Jesus once said, "Freely you have received; freely give."
My family doctor gave me a free diet tip that changed my life. So I'm going to tell you how to lose weight for free as well.
Keep in mind that I already had lots of diet tips. I've been accumulating them for years. Once I found out from Prevention magazine that an Egg McMuffin or two for breakfast (yes, from McDonalds) will prevent you from sleepy spells after lunch. I've passed that on to several people; it works. (Strange, but true.)
But you're not here to eat Egg McMuffins and stay alert after lunch. That will not help you lose weight, which is what you're here to do.
Here's how you lose weight for free. I'm not selling anything.
Um, this page isn't short. I can't give a program that will help everyone in 2 paragraphs. You do have to be committed enough to read a web page. In fact, you really should read two. My free diet tips page has some other helpful tips.
In this case education will give you all you need. If you're strapped for time, make each section a morning devotional. You'll get through the whole page in less than a week.
I once got up to 220 pounds. My natural weight is about 150—I'm 5'8" and slight of build when I'm not fat—and I carry all my weight in my belly and cheeks, so I was looking bad. I couldn't bend over very much, either, without holding my breath because my lap pressed my fat stomach up into my lungs.
I was horrified at my condition, but that wasn't enough to control my eating.
However, whenever I weigh over 200 lbs. I get sleep apnea. That means I stop breathing regularly while I'm sleeping. In fact, my sleep apnea was so bad that I would stop breathing for over a minute at a time. Since I tend to nap on the couch, my wife and children and most of my friends have seen me sleeping ... and panicked wondering if I would start breathing again.
Then one day I read about the health dangers of sleep apnea. I didn't go to sleep at all that night, and I started a radical diet the next day.
Since then, I've never been over 200 pounds. I have the motivation to go hungry and lose weight because I fear sleep apnea.
Don't worry, I'm going to give you something far better than going hungry. The tips to lose weight for free on this page will let you lose weight without going hungry at all ... in fact, you'll be able to eat dessert with your friends.
Don't worry. I'm talking about something that any nutritionist would agree with. Nothing weird, and no chemicals. Just good, healthy eating ... with the occasional dessert thrown in!
As I got in the habit of dieting, I was able to drop all the way to 155 pounds. However, I was not able to maintain. Slowly, over the years, I climbed back up to 195. I maintained that because I was terrified of sleep apnea, but I still didn't have what I needed to maintain a healthy weight.
Then I got a physical. My blood pressure was 150 over 95, and my doctor told me if I didn't promise to lose 30 pounds in the next 3 to 6 months, he would put me on blood pressure medication.
I fear both high blood pressure and blood pressure medication, so I was motivated again.
However, what I didn't realize is that this time it would be easy. This time, my doctor would give me one more tip to add to all the others that would allow me to lose weight without being hungry.
The reason I'm dragging this out is because that one tip is not enough. I already knew some things about myself and about dieting. You need all the information on this page, not just some of it. You can get it bit by bit, but you have to get it all.
I'm fixing to tell you what that one tip was, but it won't be the amazing thing for you that it was for me because you don't have the rest.
And I'm going to tell you how to lose weight for free on this page. I'm not selling anything, and I'm not withholding anything.
But you have to read all of it! It's not that long!
When I explained to my doctor that the problem with my diet is that I get so terribly hungry at night that I just don't have the willpower to avoid eating, he told me this ...
Before you eat, have a salad that is only lettuce with a salad dressing that is very close to zero calories. Make it a big one.
You can still eat what you want, but eat it after you eat the salad.
Okay, now understand that this tip transformed by life because I had already taken care of all my other problems. With other tips, I had already learned how to lose weight through the entire day without being hungry. I had that down.
At night, though, my hunger was a monster I couldn't control. One night I ate a 16 oz. steak that I had bought on sale at the grocery store. I had saved it for a nighttime snack. All it did was whet my appetite. I followed it with a plate full of spaghetti, and then a large bowl of sweet cereal.
Admittedly, that was back in the days when I thought that if I exercised I could eat whatever I wanted. That's crazy. There was over 2,000 calories in that evening "snack." It would have taken a 15-mile run to burn that off.
