes for breakfast and lunch, they promise, and you can have a full dinner and still shed pounds. It works, especially if high-calorie lunches are your downfall.

2. Turn Downtime into Activity

Add 15 minutes of extra physical activity to your schedule every day this week. Walking is fine: a brisk stroll in the neighborhood, a quick circuit of the office complex, or up and down a few flights of stairs if they’re handy.

Aim for 15 minutes of activity every day when you would otherwise have been inactive. Here’s why: if you weigh 180 pounds, for instance, you burn about 2.2 calories a minute sitting in a meeting or in front of the TV. Get up and walk and you more than double that number, to 4.7 calories. Quicken your pace to a brisk walk and your metabolism knocks off 7.2 calories a minute.

The benefits can add up fast. Sitting still you burn just 33 calories every 15 minutes. Brisk walking burns 108 in the same period.

Are you too sedentary? Here are the 7 Silent Signs You Need to Move More!

3. Keep a Food Diary

People who are asked to keep close track of what they eat during the day, researchers have found, almost always begin to lose weight—even if they don’t consciously go on a diet. There are several reasons for this.

When you’re keeping a food diary, you become more aware of what you actually eat. And when you know you have to write down every nibble, you think twice before you grab a sweet roll during the morning coffee break or help yourself to a piece of chocolate decadence.

Keeping a food diary also reveals eating patterns you may not have been aware of—the fact that you snack more than you imagined, for instance, or that most of your eating occurs late in the day. Those insights can help you shape the best strategy for losing weight.

4. Create a Diversion

Identify one time of day when you’re eating for no other reason than because that’s when you typically eat. This would not be a regular mealtime, but perhaps a mid-morning coffee break, afternoon snack, or late evening splurge.

Now instead of eating at that time, do something else—something that really appeals to you. Read the paper, take a brief stroll, pursue a hobby, call a friend—anything that gets you through that period. You may find the reason you ate at that time was habit, not hunger. Develop a habit that doesn’t involve food and you could cut more than 100 calories a day.

Check out these 30 Proven Weight-Loss Tips Inspired by TV’s  The Biggest Loser!