Today's installment of the diet plan is a dose of tips I've learned that make it a bit easier to eat less without feeling hungry. So, without further delay, here are my collected tips. Feel free to add your own in the comments.

  1. Eat less. More often. Rather than eating large meals, chop up your eating into smaller portions throughout the day. I found myself eating 3 meals most days and having a snack around 3pm as well as another in the evening. That was enough to keep me from feeling hungry while still eating less in total.
  2. Don't eat right before going to bed. I've read this numerous times and don't get why it works, but it does. I set a limit of 3 hours. So I planned to go to bed at midnight, I wouldn't eat past 9pm.
  3. Brush your teeth early. For whatever reason, I won't eat when my teeth still feel clean. By brushing them several hours before bed, it was easier to accomplish #2.
  4. Kick the sugar habit. If you drink sugared soft drinks (I used to be a Mt. Dew and Coke fan), replace them either with their diet counterparts or water. This can make a very, very big difference.
  5. Eat vegetables before the main course. Whenever possible, I'd make sure to have an ample serving of a vegetable (you get very few calories for the amount you eat) before eating the denser main course--often a meat or fish. You'll need less of the dense stuff to be happy.
  6. Update your spreadsheet daily. Keeping a running count will help you ration out the rest of your daily calorie allowance, which we'll talk about tomorrow.
  7. Get used to leftovers. When you eat out, expect to take some of your meal home. If you eat standard restaurant portions, you'll almost certainly overeat.
  8. Shop with calories in mind. When you're at the grocery store, spends some extra time reading the labels and nutritional information. You'll probably end up changing your shopping habits along the way. You'd be surprised by the how widely the calorie counts in various granola bars varies, for example.
  9. Slow down! When you eat fast, you end up ingesting more food before you body has a chance to figure out that it's satisfied (not full).
  10. Drink more water during the day. This is fairly generic advice, but definitely seems to help.
  11. Trick yourself with gum. Sometimes we eat out of habit or because it just feels good to get some flavor in your mouth and chew for a while. Find yourself some sugar-free chewing gum and use it when the urge strikes.
  12. Reduce the amount of breads, chips, crackers, and salty snacks you eat. A lot of starchy and/or salty food make you want to eat and drink even more. This comes straight out of Atkins diet culture.

There are probably a few things I've forgotten that I'll remember after posting this. If so, I'll add 'em on later. Meanwhile, drop your suggestions below.

Tomorrow we'll get back to the spreadsheet and talk about setting goals.

Previous installments:

For more recent diet and health tips, see our new blog: How To Eat And Live

Posted by jzawodn at June 07, 2006 06:43 AM

Reader Comments
# Dave Dash said:

Very good points, I shared almost all of them during my weight loss adventure (that I'm still on) and intend to write about.

In regards to 2. Your metabolism slows down during later hours and is very low while sleeping. So if you're used to eating day-time portions, you're brain might say, oh, well I need a sandwich now, because I'm hungry, but really you could get by with a lot smaller portion.

on June 7, 2006 07:16 AM
# Jeroen van den Bos said:

I have a single tip, that goes along with #8: don't shop when you're hungry. You'll end up getting more food *and* more easy food like candybars so you can eat one right away. If you always shop once every day, change it so you eat first and then get food for tomorrow.

on June 7, 2006 07:19 AM
# Jeroen van den Bos said:

Dave: that's a myth. (for instance:

on June 7, 2006 07:22 AM
# Charles said:

It's all about food choices. Do you want 1 cubic inch of cheese, or a handful of grapes, for the same caloric content? Natural foods tend to have more bulk and are more filling than processed/refined foods. I've heard one doctor who said that man evolved in an environment where food was scarce and opportunities to eat were rare, so we ate pretty much anything that came our way. But now, when food is everywhere, we still eat anything that comes our way. The problem is that now everything that comes our way is mass produced has concentrated calories from refined sugar and flour.

The Aerobics book I'm currently working from suggests a "25-50-25 plan," you get 25% of your calories at breakfast, 50% at lunch, and 25% at dinner. Regardless of whether there is any scientific reason why you would retain more calories from evening meals, he says it's easier to reduce daily calories on this eating regimen.

on June 7, 2006 08:12 AM
# Andy Lester said:

I'm amused that #7 has a typo of "restraint" for "restaurant", which are certainly opposites of each other. :-)

on June 7, 2006 08:29 AM
# Michael Conlen said:

So the thing about diets that drives me nuts is the way people who don't know anything about nutrition science say "hey, here's a diet, it works for me, it works for several other people, it will work for you!"

The fact of the matter is that no diet is right for everyone and recommending a diet to someone without understanding the causes of the symptom is just a bad idea.

Sure there's the basic rule that to loose weight you have to eat less calories than you burn, but there's dangers in a simple understanding of thermodynamics.

First, loosing weight is bad. Loosing fat, for someone who has too much fat, is good. You can loose weight in several ways. Loosing water (60% of the average male), burning muscle tissue and burning fat are some of them. Here's an example of why it's important to know the cause before you prescribe the cure.

In someone with insulin resistance the body is producing gobs and gobs of insulin. Insulin inhibits fat burning. If you reduce the caloric intake without reducing blood sugar levels guess what you're loosing? It's not going to be fat. This is why people with insulin resistance needs a low glycemic load diet. By changing the blood sugar levels the person reduces insulin levels and is able to burn fat.

Another issue is basal metabolic rate. Some people have very low basal metabolic rates. If you start cutting foods down to a level low enough that they can loose weight you're likely to drop particular nutrients too low. Cut enough carbs from the diet and the body goes in to ketosis. Bad thing. On the other hand if the person exercises enough to change the basal metabolic rate they not only get the benefit from the burned calories during the exercise but also from burning more calories through out the rest of the day. For this person exercise with an increased (and possibly modified) diet might be the answer.

Recommending diets without understanding the root cause is like recommending an operating system, programming language/environment, database server or hardware platform without understanding a clients requirements. I might work, it might not, no one knows, because you're acting out of ignorance and the wrong diet for a person could have as dramatic a consequence as recommending a nice dual x86 box for someone who needs a Sun E15k.

on June 7, 2006 09:08 AM
# rr said:

Jeroen, I agree. #2 is Myth.

Total energy consumed - Total energy expended = weight gain/loss. As long as your total intake and expenditure remain constant, it can't matter when you eat it, though it may make it harder or easier to eat less and be more active due to psychological or physiological factors.

The only argument I can imagine for why it would matter is if digestion is more perfect during the night so more calories are extracted from whatever you eat, but I've never heard that argument made let alone studied.

For me, Rule #1 takes precedence over Rule #2, and my nutritionist agrees. If I'm hungry, I eat, even if I'm about to (or have already gone to) bed. That keeps my metabolism running, blood glucose steady, and helps avoid overeating in the morning.

After years of diet failure, Rule #1 is what really changed the game for me. By snacking more (nutritious snacks, of course, usually every 1-1/2 to 2 hours), I eat less overall.

on June 7, 2006 09:11 AM
# Jeremy Zawodny said:

Andy: Typo fixed. Thanks. ;-)

on June 7, 2006 09:19 AM
# Grant Hamilton MD said:


That simple bit of mathematics that everyone likes to report is easy to understand but neglects the sophisticated nature of our bodies and its response to starvation. As a simplified example, if I eat 1200 calories a day of sucrose (table sugar) I will certainly lose weight but most of it will be water and muscle. If I eat 1200 calories a day that includes at least 2 grams of protein per kilogram of body weight, I will be more likely to protect that protein and lose weight as fat. This is extremely important because muscle is what drives your basal metabolic rate. This is why people yo-yo diet. They starve off some muscle and lose some weight but their BMR drops as well. When they go off the diet and resume a "normal" diet, they gain weight again. And then the cycle repeats...

on June 7, 2006 09:25 AM
# Grant Hamilton MD said:


Oops, I misread your post about "when" you at as "what" you eat. But that too matters. Read this for just one example:


on June 7, 2006 09:28 AM
# cgee said:

Michael Conlen:

The words are spelled LOSE and LOSING.

Your otherwise interesting thoughts would be more persuasive if you learned how to spell these words.

Loser. ;-)


on June 7, 2006 09:54 AM
# Ian said:

As a nutritionist in training, #2 may be a myth as far as weight loss goes, but it's not a myth as far as good health goes. Your body's ability to absorb nutrients does differ at different times of the day. Also, digesting takes energy, so for a rejuvinating sleep it's best avoided before going to bed.

on June 7, 2006 10:02 AM
# Scott said:

Great site. I've also been working on a similar diet since around 1999 and am down around 50lbs.