My self-control has been a little better than that the last few years. Still, I'd find myself eating a large meal or 2 or 3 bowls of cereal at 9 or 10 at night.
I knew of only one thing that could take care of that problem. I could go to bed. But I really don't want to live my life going to bed between 9 and 10 at night. I have teenage children, and some of our best time together is just before they go to bed.
Of course, it was also the time I was setting the worst example for them by eating like an animal.
For a while we had a single lady living with us who agreed to help me by chewing me out when I went to the cupboard after dinner. My wife had given up already.
That poor woman. One night she exclaimed, as I was eating despite her protests, "Have you no self-control at all."
"Apparently not," I answered.
Now I don't need it.
Because I know how to go through the day eating healthy, pleasant food without going hungry, I hit the end of the night with plenty of room on my diet for a reasonable snack; even a small, low-calorie meal.
So last night, for example, I ate an apple, then some cantaloupe, and then a bowl of cereal. By the time I was done I'd consumed around 600 calories. However, since lunch and dinner had only accounted for about 1500 calories, I was about a 1000 calories short of what I burned yesterday.
I count calories because I love math. You don't have to actually count them. The tips to lose weight for free on this page will allow you to know that you're losing weight even if you don't count calories.
Counting calories is not only an approach to losing weight. It is how your body works. Even if you don't count calories, your body does.
Your weight is a result of the amount of calories you eat minus the amount of calories you burn. That it. Your health is affected by the nutrients in your food, but your weight is affected only by the calories in your food.
Oh, I know that this special tip from my doctor to lose weight for free was to eat a salad before I ate what I wanted, but since I do so well throughout the day, I can replace the salad with fruit. I can also add an oil-based salad dressing if I measure it out so I don't use too much because I know I have room for a small meal.
Okay, let's cover how to lose weight for free throughout the day.
First, that life-changing tip my doctor gave me applies just as well to meals throughout the day as it does to a late evening meal or snack.
You have to know yourself and your weaknesses!
I get deathly hungry at night, not during the day. I can fast till dinner on almost any given day without struggling with hunger at all. That's not healthy, so I don't do it, but it's not hard for me to do.
On the other hand, despite the facts that my children have my genes and that they see me eat at night, even my very active, large-appetite teenage boys don't get hungry at night like I do.
Do you eat too much at meals? Do you have problems avoiding snacks?
You have to know yourself; know what you're up against.
I once read a web site on dieting, and the fellow who wrote it said that he does best when he eats breakfast at around 10:30 in the morning and dinner at 7 pm. I don't have that luxury because I have a large family that I want to eat dinner with, but that schedule works amazingly well for me. It even helps me avoid eating at night because dinner is so late.
Others can't do that.
So I'm going to address two more problems. How to avoid overeating at meals and how to avoid overeating snacks.
For some of you, the problem with losing weight is that you have a ravenous appetite at meals.
I understand. My doctor told me that if I were running 5 miles a day, it wouldn't matter what I ate.
I laughed, and I told him, "My dad came to visit me a few years ago. He was at our house for 3 weeks, and I love his cooking. During those 3 weeks, I ran 90 miles, and I gained 6 pounds."
That really happened.
Back when I was first trying to lose weight, I had a restaurant date with some friends. I knew that I wouldn't be able to control myself at the restaurant, so I fasted all day, which, as I said earlier, is easy for me.
At the restaurant I had a large appetizer, a steak (with vegetables, not fries), and a dessert they call a chocolate tall cake.
When we got home I looked up the food I'd eaten on the restaurant's web site: 4,000 calories total.
I weighed about 180 lbs. at the time, which means that I was burning 2800 calories or so per day, not including exercise. If I remember correctly, I was running about 3 miles per day at the time, so I had burned an additional 350 calories.
That's 3,150 calories burned for the day and 4,000 eaten. And that's if I didn't have a late night snack or meal afterwards. I was 850 calories in the wrong direction, which means I'd gained a quarter pound that day even though I'd fasted all day and ran 3 miles.
