When it comes to weight-loss advice, it seems everyone's an expert. 'Cardio kickboxing,' enthuses your fanatically fit co-worker. "A vegan diet," chants your blissed-out brother. "Grapefruit and black coffee," confides your know-it-all neighbor (never mind that she's lost and re-gained the same 20 pounds at least a dozen times).
But when you're serious about a healthier lifestyle, you need tips you can trust. And what better source than people just like you? I'm talking about your fellow Weight Loss Clinic members, who often share their tried-and-true weight-loss "secrets" on our message boards.
Here are our nutritionist-approved picks for the top 10 member tips. Try any or all of them, and who knows, soon you might be the one dispensing pearls of weight-loss wisdom.
1. Follow your bliss. Instead of wracking your brain to figure out what type of exercise you might enjoy, member WaltzingMatilda suggests you start with fun, then see if exercise follows! "For example, I find gardening fun. Turns out gardening is great exercise," she writes. "I also like shopping. Turns out that if you do hours of walking, that's a decent workout [and strive for a brisk pace]! Lots of folks love dancing, or even bowling!"
2. Put veggies first. "When planning a meal, plan it around veggies, fruits, and whole grains rather than around the protein portion," suggests gmacfad. "That way, the emphasis right from the start is on the healthier and more satisfying foods. And when eating a meal, I always eat my vegetables first. That way if I get full before the plate is gone, it's meat or starches that are left, not the so-good-for-me veggies."
3. Be a kid again. "Not getting enough time with the kids? I certainly don't," says WaltzingMatilda. So this member turns on some of her son's music and dances with him for an hour to get her heart pumping.
4. Be realistic. After starting the program with hopes of losing lots of weight in a hurry, member devochka learned from her mistake: " When I realize how long it took for me to put the weight on, it seems pretty silly to think it would come off in a few months."
5. Just do it. Tempted to skip your workout? So is member trillium8, who says, "After dinner, I feel more like relaxing than going out in the cold and snow. But I say to myself 'Don't think about if you feel like doing it, just do it!' and go out the door for a walk. And I never regret it!"
6. Make chores count. Since housework always needs doing, why not make it a workout? Member WaltzingMatilda suggests striving for "non-efficiency" when you clean: "Bring up only one basket of clothes from the basement at a time, and vice versa down the stairs … Don't bring a whole basket of cleaners around the house -- bring just the dusting stuff, dust, then go back for the window cleaner, etc." You get the idea.
7. Find your center. "To succeed at any change in your habits, you have to seriously investigate why you have those habits, you have to understand the relationship between your habits and your desires and goals, and, essentially, you have to commit to being balanced. Accept that all you can control in life is your own attitude. Don't look to anyone else to fix you; don't tell yourself it will be a better time when external circumstances are not so heavily against you, etc. Just focus … on the path you want to be on, and put one foot in front of the other," writes ignoranceisbliss.
8. Plan ahead. "I always try to plan my meals for the next day ahead of time, figure out how I will journal it etc. Also, if I know that at the end of my week, I will go out to dinner or whatever, I try to think of what foods I need to save until then to be able to have what I want," writes mushroomgirl.
9. Shop smarter. "Try to use a handheld basket while grocery shopping whenever possible. My hubby likes that trick -- he also goes more frequently and buys less (and fresher) food that way too!" writes WaltzingMatilda.
10. One day at a time. "My advice is to take it one day at a time. When I think of eating well for the next 40 years, it's incomprehensible. But I can manage eating well for today and make plans for tomorrow," suggests Dog Lady13.
Feeling inspired? Visit out our message boards and share your own tips.