I do need to take some issue with #4. Do kick the sugar habit but don't replace it with Nutrasweet. After giving up my dietcoke habit a few months ago, I've noticed my appitite is much more natural and in control.

on June 7, 2006 10:10 AM
# Mark Siegal said:

Another tip: Use smaller plates. It helps trick you into eating smaller portions.

on June 7, 2006 10:25 AM
# John V said:

I want to put a plug in for Calorie King ( I use the Palm version on my Treo 650, which makes it very easy to log everything you are eating during the day. It also keeps track of your exercise, so you know your total caloric intake minus working out. Since it has the 15,000+ food items on the memory card, it makes it dead simple to find the food, without having to drag your Mac (or X86) along with you.

Following the same thing Jeremy has been suggesting above and logging it all on my Palm, I've lost 16 pounds since the middle of March when I started. He's right, it's all about dropping the amount going in, and if you have the time, upping the amount of effort going out. Easier said than done, of course, but using the power to Tech, we geeks can do ANYTHING! W00t!

on June 7, 2006 10:43 AM
# Matt Griffith said:

There are many opinions about #2. There is a simple way to settle this for yourself. Start tracking your average weight and your calorie consumption and then do a few experiments. Try changing the time of your last meal for a week at a time and if you notice any differences in your weight loss you can decide how to proceed.

Personally I don't know if it makes any difference for me. I haven't cared enough to do any experiments. Sometimes I eat my last meal right before bed and sometimes I eat it hours before bed. That's what works best for me in my life right now and for the time being I am not motivated to try something different. But if I wanted to I know I could come to a reasonably accurate conclusion. There is no need to follow anyone's advice on faith alone. You can test to see what works for you.

That leads me to another tip: Run simple experiments with your diet. Try something different every week. Try varying your menu or your meal schedule or whatever. The act of running an experiment can be hugely motivating. If you work hard for 3 days collecting data then you are much less likely to reach for a doughnut on day 4. If you succumb to temptation you'd invalidate a weeks worth of data. Sometimes that is just the extra motivation that helps me resist living in the moment.

As soon as you start measuring the different factors that affect your weight and your health there are no limits to the types of experiments you can do. And they donít have to be scientifically valid experiments. They just have to satisfy you. If you are comfortable that the results you are seeing are related to the changes you made then consider the experiment valid. If there is any doubt in your mind then you can always revisit the experiment later.

For me Jeremy's #1 tip was a critical factor in my success. I lost the first 60 pounds without following this advice. But I struggled with hunger and cravings. As soon as I started eating 6 small balanced meals (some carbs, some protein, and some fat) I lost another 30 pounds. But more importantly I found a new way of eating that I will be able to maintain for the rest of my life.

Matt Griffith

on June 7, 2006 12:29 PM
# The Liberal Avenger said:

Thank you, Jeremy.

Good stuff.

I found that a diet book called "The Spark" helped me several years ago by prescribing small amounts of exercise several times per week.

on June 7, 2006 12:35 PM
# Joseph Hunkins said:

Helpful! I'd like to see a study comparing diet successes to personality profiles. I'd hypothesize that analytical folks will tend to succeed in diets more than emotional folks because they find it harder to use denial and abandon the diet effort in frustration

on June 7, 2006 01:25 PM
# Tony said:

Good reading Jeremy. Another trick is to increase the energy you burn. Start doing a lot of cardio exercise. running, biking, sweating. It's good for your heart and you get to eat what you want.

on June 7, 2006 01:33 PM
# Peter Smith said:

Scott beat me to this but I'll re-iterate. Stay away from diet soda. I'm not a doctor nor a scientist, so my evidence is anectdotal, but it seems to be the empty calories of a diet soda trigger something that makes you even more hungry. Like maybe the flavor triggers your digestive juices or something? As an experiment, skip breakfast one morning and see how long it takes for your bely to rumble. Then on another day, have a diet coke for breakfast and then see how long it takes. If you're like me, the diet coke will trigger the rumbles a LOT earlier than nothing (or water).

Anyway, thanks Jeremy and all the commentors. I just started trying to modify my eating so this couldn't have come up at a better time for me!

on June 7, 2006 01:41 PM
# Helen said:

Great info here :) This is very similar idea to the calorie controlled diet I've been following since July. Weight loss has been steady and I've lost 60lbs. This does work- although I agree it might not be for everyone. It might be worth checking with your doctor before starting a diet to check for any potential problems.
In regards to tip 8, over here in the UK our supermarkets will deliver (not sure if they do that in the US). We have set up a standard order of what we need for the week, which means that we're not tempted to put chocolate biscuits in our trolley! The other plus point about this is that the diet and sensible shopping is saving us a fortune, and now we can afford to buy a box of organic vegetables every week to help us eat a little bit more healthily.

on June 7, 2006 02:31 PM
# HammHawk said:

Congratulations on your progress. I also have long grappled with my weight (and still do--would like to drop another 35 or so). But this year I've dropped about 35, and my strategies have been very much like yours. I realized that I would snack while making dinner and wasn't hungry once the meal was ready. Well, before, because I COULD eat the meal, I would. Now I say, great, and put it in the fridge.

One thing I'd like to point out about that is that it's helped me to take vitamins. Not because I usually need them, but because it allows me to feel as though I've gotten the nutrition I need, so even if I filled up on chips & salsa, I don't need to eat the healthy meal I've fixed; it'd just be more calories.

Not that I think it's a good idea to survive on chips & salsa, but that if I occasionally fill up on it, then eating more is counterproductive to my weight. Hope we both can keep it up (down?)!

on June 7, 2006 02:53 PM
# Joseph Hunkins said:

>>empty calories of a diet soda trigger something that makes >>you even more hungry.

Peter I've heard this and like your experiment but as somebody who can drink a lot of soda I think for most it's best to stick to calorie free, which should be like drinking water. In the propagandistic "SuperSize Me" I think most of his weight gain came from his forced HUGE consumption of soda and milkshakes.

on June 7, 2006 02:55 PM
# rr said:

Well then I guess my opinion about night-time eating is that physical laws are physical laws. If you eat it (and don't flush it), you have to burn it. If you don't burn it now, you store it and have to burn it later. If not eating raised your basal metabolism, that might be interesting, but since the opposite is generally true, I prefer to spread my eating out and avoid hunger.

IMO, you can't diet to lose weight, you have to alter your eating habits in a way that you can live with for the rest of your life and let the weight loss and then weight maintenance take care of themselves.

Adding regular exercise (including weight training to build calorie-burning muscle mass) along with improving health and well-being also gives you an extra calorie allowance you can use to eat a more satisfying diet and stick with it for the long-term.

on June 7, 2006 02:56 PM
# Joseph Hunkins said:

Whoops - I should have read this artificial sweetener study before commenting:

on June 7, 2006 02:59 PM
# Jon said:

Great comments and post. Always a battle. My issue is travel, which is why I link to the above site...helps travelers find places to eat, work out etc. Even run route maps.

Business dinners can be a diet killer.

on June 7, 2006 03:14 PM
# Michael W said:

It's funny to think about how large the diet industry has become, and yet, how painfully obvious and simple the solution is. Eat less and exercise more. It's really that simple. Yet, we're bombarded by a seemingly endless stream of fast weight loss fads through books, magazines, videos, TV, celebrity endorsements and medical "breakthroughs." Why? Because people want an easy way out so there's money to be had.

I'm sure Jeremy would agree that his ideas, (all good ones) as well as any other legitimate diet program, requires discipline. There's no way around it. But it's easier to swallow a pill or have your stomach stapled or be able to eat heapings of meat and cheese (as long as there are no carbs.) We want the diet that allows us to sacrifice as less as possible and still lose weight. Yesterday's Weight Watchers is today's South Beach.

Almost any diet program will work, but sustained weight loss comes only when you develop a true state of mind to live a healthier life and you have the discipline to see it through.

on June 7, 2006 09:53 PM
# Gordie Wolfe said:

I have been reading all your posts about everything about dieting and losing weight and different eating patterns and such.
I was around 290lbs when I decided enough was enough I need to lose weight and now.
The thing I hate about the whole weight loss phenomenom is you don't have to go on any fad diets and starve yourself to lose weight, you just need to eat healthier and exercise.
I agree with eating more often, and eating healthy snacks
I started doing cardio 2 a week and lifting weights 3 times a week (I know it is not possible for everyone to do this) and the weight started to fall off. I did not stop eating burgers and candy and bad food, I just ate alot less of it. If you have a craving for something, go out and eat it, and after your craving will be gone and you'll end up feeling guilty about doing it and want to work harder to burn it off, but don't deny your craving, if you do you will make it worse.
I have lost 70lbs in a year and it's not a diet, its eating healthier. I still love the odd Mcdonalds but I dont crave it as much any more because I feel better now and work hard to keep it off.
To everyone who is trying to lose weight, be strong, I know it is very hard to keep it up, be strong and be patient, like someone said you took a long time to put on the weight and it's gonna take time for it to come off....but be strong, we are all here for each other.

