As an actual diet doctor, I've spent the past decade helping people lose weight, and I've learned a lot in the process. Many of my patients were successful, many regained weight, and some didn't lose much weight at all. In the process, I learned a lot about successful long-term weight loss in the real world -- not TV weight loss; not celebrity weight loss, which usually includes private chefs, trainers and nannies, but rather weight loss for real (often stressed out and overworked) people trying to lose weight while living their lives. This kind of weight loss includes monthly challenges like holidays, vacations, loss of motivation, and even changes in the weather that affect exercise. In addition, working as a part-time writer, diet and nutrition media expert, and TV host that evaluates almost every diet out there, I've also realized that there is no one-size-fits-all when it comes to dieting -- most diets will work for some people some of the time. So rather than tell you what to eat, I thought I would share what I believe are seven of the best tips for losing weight, and keeping the weight off, no matter what diet you choose to follow.
Pump up the volume of meals.
We eat approximately the same volume of food every day, so including foods with lower calorie density (calories per gram) is essential unless you eat very small portions (like the French). Foods that have lower calorie densities are high in water (fruits, vegetables, soup, low-fat or fat-free dairy), high in fiber (whole grains, beans, fruits, and vegetables) and lower in fat. Foods that do not contain water, like dry salty snacks, crackers, and dense baked goods have a higher calorie density even if they are fat-free, and portions need to be carefully controlled. By permanently modifying meals and recipes to include more low-calorie-density ingredients, you don't have to cut portions to lose weight and keep it off, and eating well is much more live-able.