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Want to Drop Pounds Fast? Try These Tactics

12 tips to lose weight quickly from the latest AARP book, 'New American Diet'

  • Sleep mask books and alarm clock on bedside table

    Begin With Sleep

    En español | Sleep gives you energy to burn more calories during the day. People who sleep fewer than six hours a night are 27 percent more likely to become obese. Drop that number down to four hours a night, and you're 67 percent more likely to put on pounds at an unhealthy rate. — Getty Images/Tetra images

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  • Bowl of hot oatmeal breakfast cereal with fresh berries

    Eat Breakfast

    Eating a healthy, nutrient-dense breakfast — one that includes protein, whole grains and fruit — will help keep your insulin level steady all morning and prevent you from overeating later on. 
    Spiced Breakfast Quinoa — iStock

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  • Eat healthy, live well.

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    Find healthy meal ideas and save all of your favorite recipes in one place. Join AARP for discounts on groceries, restaurants and more.

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  • Half a sandwich

    Eat More Often

    You've grown up on three squares a day but it's time to forget about that. Eating smaller amounts, more frequently helps you lose. You'll feel fuller throughout the day, and are less likely to overeat out of hunger. — iStock

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  • two glasses of water with splash

    Pace Yourself

    Spend at least 30 minutes eating each meal. It takes about 20 minutes for your brain to realize you're full. Drinking water before and during a meal is a good way to slow yourself down — people who drink two glasses of water before each meal consume 40 fewer calories through the day, some studies show. — iStock

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  • cup of black coffee surrounded by coffee beans

    Drink Coffee

    Yes, coffee is good for you, but there are caveats. No cream, sugar or artificial sweeteners. And that mocha java chocolate chip latte? Yeah, that doesn't count. We're talking straight, black coffee here. Twice a day. Caffeinated is better for losing weight, but decaf will do, too. — iStock

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  • Pack of sugar free gum

    Chew Gum

    Yes, chewing sugar free gum can help keep the weight off. It releases hormones that signal your brain that you're full. — iStock

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  • cottage cheese with berries

    Snack at Work

    Bring two small snacks to work every day — a piece of fruit and a cup of low-fat dairy (cottage cheese, yogurt, etc.) are good choices. — iStock

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  • stack of dark chocolate

    Eat Dark Chocolate

    Now we're getting to the good stuff, right? Don't go grabbing a candy bar just yet. The healthy choice is dark chocolate (70 percent cacao) and your daily quota is a small piece — about a quarter ounce.
    Coconut-Dark Chocolate Truffles — iStock

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  • pedometer with running shoes and water

    Count Steps

    Walking won't just get you in better shape — it could cut down your chances of developing dementia as well. Plus, some studies show that people who cannot walk a quarter-mile in five minutes have a higher mortality rate. Buy a pedometer; try to average 10,000 steps a day, seven days a week (but be sure to consult your physician before beginning a new exercise regimen). — iStock

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  • filling in glass of drink water from faucet

    Drink More Water

    We get more calories than we recognize from beverages. Diet sodas may increase the body's cravings for sugar-sweetened, high-calorie foods; diet drinks disrupt our ability to properly estimate the number of calories we're consuming, so we end up eating more than we ordinarily would. Finally, drinking more than two diet sodas a day is associated with an increased risk for type 2 diabetes and metabolic syndrome, as well as stroke and heart disease, according to University of Miami researchers. — iStock

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  • Breakfast on a wooden table

    Eat at a Table

    Studies show that eating at a table makes you eat more slowly, giving your brain a chance to signal to your body that you are full, and causing you to eat less. When you sit down, do it in front of a small plate — it's an easy way to control your portion size. — Getty Images/F1online

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  • bathroom scale

    Weigh Yourself

    As you lose weight, don't be afraid to step up on the scale once a week — it's the best way to track your progress. Remember to weigh yourself at the same time each day, either first thing in the morning after you empty your bladder or at night just before you go to bed. — iStock

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  • Health endslide
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