Gordie Wolfe

on June 9, 2006 02:55 PM
# Ben Weiss said:

The thing I have heard about why eating before bedtime helps loose weight is this:

I remember reading in 1998 or so about a study during which 3 groups of people ate identical calory amounts for a given period. At the end of the period, the group that ate most of their calories at dinner time and only a snack for breakfast and lunch gained weight (as a group) while the group who ate a snack for breakfast and dinner and had most of their calories for lunch had no appreciable weight gain or loss and the group who had most of their calories for breakfast and only a snack for lunch and dinner lost weight (again; collectively).

I have found for myself that on nights when I don't go out dancing (and therefore need the extra energy) if I stop eating at around 3 pm (just water afterwards) I can drop the pounds fast and eat pretty much whatever I want the rest of the time. :o)

Of course, while I did drop 25 pounds in 4 months on that diet 8 years ago, I haven't found myself able to do that again lately, so it doesn't even apply to _me_ anymore, so my advise is worth what it costs you to read. :o)

Good Luck to us all!

on June 10, 2006 06:50 AM
# Michael Edlund said:

About "diet" pop. I don't care much for the claims that the sweetener aspartame that is used in all diet pop is bad for you. However, aspartame does trigger hunger. So you'll find yourself hungrier throughout the day if you drink diet pop than if you don't. Which means you might end up eating more and grow fatter indirectly.

on June 11, 2006 09:26 AM
# ander said:

Hi Jeremy,

Your tips seem like common sense---but I hope _you_ don't feel it necessary to follow them. You don't look heavy at all. I hope you're not one of those unfortunate people who erroneously feel they're overweight. (Maybe I just needed to read more of the blog.)

Cheers, Ander

P.S.: If Yahoo! needs any writers or editors (technical or otherwise) as well as engineers, please let me know!

on June 12, 2006 12:16 PM
# jenn said:

A good tip alongside #7: ask for the to-go container when your food comes out and put 1/2 away from the start. This way you can only eat 1/2 of your meal and you won't over eat. =)

on June 13, 2006 02:11 PM
# Elaine C said:

FYI re: aspartame.
I ate very well today..small meals etc more often, but also had 4 diet sodas between lunch and was very hot here and I was thirsty. By the time I got to dinner, despite afternoon snack, I was Ravenous. My hunger was incredibly painful and real. I literally felt as though I was starved and had had nothing all day. It was really horrible and scary. Since I have eaten the same way other days without that many diet Coke/Pepsis, I have to conclude there is a real correlation between the excess hunger and the sf tonic. It's water for me between meals from now on!!!!

on June 18, 2006 03:52 PM
# Michael said:

Good reading here, i just began starting to eat healthier, counting my calories etc. I downloaded the spreadsheet to help me log everything. Im 24 and at 240lbs right now, hoping to drop 40 lbs to start... its gonna be tough keeping it up but im really trying. I am currently setting myself to about 1500 calories a day and im about to begin walking an hour a day.. i hope this will work for me. Thanks for the information on your site

on July 3, 2006 12:05 PM
# Tory said:

Jeremy, I think it was very nice of you to try to share your experience with the world most people are all about making a buck. Thanks, I think anyone would agree with me.
Tory :-)

on July 8, 2006 01:22 AM
# kc said:

sooooo.....all of this stuff is good advice just make shure that you work out to b/c you will loose soooo much more weight and get tone if you eat right and work out, b/c by working out you fight off what you ate and make your muscles bigger, but good advice on here it really works!!!

on July 17, 2006 11:13 AM
# km said:

Thanks for taking the time to share your success story and all the great tips. I have used a similar record keeping system in the past for "intake", and had great success. Thanks for reminding me to go back to it!

Almost as important, in my opinion, is to incorporate some kind of "extra" physical activity into your day. Even if it's only 5 minutes! Coming from an ex-exercise hater: trust me, once you create the habit you won't want to miss it. I made myself walk for 5 minutes every day no matter what, and increased it as my motivation increased. Just try it for one month - come on! - what do you have to lose...besides some excess fat! You'll gain muscle, energy, and increase your metabolic rate (burn more calories faster)!!

Thanks again!

on July 20, 2006 05:20 PM
# Jogan Lones said:

I am really interested in dieting. I weigh 220 and I am very self conchous. I hate people ridiculeing me so I will give Jeremy's tips a try.

on July 20, 2006 07:07 PM
# J. Fedder said:

Great diet tips. I follow most you have posted and recommend to others.

on July 23, 2006 08:46 AM
# marissa said:

oh my gosh thank you so much for those tips i was 234kg and i have lost an outstanding 137 kilos and dropped down to 97 kilos. I have to admit it wasnt all your tips that helped it was also the support of my family and friends. I would like to thank people like you who put good advice on your site to help other people thank you jeremy.
I was once a fat shit and now ima prud size 12!!!

on August 1, 2006 01:01 AM
# DaveSlater said:

I was surprised that you left out the importance of eating a good breakfast. I have had best results having oatmeal for breakfast, knocking out most sugar, and drinking water when I get hungry, but all the while counting calories.
Thanks for resparking my goal.
later, slater

on August 3, 2006 06:58 PM
# Lager said:

It is here that for the past eight and a half years I have slowly built the layers of fat that now encircle my body. Junk food, sweets, fatty foods and other assorted land mines lay in wait as I prowl the aisles loading my cart with my weekly allotment of food. My trek begins in the dairy section. Milk is a necessity, but close at hand lurks pudding cups and ready to bake cookie mixes. I can almost hear them saying, “Eat me!”. I grab some lowfat cottage cheese and lowfat yogurt and make my escape. Next is the drink aisle. I only pick up water here. The rows of soft drinks seem to stare at me with their round metallic eyes as I pass them by. I skip the chip aisle entirely. No use exposing myself to temptation unnecessarily. The first safe have, the paper towel aisle. Nothing to tempt me here. I grab a pack of paper towels, steel myself and move on. The cereal aisle. Captain Crunch, Tony the Tiger, Sonny and assorted other characters do their best to worm their way into my cart. I get my daughter’s cereal bars, turning a blind eye to the colorful boxes. I’ve made it through a third of the store without making a mistake. Juices, canned vegetables and cups of fruit come next. I bypass the ready to mix packets of Ramen noodles. Salsa, tomato sauce and chili mix go into the cart. I’m nearly home. On the coffee aisle I stare longingly at the flavored syrups that beckon from the shelves. With a heavy heart I leave them behind. I take a can of coffee from the shelf and add it to the growing mountain in my cart. It is better if I pretend the frozen food aisle doesn’t exist. There is no such thing as ice-cream! The land of plenty awaits. Produce! Apples, bananas, lettuce, cucumbers, mushrooms, potatoes and celery all go into the cart. I can’t find strawberries but I do find blueberries. In they go. The bakery is next. Honey buns, cakes, pies and a wall of donuts all thwart my path. With Iron resolve I plow past to the racks of bread. Whole grain English Muffins, Whole wheat bagels and Wheat bread are all I need. I get them and then I start my sprint. Along one whole wall the deli section looms before me. Chicken breast, deli ham and Turkey! I repeat it over and over, a sort of mantra to ward off the spirits of Jimmy Dean and Oscar Meyer. I finish my run at the checkout. As I load the conveyer with my hoard of food I smile as I notice a distinct lack of tempting items

on November 21, 2006 05:35 AM
# said:

Thats really good and sensible information Jeremy. Although weight loss may come slow but it will be life long achievement this way. What I am curious about is that you have not stressed a lot upon exercise. Why is that so?

As for #2 I have my own hypothesis. You see when one goes to sleep its a dormant phase and metabolism is slow as compared to when you are awake and only sitting may be. So you burn fewer calories while sleeping. The last meal you take if taken just before or near bedtime will mostly go to become fat because you do not need so many calories while sleeping.
But if you are awake and sitting or doing someting else, you burn atleast 25% of calories that come from you last meal at night. So you are left with 75% or less calories. Some will go to survival while sleeping and if still any are left they will turn to fat.
This makes sense, doesn't it?

on December 3, 2006 01:24 AM
# said:

hi liked what u've written about ur experience with weight..i lost about 40 pounds a couple of years ago going by a similar strategy of watching what i eat and exercising a bit not too much.I also lost a lot of my hair and developed deficiencies that i am still dealing with. today i am crunched for time, i live on campus and work at all odd hours, the weight has begun to come back and i am very scared, i want to change my eating habits but am finding that extremely difficult to do since i eat at the campus cafeteria.i want to do this right this time without damaging my body and also do not want my skin to sag...any suggestions on how to raise metabolic rate after drastic dieting??

on December 29, 2006 05:55 AM
# Jeannie said:

Nice site, and thank you. I was wondering what you are doing to keep it off now? I lost 105 lbs in 1 year kept it off for 5 months slowing its coming back! due to the fact that I can't stop eating and slowly I have been adding the bad foods again. I know I need to follow this eating/life style for ever but its so hard. Any advice?

on January 4, 2007 10:19 PM
# Azmera said:


Great site! OK, here's my story....I've preety much been the BIG KID my whole life. All the pictures I own of my childhood obviously proove that. So, one day I some how (still don't know how) motivate myself into loosing weight. I lost 65 lbs, and kept it of for almost a year now. Im still considered some what over weight. Point being, I've still got to loose an additional 30-40lbs and when I look back I DON'T KNOW HOW I DID! Can I get some WORKING advice that doesn't include supplements?