Don't tell me you can eat whatever you want if you're running 30 miles per week.
If you're like me, here's what you need to do:
It's amazing what meals turn out to be healthy and low-calorie. Chili, spaghetti, and grilled pork chops are all somewhat low-calorie and somewhat healthy. (Pasta really is just about useless for your health, but if you only eat some, and you burn the calories you take in, it's alright.)
Use the form at the bottom of this page to ask Doug and I and whoever else reads this page about other foods, and we'll make this page an excellent resource for tasty, healthy, low-calorie meals.
You have to make use of all three of those tips to lose weight for free! You can't do just one! Remember, you want to be doing this for the rest of your life, so it has to be pleasant and easy!
It's hard to organize a page well when there's lots of information. There's a section below on overcoming ravenous hunger. It has an additional tip that will help.
Let me right to the point: you should eat something healthy and filling before you snack.
What's important here is that it is before you snack rather than instead of snacking.
The reason is psychological. The thought of eating an apple or an almost-zero-calorie salad in the place of a snack is tough. The thought of eating that apple or almost-zero-calorie salad before eating what you want is not difficult at all.
At least that's what I've found, and the 2 or 3 people I've had time to suggest this to since seeing my doctor have agreed.
Eat enough fruit or salad with a low or no-calorie dressing to stave off any appetite problems.
The point, of course, is to avoid binging. Almost anyone can slowly lose weight if they don't binge and if they don't eat multiple sugary snacks every day. Almost anyone can get away with one 200-calorie candy bar or equivalent, even every day, if they are eating reasonable, healthy meals and not adding a lot of food at night.
You don't have to skip snacking; you just have to snack reasonably.
Personally, I believe ravenous hunger is usually and perhaps almost always caused by some sort of nutritional deficiency. A lot of nutritionists would agree with me.
That's why some people do much better on a programmed diet like the Page Diet we recommend. It's designed not just to lose weight, but to provide comprehensive nutrition and address the toxins we consume in American life. Thus, your efforts to lose weight for free will be enhanced because your cravings will be dealt with.
If you want to lose weight for free, you're going to have to attack your eating difficulties from every direction. Exercise, for example, helps control appetite, and it also helps you crave the right foods.
However, the best way to defeat cravings and to lose weight for free is to eat comprehensively so that your nutritional needs are met. Thus, your body won't need to crave food because it has what it needs.
Here's how the craving works ...
Obviously, the way to break that cycle is to give your body the nutrient it wants.
Very often, poof!, your craving for food goes away.
So how do you find that nutrient?
You eat an all around balanced diet. And, you try these super foods:
I simply never recommend supplements. I refuse. I want to have a diet good enough that I don't need them, and I want you to do the same.
That list is supplements. Get your supplements from food.
Having said that, I'm going to violate it. If you can't endure fish, taking fish oil capsules may do the job. In fact, it will do a better job that eating fish that isn't fatty like whitefish or Tilapia or tuna from the grocery store. (There is tuna sold with fat in it, but it's expensive and you'll probably have to order it online.)
Also, after you're eating the foods from the list above, you could try a daily vitamin that has things like copper and silicon. Look for them on the label.
I used to read Peak Performance, a magazine for athletic trainers, every month for years. Over and over again physical therapists wrote articles on minerals that were important for professional athletes, minerals like magnesium and chromium. Over and over again, they would list foods that provide that mineral at the end of the article.
Over and over again, pumpkin seeds were at the top of the list.
You should find a way to eat them. I like them, so I eat a handful each day. Many people don't like them. You can sprinkle them in your salad. Crush them up a bit and drink them down like they're pills. I don't care how you do it, you should do it. Maybe a tablespoon a day at least.
Almonds were right behind them.
Fish have all sorts of things in them that you don't get from other foods. Unfortunately, nowadays that can also include mercury, so don't overdo it. Omega 3 fatty acids are one of the more important ones.
Fat can be good for you, you know. That's why some fats are called essential fatty acids.
Don't forget to go to our Free Diet Tips page. There's more tips there, and they are VERY helpful. Some of them are duplicated from this page.