Easy Ways to Lose Weight: 50+ Ideas

You know the drill when it comes to losing weight -- take in fewer calories, burn more calories. But you also know that most diets and quick weight-loss plans have about as much substance as a politician's campaign pledges. Here are more than 50 easy ways for you to finally lose the weight.

Adapted from Stealth Health (Reader's Digest Association Books)

31. Eat fruit instead of drinking fruit juice. For the calories in one kid-size box of apple juice, you can enjoy an apple, orange, and a slice of watermelon. These whole foods will keep you satisfied much longer than that box of apple juice, so you’ll eat less overall.

32. Spend 10 minutes a day walking up and down stairs. The Centers for Disease Control says that’s all it takes to help you shed as much as 10 pounds a year (assuming you don’t start eating more).

33. Eat equal portions of vegetables and grains at dinner. A cup of cooked rice or pasta has about 200 calories, whereas a cup of cooked veggies doles out a mere 50 calories, on average, says Joan Salge Blake, R.D., clinical assistant professor of nutrition at Boston University’s Sargent College. To avoid a grain calorie overload, eat a 1:1 ratio of grains to veggies. The high-fiber veggies will help satisfy your hunger before you overeat the grains.

34. Get up and walk around the office or your home for five minutes at least every two hours. Stuck at a desk all day? A brisk five-minute walk every two hours will parlay into an extra 20-minute walk by the end of the day. And getting a break will make you less likely to reach for snacks out of antsiness.

35. Wash something thoroughly once a week—a floor, a couple of windows, the shower stall, bathroom tile, or your car. A 150-pound person who dons rubber gloves and exerts some elbow grease will burn about four calories for every minute spent cleaning, says Blake. Scrub for 30 minutes and you could work off approximately 120 calories, the same number in a half-cup of vanilla frozen yogurt. And your surroundings will sparkle!

36. Make one social outing this week an active one. Pass on the movie tickets and screen the views of a local park instead. Not only will you sit less, but you’ll be saving calories because you won’t chow down on that bucket of popcorn. Other active date ideas: Plan a tennis match, sign up for a guided nature or city walk (check your local newspaper), go cycling on a bike path, or join a volleyball league or bowling team.

37. Order the smallest portion of everything. If you’re ordering a sub, get the 6-inch sandwich. Buy a small popcorn, a small salad, a small hamburger. Studies find we tend to eat what’s in front of us, even though we’d feel just as full on less.

38. Switch from regular milk to 2%. If you already drink 2%, go down another notch to 1% or skim milk. Each step downward cuts the calories by about 20 percent. Once you train your taste buds to enjoy skim milk, you’ll have cut the calories in the whole milk by about half and trimmed the fat by more than 95 percent.

39. Take a walk before dinner. You’ll do more than burn calories — you’ll cut your appetite. In a study of 10 obese women conducted at the University of Glasgow in Scotland, 20 minutes of walking reduced appetite and increased sensations of fullness as effectively as a light meal.

40. Substitute a handful of almonds in place of a sugary snack. A study from the City of Hope National Medical Center found that overweight people who ate a moderate-fat diet containing almonds lost more weight than a control group that didn’t eat nuts. Really, any nut will do.

NEXT: 10 more easy ways to lose weight