One thing I DO remember is, I used the concept of a tummy-tuck without actually getting one. Meaning....If I ate a hand full of veggies, then the next thing I would eat two hours later would be half a turkey sandwich. BUT!!! heres the trick.....USE 1 Slice b/c then you wouldn't feel tempted to eat the other half. Drink alot of water. Oh yeah...Special K is really good for breakfast or anytime!

For those Big STARBUCKS Fans.....Try an Americano( I always get it iced) with a Sugar Free Flavoring and add 2 Splendas or any zero-calorie sweetener to sweeten it up! The Caffeine in the Espresso shots help to supress appetite and contains zero-calories as well. And if thats not an option for you, get a Skim-Latte either plain or any Sugar-Free flavoring with Zero-Calorie Sweetner. AVOID THE OTHER STUFF, believe me I used to work at starbucks when I was at school. Alot of the popular beverages and snacks are 300+ calories. If you're REALLY REALLY hungry, a biscotti only has 140 calories.

Now that I've shared what worked for me, can someone do the same????

on January 11, 2007 03:11 PM
# said:

i have never been overweight and never had to diet till reaching the magical age of 50. I am told it's normal and to accept it, but hey, I like how I feel and look without the extra 15 pounds. I am glad to find this info because I have cut back on my eating even though I do not overeat, and started doing cardio workouts for an hour almost every day. I am still not losing any weight. I think I am starving myself by cutting out too much real food and eating pre-packaged "diet" foods. I am going to try meat, veggies and a smaller amount of starch. I am still going to work out, but I will go to 30 minutes instead of an hour and see how that goes. Maybe I will enjoy it more. Thanks.

on February 21, 2007 11:18 AM
# said:

thx for the great advice i plan to use it.

on March 12, 2007 02:45 PM
# dd said:

i've never had much problems with overweight but in the last 2 years i gained about 50 pouds and i always tried to stop eating but just couldn't. then last year i tried to lose weight and acctually lost 13 pounds but i have much more than just the 13 pounds on now. my dream is to lose 50 pounds or more. so i hope this will help me.
thanks for posting that

on March 15, 2007 06:06 PM
# Denise said:

Just wanted to share my personal journey. At the age of 30 I gained weight rapidly, going from ~70kg to topping the scales at 102kg for a height of 1,7m (154lb->224lb, 5'7'' for US folk).

I got diagnosed with mild reactive hypoglycemia, although I didn't have any of the *major* symptoms. Now that I am aware of the situation, I can recognize the symptoms, which I used to attribute to just feeling tired, overworked, depressed etc.

Over two years I dropped 33kg. I learned about the glycemic index of foods as well as recognizing symptoms of low blood sugar. I ate many small meals (breakfast is a *must*, see it as medicine), and took up the lifestyle changes that I see others mention. My hypoglycemia is much better now and the time I can go between eating has actually increased almost to the point where I can now do 3 meals a day + snack again.

The thing I want to share with everybody is that blood sugar level is very important when losing weight. Eating foods that have low glycemic load steadies the blood sugar level. You may not have reactive hypoglycemia, which is having the blood sugar go very low after a sugar load, but everybody can have low blood sugar during the day, especially when dieting. Learn to recognize what it feels like and learn to counter it by eating something (no simple sugary snack, that'll make it worse). Keeping your blood sugar level normal will mean that you won't crave simple carbohydrates, you won't feel uncontrollably hungry and your basal metabolic rate won't decrease. It'll give you the capability to stare food in the face and not want it.

on April 6, 2007 06:45 AM
# debbie said:

Hi I am 24 and weigh 182 lbs, I've been eating realy healthy, and I mean mainly just fruit and veg all day, bran cereal for breakfast, i eat a little often and I have been using the gym for 2 weeks, an hour and a half cardio and half an hour weights twice a week with using an exercise bike at home an hur a day, I am a fairly active person but I haven't lost any wight at all and now it really is depressing me, I keep hearing how eating healthy and exercise is the best way to go but it's not working, please god someone help me :(

on May 3, 2007 04:14 AM
# Dustin said:

Hey hows it goin, well im just starting a much needed diet today and after many months of saying it and really wanting to get back to how i was less than 5 years ago (lbs i've put on through college) I must agree with the portions subject of all this. I lost 45lbs back in 2004 just by cutting out soda's and controling portions in 2months. Of coarse big guys like myself will lose weight faster when we make a change like this. I'm hoping to actually keep it off this time. I know if i control my portions and count calories and supress hunger by drinking more water ill def. lose weight. I just want to know if anyone has any thoughts on keeping it off. i was 265 in 2004 and got down to 220, well im back to 270 mainly due to eating fast food eating at 12am like a college kid does, and now im changing it and i want to def. keep it off this time, any thoughts?

on May 3, 2007 11:49 AM
# said:

i need to loose a lot of pounds by august 15 because im turning 15 and im going to have a party. i weigh 181 pounds. Is there a way to loose 40 or 50 pounds by august 2007. doing what you just explained will help me loose weight fast?

on May 5, 2007 06:35 PM
# luv2cook said:

Hi Jeremy
I was a bit bored and ran into your blog and loved it! I've tried so many things! (healthy things) to try to lose extra weight and it has been really difficult... My family thinks I worry too much, but I would love to get back to my size 6 pants... I exercise all the time, but I believe my body has reached a plateu... I will try your suggestions, I like the way you've made it so simple(its really not new science, but it seems easier to follow)
Thanks again for taking the time to share it with the world.
Take care :)

on May 9, 2007 01:00 PM
# Mary Chonowski said:

Hello, Jeremy.

My name is Mary, and I have been on, and off of diets before. I am now on a diet again, and my weaknesses happens to be Twinkies, Ho Hos, Hostess snack foods of any kind, and cheeses.

These foods are not at all healthy, and I have been on my diet for a month and a half now, and I have cut out these junk foods. As for cheese, I only eat the vegetarian type found in the produce department, but even that has calories in it.

I have read your helpful hints, and they are helpful, and I have been exercising more now, than I did when I ate twinkies. I am trying so hard to keep healthy, I really am trying hard-Mary

on May 25, 2007 11:43 AM
# Gabby said:

I lost 25 lbs. I was so happy, but keeping it off is the real hard part. Once the instant gratification of another pound lost is gone it's hard to keep from over eating and snacking. Your site gave me a little inspiration!

on June 16, 2007 09:23 PM
# Amazing Kem said:

If you like the taste of food in your mouth eat more fruits and drop the candy. If your hungry at 10:00 because you had a sugary cereal for breakfeast, change to a boiled egg for breakfeast. They keep you full, there healthy, they are also packed with protien. Also like the website said if you like the taste of stuff in your mouth then have gum. But try to make the gum sugar free or use a low calorie gum. Most gum is low calorie but check the package before you by the gum.

on June 27, 2007 11:22 AM
# Dawn said:


I am so happy to come across your information. I was a size 12, 153 pound and still am a 12 but at 149 pounds 3 weeks later. I stopped all cokes and have started eating a lot less and healthier. The first week was hard but now I am use to it. I started walking and have increased my speed and distance. When I fell slightly below the 150 pound weight I find myself working out harder and really watching what I eat. Thank you for your spreadsheet! I will use it!

on July 8, 2007 06:31 PM
# said:

its a great list of ideas>>>>>>>>>

on July 9, 2007 12:39 AM
# cruella said:

My problem is slightly different in comparison to what could be considered an "overweight" issue. Having been no larger than a female's size one throughout my adolescence, I have suddenly grew to a size five. What troubles me is that I am only eighteen, I shouldn't be having metabolism problems. I am a tennis player, I always cook homemade, healthy foods, and go to the gym daily for a minimum of two hours. What else can I possibly do to go back to where I was?

on August 6, 2007 04:34 PM
# said:

I really liked what I read. I am trying to convince myself to do I haven't tried that before 100 times. I need to lose 15 - 20 pounds, but it might as well be 100, because nothing is working. I'm going to take the tips suggested. I work out three to four times a week, but my diet needs a lot of help. Thanks.

on August 9, 2007 01:37 PM
# Rah said:

Thanks for the spreadsheet--it's a lifesaver (literally). Although it's titled "Weight tracker," it's really a calorie tracker--would you mind sharing the spreadsheet you used to track and graph your actual weight? I'm Excel-impaired or would set it up myself. thanks.

on September 2, 2007 06:31 AM
# said:

Determined to apply your tips and advises. Till then.

on September 27, 2007 02:05 PM
# pyko said:

hey, nice tips! the main problem i'm finding with counting the calories is more often then not, the food i eat aren't all that easy to count calories for.

