When your body has to use stored fat for fuel, you lose weight. Low-carb diets such as the South Beach, Nutrisystem and Atkins diets may also help stabilize your glucose levels, which can prevent cravings for sweets -- cravings that can lead to overeating and weight gain.
Low-carb diets can be high in protein and fat, so you'll want to talk to your doctor before beginning a low-carb eating plan, especially if you have a history of kidney problems.
Avoid foods that quickly convert to sugar, also known as glucose. Sugar is a type of carbohydrate -- a simple carbohydrate that your body does not have to work very hard to turn into glucose.
Foods that turn into glucose quickly cause your blood sugar level to spike, releasing insulin to move glucose into your cells. Glucose that your cells doesn't use immediately for energy is stored as fat.
All types of sugars, including natural sugars such as honey and maple syrup, fruits, starchy vegetables and foods made from refined flour -- breads and pastas -- will quickly raise your blood sugar. Choose high-fiber carbohydrates that are packed with essential nutrients. Cut back on your consumption of refined, processed foods with added sugar, but don't limit complex carbs -- eat vegetables, fruits, legumes and some whole grains. You might be tempted to eliminate carbs entirely for rapid weight loss, but don't.
Put away the food scale "Portion control isn't about measuring; it's about ordering two appetizers instead of an entrée and cutting back on bread if you have pasta. Stash fruit "Keep fruit at work. It helps during the I-need-chocolate part of the afternoon. Shake chocolate "When I'm trying to drop a few pounds, I carry around a shaker cup of chocolate protein powder.
If I'm ravenous, I add the water, and it fills me up so I don't eat something high-calorie instead. Set limits, then go nuts! It's almost impossible to overeat. Floss for dessert "Brushing my teeth after dinner makes me less likely to eat again before I go to bed.
Take a 'before' photo "Before I got in shape, a friend convinced me to take photos of myself wearing nothing but a sports bra and underwear. Frazier, Health assistant fitness editor. Break out the skinny jeans "Wear something tight! It provides the extra bit of motivation to lay off the fries.
Pitcher this "Fill a pitcher with water and cucumbers. Set aside leftovers "Serve yourself, then immediately pack the leftovers in a Tupperware container and store in the fridge. Get enough sleep "Sleep is a cornerstone of weight management because of the impact it has on your hormones that control how you burn fat, how you store fat, and how you're maintaining muscle.
What Works, What Doesn't.