Nobody goes to bed skinny and wakes up 50 pounds heavier. Most of us gain weight by eating only 100 to 200 extra calories a day, says James O. Hill, Ph.D., professor of medicine at the University of Colorado School of Medicine. The trick is to make subtle changes in our environment — changes that cut out those 100 to 200 calories a day — so we gradually alter our eating habits and lose weight. After all, the best diet is the one you don't know you're on.
Try these simple tips:
1. Include a fruit and a vegetable with your lunch and dinner.
2. Don't eat white foods at dinner.
3. Use the half-plate rule (fill half your plate with veggies.)
4. Have a sweet or salty afternoon snack only if you first eat a piece of fresh fruit.
5. Drink one glass of water before every meal or snack.
6. Use the Restaurant Rule of Two: Limit yourself to two items other than your entrée.
7. Never eat in front of the TV.
8. Eat a piece of fruit on the way to work every day.
9. Save desserts for weekends.
10. Freeze half of what you make, and serve the other half.