eg. for lunch i just had a sandwich - multigrain, shredded carrots, egg, sliced turkey and bit of butter on bread (with some other random stuff)

so i'm guessing it is usually just a rough as long as it is close it's all good calculation?

the other problem is living in college means it's like near impossible to control/decide what i get fed. the only real meal i get choice with is breakfast (as that is bread+cereal), lunch is either sandwich (see above) or hot food (a set menu) and dinner is a set thing as well

as you can probably guess the cooked food that is provided isn't exactly the healthiest...i describe them as swimming in oil.

does anyone have any suggestions how how i can eat less/healthier?


on October 11, 2007 08:42 PM
# hungry Stef said:

Thank you so much for giving info without asking for my credit card number. I am 33, and can see that the weight is not falling off like it was a few years ago. I have four kids and have always been thin, eating whatever I want and not exercising, I know, slap me. Anywho, I have changed jobs over the past year and a half from working on a Med-Surg floor as a nurse missing meals and running to a job where I got an hour lunch ( foods all the time) to now working at home. I have been working out for a month now with free weights and the machine, just starting to incorporate cardio today (it kicked my butt!),but I have decreased my food intake and really am not seeing a difference, except I.m always friggin starving! I thank you for the advice, I think I read in one of the comments, eat what you want, but don't over eat and exercise. I'm going to try that, I can't feel hungry like this the rest of my life, I mean, I am a girl that eats like a man! Good luck to everyone! Any tips, please let me know. Thanks, hungry Stef :@)

on October 16, 2007 09:04 PM
# MB said:


The easiest way I found to keep my weight in control (actually lose weight!) in college was to ALWAYS start with a salad for lunch and dinner. I'd have a large plateful with a bit of chicken or turkey on top and really didn't track dressing (although I always went for vinaigrettes over creamy dressings because they have more flavor per unit volume, so I could use less). I wasn't counting calories at that time in my life, but I see the difficulty one would have. Breakfast and lunch shouldn't be too difficult to figure out though. Dinner could be tricky, but try. It's so worth it.

Thanks Jeremy.

on October 22, 2007 12:44 PM
# Natasha said:

I'm reading a lot of good info, but I find that when I stray away from red meat I tend to get migrane's. Any suggestions on which meat and how it could be prepared that will reduce calories?

on October 26, 2007 02:58 AM
# 40&lovinit said:

Over the past 10 years I've gone from a size 7 to a size 14. My goal is to lose 25 pounds. There are a lot of great ideas here and even though I'm not great at organization and keeping track, I'm going to attempt using the weight tracker sheet thanks much.

on November 18, 2007 09:34 AM
# Carey said:

7 years ago in early Feb, when I weighed 267 lbs, I went on the Atkins diet. Before I started I knew it would end in a bust. I had no confidence not only in the diet, but in myself for sticking with it. By the time my birthday rolled around the following June, I had lost 55 lbs and by August I weighed in at 203 lbs. I'm not writing to extol the virtues of Atkins, but to share some of my own tips.

Start by pursuing a big goal. Better to shoot for the stars and hit the moon. My plan was lose 30 pounds and although I had doubts I would achieve that, I lost double.

Like Jeremy says, the first month is hell, but after that it is fairly easy to stay on the track. So before you even start, go shopping and fill your kitchen cupboards and refigerater with friendly foods. Chewing gum is great as an appeitite surpressor, but that gets old. Mix things up by chewing on surgar free sour candies. I mean the really sour ones that make your whole face pucker. I did this when I was battling the binges and boy howdy did that kill the urge. Here's an even more drastic tip, squirt sore throat spray (Chloraseptic) which contain local numbing anaesthetics on your tongue and throat. Makes eating food less enjoyable.

I'm not much into capturing my daily eating habits, but the benefits are well worth it. I just wish there were a handheld calary/carb counting device that could help me with this task. Does anyone know of such a device?

Thanks for the great post. GOod luck dieters!


on December 27, 2007 06:37 PM
# Steve said:

Here's a tip that works for me, but may seem silly to all of you. When I get hungry before a meal, I just imagine that I will have to eat the same thing as I ate at the previous meal. For some reason, that makes me lose the craving to eat.
Also, I believe that cardio has been the biggest factor of me losing 70 pounds over the past year. I switched my thinking about it: I look forward to it instead of dreading it. I treated myself to some nice workout clothes, a bag that holds all of my things for the gym (a YMCA in my area), and I get excited to have the alone time, catching up on the news from magazines or reading a silly gossip magazine, putting on my iPod to the workout songs that you can get from iTunes (they really make a difference!), and just losing myself in the hour that I'm on the eliptical trainer. When I started working out, all I could thing about with each ticking second on any machine was how miserable I was and how many nano-seconds until it's over. Now, I run into the gym and smile the entire time! I smile and wave at the other people for no apparent reason, and now they recognize me and smile back. It's mental, but it's a life-change that's important to creating an environment for enjoying your new lifestyle of fitness! Look into the iTunes Fitness songs, and ENJOY YOURSELF!!!

on January 11, 2008 07:46 PM
# said:

i think that a diet is very important to people who really want to loose weight. most of my friends make fun of me cause im a little bit younger. but after i started reading about this i started eating only fruits and veggies but i then felt like i was going to become anrexioc(i think i spelled that wrong)so, i made a deal with myself and i had a medium meal that included a burger with some other healthy stuff and im still working on it so try out my idea .
good luck

on February 19, 2008 05:58 PM
# Marcia said:

Hi, I am trying to lose some weight and i am right now at 170 lbs and in size 12 i am trying to lose and get down to a size 10 anyone have any ideas, my down fall is Candy, sweets , and diet pop and i seen where some people say dont drink diet pop not good for you. So is tea ok to drink cause i drink alot of tea? Thanks Marcia please someone answer me back with ideas.

on March 16, 2008 05:16 PM
# Good Parenting said:

Sometimes, I find it difficult to sleep if I am not full enough ...then I tend to over eat.
Thanks for your tips.

on April 5, 2008 10:06 AM
# Hungry Eyes said:

Um, First of all I have struggled with eating Disorders since Jr High... and never seen results..Now a young woman almost out of college i question...

Is it possible I am just doomed to be fat forever...

on June 9, 2008 01:47 PM
# albert said:

Thx for shareing yr experience,u rock!!!

Actully I am just start to loosing my weight since I never seriously treat it as an issue until my stomach grow up as 4 monthes pregnant and its enough to shit on me.

Anyway,#4 I am definitely going to tk as the rule No.1 cause I am so in loved sugar water(any drinks u can imagine contains sugar u know wht I am saying...)

This gon be my first day,I can't wait 2 c how is going on my body.


on June 10, 2008 05:58 AM
# Doug Rogers said:

I stumbled upon this site today and was amazed that there were fresh posts nearly two years after the article appeared.

Last year I dropped over 30 pounds during the first half of the DC United season (that's how I like to measure time!). Then I went on a business trip and spent too much time in restaurants (not 'restraints'!). It was easy from there to gain most of it back. But the good news is that I know I can do it again (I'm already doing it).

Hungry Eyes, you are not doomed to be fat forever. Keep at it! The hardest part really is getting rid of the bad habits.

Try the tips here. I've found that similar things have worked for me. For example, I fill a 1L bottle with water as soon as I get to the office. I make sure that I finish it before I leave. Usually I end up having 1.5L. I have another bottle that I keep in the car (until my son thoughtfully threw it away for me!).

I've also gotten into the habit of eating a bowl of cereal (with... mmm.... blueberries) in the morning; I used to skip breakfast. I make sure I use a small bowl so that I don't overdo it - easy to do for me. I eat it with coffee and some OJ. I then bring two pieces of fruit with me to eat midmorning and after lunch. I usually eat a Subway 6" turkey sub on wheat (or honey oat - yum, but 50 calories more). No cheese, but lots of veggies and a squirt of vinaigrette. Or I have a Campbell's select soup. I still occasionally grab a cookie, but not nearly as often and not nearly as many.

Marcia, as for your candy crush... well, mine is Chinese food. Just two days ago I broke down and ordered some after a long weekend trip. It took me a day to forgive myself, but I did so by getting back on the bandwagon - but not as a punishment, just as an "Okay, forget it and move on." I would recommend trying a bunch of things as surrogates for your candy. Perhaps chewing gum or baby carrots, raisins, or cherries. If you have someone (like my daughter!) to go shopping with you, then they might be able to help you get smaller junk portions and larger good portions.

I liked Jeroen's idea of only shopping AFTER you eat. I've gotta try to make that a habit.

You may want to try the exercise program in the Hacker's Diet (google it). It's the ONLY exercise program I've been able to keep for more than three weeks. I've tried gym memberships and sports leagues, but I now use the latter as a supplement to the Hacker's Diet exercises. They only take a few minutes in the morning. I feel better knowing that I've exercised in the morning, even on the increasingly rare days when I'm active later. And it's easy to get back on once I've fallen off. I'll look down at the dog, trying to decide whether I really want to start, then once I get that first bend started, it's easy, easy, easy to just finish it off.

