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)

41. Eat a frozen dinner. Not just any frozen dinner, but one designed for weight loss. Most of us tend to eat an average of 150 percent more calories in the evening than in the morning. An easy way to keep dinner calories under control is to buy a pre-portioned meal. Just make sure that it contains only one serving. If it contains two, make sure you share.

42. Don’t eat with a large group. A study published in the Journal of Physiological Behavior found that we tend to eat more when we eat with other people, most likely because we spend more time at the table. But eating with your significant other or your family, and using table time for talking in between chewing, can help cut down on calories — and help with bonding in the bargain.

43. Watch one less hour of TV. A study of 76 undergraduate students found the more they watched television, the more often they ate and the more they ate overall. Sacrifice one program (there’s probably one you don’t really want to watch anyway) and go for a walk instead. You’ll have time left over to finish a chore or gaze at the stars.

44. Get most of your calories before noon. Studies find that the more you eat in the morning, the less you’ll eat in the evening. And you have more opportunities to burn off those early-day calories than you do to burn off dinner calories.

45. Close out the kitchen after dinner. Wash all the dishes, wipe down the counters, turn out the light, and, if necessary, tape closed the cabinets and refrigerator. Late-evening eating significantly increases the overall number of calories you eat, a University of Texas study found. Stopping late-night snacking can save 300 or more calories a day, or 31 pounds a year.

46. Sniff a banana, an apple, or a peppermint when you feel hungry. You might feel silly, but it works. When Alan R. Hirsch, M.D., neurological director of the Smell & Taste Treatment and Research Foundation in Chicago, tried this with 3,000 volunteers, he found that the more frequently people sniffed, the less hungry they were and the more weight they lost — an average of 30 pounds each. One theory is that sniffing the food tricks the brain into thinking you’re actually eating it.

47. Order wine by the glass, not the bottle. That way you’ll be more aware of how much alcohol you’re downing. Moderate drinking can be good for your health, but alcohol is high in calories. And because drinking turns off our inhibitions, it can drown our best intentions to keep portions in check.

48. Watch every morsel you put in your mouth on weekends. A University of North Carolina study found people tend to consume an extra 115 calories per weekend day, primarily from alcohol and fat.

49. Stock your refrigerator with low-fat yogurt. A University of Tennessee study found that people who cut 500 calories a day and ate yogurt three times a day for 12 weeks lost more weight and body fat than a group that only cut the calories. The researchers concluded that the calcium in low-fat dairy foods triggers a hormonal response that inhibits the body’s production of fat cells and boosts the breakdown of fat.

NEXT: Even more easy ways to lose weight