It probably sounds like I don't even have a problem, but I do. I assure you that if I can do it, then you can do it!

on June 10, 2008 01:30 PM
# Tony said:

Here's a summary of my experience, because (a) I'm proud of my accomplishments, and (b) I don't want to mow the lawn :-)

On April 28th, I started the Hacker's Diet, with a weight of 248lb. After using some online tools, I estimated that 2,300 cal/day was my "balance" level, so I opted for a 1,300 cal/day goal, which would let me lose 2lb per week. The various weight and BMI calculators say I should weigh about 165lb, so that's my end goal, needing a total weight loss of 83lb. Sounded daunting ... In addition to counting the calories, I started walking in the evenings for at least half an hour, which initially equalled about 1.25 miles.

It's now June 29th, and I've been doing this for nine weeks. This morning I weighed 229.8lb (we bought a better scale), and my trend is at 231.6lb, so I've lost at least 16.4lb, pretty close to the estimate and goal, especially considering two things:
1) I only keep to the diet six days per week. On Saturdays I've eaten whatever I wanted, and had a few drinks too; and
2) We went to Hawaii for a week at the end of May and didn't diet at all.

Some of the secrets of being able to keep this going:
1) Quaker Chewy Granola Bars - 90 cal each, a quite a few flavours. I have one for breakfast each day.
2) Quaker Rice Snacks (no, I don't have stock in Quaker :) - 70 cal per serving, and a few good flavours (Ranch is the best). I have two servings per day usually, as mid-morning and mid-afternoon snacks.
3) Frozen chicken breasts and a Foreman Grill ... 25 cal per ounce, tasty, and ready in just a few minutes. I usually chop up a whole breast (150ish cals) and dump it on a bag of salad (45 cal for the whole bag!) and spoon on some light Caesar dressing (160cal) ... less than 400 cal for a huge dinner that covers all the major food groups.
4) Ryvita-type crackers (60cal for a pair), Laughing cow spreadable cheese (35 cal for a wedge) and salsa (5 cal for a tablespoon) ... filling, flavourfull, fairly healthy, and only 100 cal for the whole snack ... usually as a late-night snack, or on the weekends.
5) Flavoured zero-cal mineral water ... La Croix berry flavour or Target's Citrus flavour ... neither have that sickly-sweet artificial sweetener that most have ... keeping topped up with water helps to keep me feeling full.

I quit smoking about a year ago, and never really felt better for doing so, but in the couple of months I've been slowly losing weight, I really do feel better about myself. The half-hour walk in the evenings is now about two miles, and I've even been tempted to jog once or twice! It must be an endorphin thing or something, but going for a walk lifts my mood considerably.

The other key thing I want to share is to make sure you set yourself interim goals, for example lose two pounds, lose five pounds, lose ten pounds, lose ten percent of your starting weight, etc. And most crucially - reward yourself materially for doing so ... buy a CD ... a pair of earrings ... something small and tangible that gives you some physical, positive reinforcement. My next major interim goal is 225lb, which will be a 10% loss of weight, and both my wife and I have agreed (yes - I got her into it too) that when we break 200lb, we'll give ourselves $200 in cash.

Now that I've seen these results, I'm going to stop doing the free-for-all thing on Saturdays and follow the diet seven days per week starting tomorrow. I'm also going to start on the exercise system from the Hacker's Diet program, because I feel good for losing weight, but think I do need to do something to help build up my strength and endurance.

Keep it up everyone!


on June 29, 2008 11:02 AM
# Weight Loss said:

The modern obsession with a thin body is another problem that women face now a days. Women try everything in order to get this extra pounds off, things like pills, patches, diet, hunger, exercises and all kind of weight loss products. Some of them work, but others - not.

Weight loss industry is focusing on the way people should feel while doing it, in order to achieve better results and stay healthy all the time. Being healthy and thin is not a dream, it should be something, that is a reasonable and easy to be done.

on September 18, 2008 02:21 PM
# Toni said:

Had reached rock bottom today about losing weight, was doing so well and then the last 5 months it has gone pear-shaped. Then seeing this today has motivated me in a way I never expected. No flashing promises, no before or after just sense.

Thank you

on November 7, 2008 03:23 AM
# weeb said:

Maybe also:

13. Sleep more than you think you need. Try 8 hours, then 9 hours a night. Try having at least an hour a day to relax completely.

My weight happens to be pretty well correlated to my stress and sleep patterns, so this might help someone else too.

on December 15, 2008 05:51 PM
# find knowledge said:

This is nice. I will keep this to my favorites. I am having trouble of dieting and I would really love to lose some more weight. Thank you for the advices above. I will do the chewing gum trick.

on December 22, 2008 08:53 PM
# Jenny said:

i feel like i've read so many dieting methods but yours has been the most concise and easy. i'm not overwhelmed and ready to lose my freshman 15! thank you :)

on December 23, 2008 06:07 PM
# Suzie said:


A thanks to Jeremy and all the other commentators! I must say that every time I have counted calories, it has worked (I've lost weight) - and once I've stopped - I gain it back ;) I have the age of 47 y.o. and the lack of dicipline against me; however, I love the excel spreadsheet - it will keep me motivated and I also find it so refreshing to have somebody offer up all their hard work and advise for free!

I have perhaps only 15-20 lbs to lose, but geez I have been trying to lose them for a good 8-10 years now and I just keep adding a few on instead.

I live in Montreal, Canada, and I would honestly walk outside so much more were it not for the weather. For 6 months we have snow-covered ice and the roads and sidewalks are trecherous (spelling?) ok ok - good excuse, i know :)

My only advise to people from my own experience is once that plateau is reached (and feel PROUD), keep it up!!! That has been my mistake all along.
So today is the first day of my new spreadsheets - can't wait.

Jeremy, do you still read these???

And to everyone else - all the best for 2009!!!

on December 25, 2008 08:30 AM
# Meredith said:

Jeremy-- Excellent advice and spreadsheet.

Here is my story--

I started using the spreadsheet in February of 08, along with exercising 3x per week and limiting my calories to 1500/day. I was always a semi- active person, participating in IM sports at my university about 2x per week, but I gained about 12 lbs through out my first 2.5 years of college.

After recording my calories for about 2 months, I was able to guess, with surprising accuracy, the calorie count of most foods and I would keep a running total in my brain through out the whole day. Some days I would go over by about 100 calories, but I didn't sweat it, especially since I was seeing results fairly quickly. Within the first 2 months, I had lost 5 pounds (I am not a very big person, I was a gymnast so I still have a large amount of muscle mass, but at the time I was 5 foot 3 and 149 lbs). My schedule changed in April so I wasn't able to workout as much, some weeks not working out at all. I kept to the 1500 cal/day. Over the next 8 months I lost another 10 lbs, still not exercising as much as I had the first two months, which is why the weight wasn't coming off as fast. I was okay with this though, because I had made significant lifestyle changes with respect to my diet. I am easily able to eat well portioned meals, snack healthily and daily I can easily eat 1500 cals without thinking about it (meaning I eat that amount without having to keep the running total through out the day).

Jeremy is completely right about the first month, though it is the most difficult, after you start seeing results you don't want anything to spoil it and you want to keep going. And once you change your diet to something you can live with, it's easy to keep up; no drastic changes needed, at least not for me, it was more about portion control.

I have kind of let myself go a little bit over the holidays (temptation runs high when my mom doesn't ever want anyone to be hungry, makes about 20 dozen cookies and is one of the best cooks there is).

Once I get back to school (where the gym is and where I live in an apartment where I buy my own food) it should be easy to jump back into my routine.

The most important piece of advice (or reality) is that there is no such thing as a diet (as previous posters have stated). You are changing your eating habits to something that you can live with for the rest of your life. You can find balance between all the food groups and if you stick to it for long enough, it really is second nature. Of course there are temptations, and I gave into them a lot (I am 22 and only about 5 foot 3, so 1500 cal/day is a semi-generous amount for someone who wants to lose weight). Now I feel like I have the self-discipline and knowledge to drop it down to around 1200-1300 per day to hopefully lose the remaining 10 lbs.

Even right now, at 135, I weigh less than I did in high school (though that is deceiving because I've definitely lost a lot of muscle since then, even though I am still fairly muscular). My goal is to drop the remaining 10 lbs by graduation, which is in June. Jeremy's advice really helped, especially when I was first starting. I've been living by his philosophy (calorie counting, weighing myself daily) and it has continually worked for me. Especially since I was VERY gradually losing weight (15 lbs over 10 months) it was important to keep "trends" in mind.

Well, that was long winded, but if it inspires someone, or helps someone realize that there is no magic pill or diet out there then it was worth it. Good Luck to all of you.


on January 1, 2009 09:15 PM
# Me said:

Well its my first day back in work after the Christmas holidays and after seeing myself in my 'not so little' black dress for New Years Eve I am motivating myself to properly lose weight in 2009. This is a great site and thanks for the tips.
As other posts say the tips are common sense and of course the main point being eat less and exercise more, however, its still good to have a good site to click on for inspiration and support. Well done to everyone who worked hard shedding the lbs I really hope I have the same success.


on January 2, 2009 01:54 AM
# Gabriel Pagan said:

Hey Jeremy, thanks for the tips, and spreadsheet! I am in my late teens but am over weight as can be. :O But yeah, me and my mother plan on using the spreadsheet and the tips so we can both lose weight. I might as well act now before I am 25 years old weighing 400 pounds. D: Well anyway. thanks a lot! :D

on January 17, 2009 09:28 PM
# said:

Hi Jeremy for your amazing tips. I hope you'll continue to give advices for those having difficulty in dieting. More power to your site.

For those searching for diet recipes pls visit this link

on January 19, 2009 09:01 PM
# Angie said:

I truely need help and I don't know which way to turn. It does sound like most of you are honest. A lot of my issues are emotional eating.

I do overeat. Bad portion control. I have gotten a lot of good information for this site, and I thank you.

Why can't I just move on and not be so dependent on food?

I really know why I overeat...I just don't know how to stop.

on January 23, 2009 05:29 PM
# said:

i eat alot
I want u 2 tell very general thing from which i stop feel hungary alot.(no medicine) b/c they have alot of side effects.

can i lose weight by following PILATES workout?
waiting 4 reply

on February 11, 2009 11:50 AM
# Melissa said:

I was a fat child and decided to go to weightwatchers, I lost 42 pounds and because I was young forgot I still had my old 'fat' digestive system. So I obviously ate more and gained more weigh than I lost, then 3 years later I decided to try weightwatchers for a 2nd time, I lost a stone and then while still attending put it back on?!

I now weigh more than I ever have before and worry it could ruin my health, I already struggle with exercise due leg problems. I am now at the point of desperation, I don't want to be fat anymore, I remember the days when I felt attractive and confident. I have tried fat loss pills and appetite suppressants from the doctor, but its like my body has given up, yet I feel I haven't and still want to loose weigh so much.

I get depressed about my size and losing weigh is a piority to me but it should be last on the list not first , I'm young I should be having fun (with all my silm and beautiful friends, who can eat anything!), loving life, not wasting it being self-concious and worried. I really, really want your plan to work for me, I have set up the spreadsheets and will give it my best shot. It sounds like a simple, no nonsense plan, using the basic aspect that consuming less calories than you burn will make you lose weight.

I will keep you updated.....

Thank you Jeremy, I'm grateful that you are willing to share your success with us and hope others will benefit too. Considering everyone else seems to be making money from dieting 'gimmicks', maybe one-day you will be rewarded for your consideration for others, as you know how hard it is to loose weigh. One day you might even be able to ask people who have gained achievement from your plan, to feature in a book of your own? I feel you can give hope to so many people, even though I have only just begun.

on March 26, 2009 06:04 PM
# layla said:

omg thx for the tip you rock

on May 3, 2009 04:41 PM
# Weight loss mom said:

Great Ideas

on May 10, 2009 09:48 AM
# mike said:

There are some goods tips, I also advise eating nutrient dense foods and avoiding white foods, like white bread, white flours, milk, ice cream, etc...

on May 12, 2009 03:32 PM
# erwina said:

no# 9 nine is true,eating too fast doesnt mean we get full easily...
try to chew and savor the food before swallowing...

on May 16, 2009 09:55 AM
# Rosano said:

This looks very promising. Summer break has just started and I've decided to commit myself to lose significant size (size, not weight..) before college starts again.
I know for a fact that my eating habits are pretty FUBAR, so I was browsing the web looking for advice on how to start eating properly.
This seems like a great guideline and I'll be sure to put it to good use.

Thank you, good sir.

I have a question though.. When combined with exercise, would my calorie-intake still remain the same or do I just completely follow my hungry feeling?

on July 17, 2009 12:52 PM
# nekonekoni said:

i have this idea but a simple one, WHATEVER YOU DO, DON'T EAT RICE. :D

on July 18, 2009 02:04 AM
# biz said:

I agree that weight is very important aspect of the health. But sincerely, I am not the fan of diets because simple reason - if you are overweight due to eating too much you can loose weight, but you will bulk up back, if you continue to eat as you used, after diet ending. I think that only solution is to have non-stop balanced nutrition intake.

on August 1, 2009 08:56 AM
# sutha said:

Thanks for sharing. God bless u.

on August 8, 2009 10:53 AM
# LEisler said:

Hi Jeremy!
Thanks for sharing your experience with calorie counting and your weight loss. I'm a "newbie" when it comes to "dieting." One of the things I have found in all my readings, is diets don't work. Making an effort to change your lifestyle, when it comes to eating, is the answer. I have over 80lbs to lose, and so far I've lost 8.6lbs in less than a month. Now, I just need include more exercise than what I have been doing.

Good Luck to you!

on September 6, 2009 04:01 PM
# Evan said:

I've been following a diet along these general lines (I set a calorie budget for myself and worked out some standard meal plans) since April and have so far lost 45 pounds, pushing toward 50. I'm 5'7" and started at 270; my target weight is 160, so I have a ways to go, but I'm now confident I will get there. I keep having to punch new holes in my belt.

The first month was hell. I got through it by finding ways to distract myself from hunger. I've never been a big MMO player, but that month I spent hours every day playing City of Villains - it kept my attention occupied and off my stomach.

Once that month was over, things got a lot easier. I remember one time going out to dinner with friends. It was somewhat spontaneous, so I hadn't budgeted properly for it; I finally decided to take the extra out of next day's calorie budget. As it turned out, I didn't have to... because I couldn't finish dinner! An entree that I would once have polished off with appetizers, was now more than I could eat all by itself.

One thing I found very useful was to recognize and plan for my own cravings. Cutting out sweets wasn't difficult; I've never had an overwhelming sweet tooth and what I do have is nicely satisfied by some fresh fruit. But they'll take my cheese away from me when they pry it from my cold dead teeth. So, I make room in my calorie budget for a generous helping of cheese in my meals.

on September 16, 2009 08:38 AM
# Mutasem said:

Do you want to loose your weight? Are you attracted to burgers, chips, chocolate, and all other kinds of fatty food? You cannot stop yourself from having "last time" or just "half the packet"! Need to take control over your life, over your diet, and over your eating habits. I found the answer a few weeks ago in a book I was reading and since then, have not had any of my ex-loved unhealthy fatty foods. The answer is very simple and basic: Use your IMAGINATION to make gaining fat painful and loosing some pleasurable. I imagined myself as fat week and powerless in front of healthy enemies in perfect shape. I imagined them insult me, beat me, and felt it happen as if in reality focusing on why "because I am fat" (In reality, none of that ever happened but imagination is not so different reality for our brains). Therefore, every time I see a fatty food, feelings of pain and hatred arouse in me I could not even touch them. BUT, IF YOU ARE GOING TO FOLLOW THROUGH WITH THIS, FOCUS ON WHAT'S NEXT: You need PLEASURE also to take action. PAIN and PLEASURE are the two most compelling human forces. If you use them correctly, you will be able to take control of the course of your life. What I did was I also imagined myself in perfect shape, imagined each muscle in my body, how sexy I looked, how much I admired my abbs, and then those same people who were beating me smiling at me as friends, they too were admiring my new body. I imagined us wrestling, racing, playing and having fun. I imagined woman checking me out. All this brought me to take action and change my life. I already look much better now. I feel much healthier. Use these two forces wisely for your own advantage.For more information contact me by email ( or check out the book I read and inspired me to a better lifestyle "Awaken the Giant Within" by Anthony Robins.

on September 19, 2009 04:08 PM
# Dylan said:

Those are all good tips. I just had a nutrition class as part of my nursing curriculum, and we were required to track our consumption and physical exertion for a week. Afterward, I plugged the numbers into a computer program which spit out a 30 page report based on the data I provided. I was shocked to discover that I was eating close to 4000 calories a day (on average), and I was still nutritionally deficient in some areas. The fact is I was eating too much starch, grains, processed sugars... crap. Somebody above who mentioned the scientist discussing our prehistoric eating habits vs. our present day eating habits was right on. Our bodies are designed to eat what was available then, and in much smaller quantities than what is available now. In fact, it was the domestication of grain, and the subsequent processing of the grains, that marked the beginning of the end for our once slender bodies. I'm not sure about the several small meals throughout the day thing - I have often heard it works, but I have never tried it. What I am sure of is this. In order to lose weight, we have to eat nutrionally dense, natural foods in smaller quantities than your typical TGIF dinner. Don't eat before bedtime, primarily because your horizontal body position will cause indigestion, GURD, and other nasty stuff. Drink lots and lots of water, and stay away from the soda, even diet. I'm no expert, but I have heard that the diet stuff contains nasty additives whose exact long term effects aren't exactly known. Get plenty of exercise, plenty of rest, and chew/eat your food slowly. Don't eat fast food - just don't! It's almost all crap (yes, even the salads!), and you will pay dearly for swallowing a live, gut grenade! Well, time for bed so adios!

on September 24, 2009 06:16 PM
# said:

look i don't think al of this is quite true because i have been on this diet for ages and it hasn't worked once please is there anything else i could try to help me loose weight because i am loosing my mind not knowing what to do. i have tried sooo many diets and this one is/was my last resort before i give up on hope.... please help me!!!!

on October 18, 2009 07:28 AM
# prafi@Angioplasty said:

from your site i learn various thing and increase my knowledge there are many ways to decrease weight in less time but the main and important medicine is running in the early morning, when we getup early morning and breath pure air it helps us to maintain our positive things and then we run slowly at some distance 1or 2 km daily we can able to decrease our weight it a short time

on December 16, 2009 02:52 AM
# chris said:

fat burning tips, the key to remember is everyone's body is not the same and people will react differently to each fat burning tip. It is very important to be patient and see how your body handles the various ways to burn fat, it make take some time before you see any changes in your body.

Drink Lots of Water

It sounds silly because it is so simple but drinking lots of water helps to fill up the stomach, especially drinking a glass of water right before a meal will help reduce the hunger and cause you to eat less. Proper water intake is essential for all the body organs to work correctly and organs that are all working in harmony and to optimum state will help to burn fat quickly.

Eat Small Meals Through Out the Day

We are so accustomed to eating 3 big meals a day that it is difficult to get out of the mindset but cutting down on the sizes of the 3 meals and adding healthy snack in between really helps to burn fat quickly. An ideal day of meals should look like 3 small meals and 2 snacks, a third snack could be added after dinner but no food should be eaten 2 hours before bedtime.

on January 19, 2010 07:18 AM
# Nick said:

Hey Jeremy,

I'm not sure if you still even check this but I thought I'd let you know that I recently downloaded your spreadsheet and adopted "the three habits". In the past week I've driven a 3 pound weight loss using better eating habits and your spreadsheet in tandem with some healthier "heat and eat" meals for my work lunches (as opposed to my typical steak and cheese sandwiches or cheeseburgers from the work cafe) and some heavy use of my new Wii Fit! With your help, I think I'm well on my way to my goal of 40 lbs by the end of summer 2010!

Anyway, I just wanted to say thank you for posting this up (about three years ago now?). It's been a tremendous help and I can't wait to see weekly average results as I move forward!


on February 5, 2010 05:28 AM
# Ken said:

Found this site today and it looks very helpful. I am 57, feel lousy, and need to loose 50 pounds. Hope to use your advice and keep you posted on my progress.
I find that eating near bedtime makes digestion very difficult. Maybe just a matter of gravity. When lying down, the food does not progress thru the system as well.

on March 1, 2010 12:58 PM
# JJ said:

I've never seen so many confused people giving advices based on mostly myth and misinterpretation of scientific studies.

Good grief.

on March 9, 2010 03:45 PM
# TW said:

I stumbled on this site today while doing other research. I lost 60 pounds 5 years ago, and amazingly have kept it off.

Made me curious, although I mostly skimmed the posts, where's Jeremy, and is your weight still gone?

on March 16, 2010 12:48 PM
# Marlena said:

Hi Jeremy, thanks for the diet tips, and I was so interested to read the comments as well. I had no idea that diet sodas increase your hunger. I guess then that it goes for all foods with aspartame? So no fat free yogurts then. Does anyone know if Splenda causes similar issues?

I also wanted to comment that I agree with what many others on here said about the importance of drinking more water. Just doing this without making any other purposeful dietary changes has caused me to lose some weight, so combined with eating less and getting a bit of exercise, a person is bound to lose a significant amount of weight!

I'd also like to recommend a free fitness tracking site called The Daily Burn. I love it!

on March 17, 2010 11:50 AM
# John Richard said:

Just one small doubt can you clear it...

does drinking wine increase weight?

one of my customers argues with me that because i drink a lot of wine I'm that true

on March 18, 2010 03:50 AM
# chelsie z said:

wow, my comment is short, first of all way to go jeremy good for you for posting this, it obviously took a bit of time to do. and all those hot shots that think they can accuse these people of being rediculous for not looking at the "scientific" stuff, relax, i think people are smart enough to know not every diet works for the diabetic....relax people let jeremy enjoy his blog and comments and let people use this a motivation tool....not everyone is gonna follow his diet step for step, most people are gonna use it as a guideline....he wasn't telling people that they have to do this diet and that it will work for everyone, he was just sharing a success story in detail

good luck to all you fellow dieters!!!!

on April 3, 2010 06:50 PM
# said:


im 15 and im not dramatically overweight but i am a bit,
i really want to lose the fat that just hangs around my stomach and just ruins my figure, i do by far enough exercise but the problem is that i seem to be dependant on alot of food(i eat big portions and i snack and i love carbohydrates such as pasta and bread. does anyone have any tips to just eat less because i say to myself that i will eat less and as soon as the food is infront of me i just eat it withought thought
does chewing gum help?

good luck to everyone

on April 21, 2010 09:30 AM
# Beth said:

To #:
It is great that you want to take care of yourself now instead of letting the situation get out of hand. Throughout the posts folks have given really good recommendations such as:
1. Do not let yourself get so hungry that you eat a big mound of food. Eat small amounts more often. What works for me is a cup of milk and some graham crackers or a yogurt cup. You may want to have a low calorie and/or low fat type of ice cream treat or a banana or apple. I try to eat breakfast, snack, lunch, snack, dinner and final snack about 2 hours before bed.
2. Start with a small portion and concentrate on eating what is in front of you. Eat slowly - small amount on the fork and actually taste every bite. Do not watch TV or text or sit at the computer. Actually taste every bite of food that goes into your mouth. Folks used to say to chew every bite 10 times - that may be excessive, but the idea is to pay attention to what IS going in so your brain realizes you have eaten.
3. When you are finished your small portion, get up from the table and put EVERYTHING away. Go brush your teeth. Maybe take a 10 minute walk. Wait 20 minutes since you finished eating. If you are still truly hungry in 20 minutes, then get it all back out and eat more.
4. Drink plenty of water. Soda of any type (regular or diet) is just empty. Your body needs plain water.
5. Get plenty of rest. Research shows that folks that do not get enough sleep have a harder time losing weight.
Best of luck to you! Any excess weight or bad eating habits you have now are better tackled NOW. It is very rare for folks to look better in the later years - most folks just keep packing on the weight as they never learned good eating habits. You have a chance to learn new healthy habits.

on May 3, 2010 10:53 AM
# 41 yr old female needs to loose 35 lbs said:

Hello I am a 41 year old white female who is 5"8 175 lbs I need to get down to atleast 145 & I'd be good with myself. picked up the photo's today from phoenix when I visited my daughter and looked out for my 3 grandchildren while she popped out another one, anyways I just recently gain 10 more pounds and for what ever reason 165 is about where I top off then I start looking just plain Fat not sure what that is but i am always fat but that 10 seem to be worse than the 20 before it crazy but true i need to do something so wish me luck

on May 11, 2010 10:00 PM
# Dan Norcott said:

"Drink plenty of water. Soda of any type (regular or diet) is just empty."

Surely that's nonsense. Water is water. Soda of any type is mainly water. "Empty" has no meaning in this context.

on May 14, 2010 02:23 AM
# GURJANT singh said:

Dear sir or madam
i want to know what we should eat and drink or not eat and drink for make a very good and fast running.
i want to make a very fast running. plz send me detail of my question.

on May 25, 2010 07:36 PM
# Stacey said:

Ok first of all, I NEVER comment on any blog or article, in fact this is the first time ever, but I had to say THANK YOU SO MUCH for posting this, and adding the spreadsheet. I have currently just filled it in for day one!

on June 1, 2010 09:28 PM
# Judith said:

The article is good but i bet it differs for each person I work in the debt management industry and struggle to eat breakfast at most times. I have come so far with losing weight without doing anything to drastic. A little exercise, plus cutting out alcohol and carbs. I seem to have hit a brick wall, so I think now im going to try and start eating breakfast to see what difference that makes hopefully it will kick strart the weight drop again. Wish me luck.

on June 9, 2010 12:05 AM
# Mark said:

Finally started exercising last week. Weird how finally going back to work after being off for 1.5 years makes you motivated. Didn't do it while I was off. Anyway, glad I saw your sight, downloaded the excel file. I'm a technical kind of person so this should be fun, and read some great posts above so plenty of things to keep in mind. 6'2', 44, 275#, want to drop 6 pant sizes. My daughter is having her 1st b-day party in 8 weeks, so I have some motivation. Hope to post some positive news soon.

on June 14, 2010 09:52 PM
# Lauren said:

This is my first day of changing myself to a dietary lifestyle. But I do suggest running or even though it is still t.v, wii fit is very healthy and keeps track of your nutrition. It also gives you tips

on July 6, 2010 01:17 PM
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