Q. I need to lose a lot of weight, and I’m making progress. We’re going to Disneyland on Dec. 3, and my goal is to be under 300 pounds by then. I’ve followed many You Docs suggestions, especially walking 10,000 steps a day (11,472 yesterday!). At first, the pounds flew off. But now it’s slowed down. I currently weigh 315. How do I lose more and keep it off?
— Barry S., Whitehall, Pa.
A. Great questions! So we’re devoting some extra space to the top 20 waist-loss tips from one of our best-sellers (thanks, all!), “You: On a Diet.”
1. Eat five or six times a day so you’re never hungry — three meals, and two or three snacks.
2. Close the kitchen three hours before bedtime.
3. Choose a few healthy meals each week for breakfast, lunch and dinner, and stick with them. Fewer choices equals less temptation.
4. Ditto with snacks.
5. Always keep your meal/snack foods around, so you’re never caught without healthy options.
6. Stash these for hunger emergencies: apples, almonds, walnuts, edamame.
7. Read the ingredient labels on everything in your kitchen, fridge, desk drawer, wherever you keep food. If any of the following are in the first five ingredients, throw it out!
8. Use heart-healthy olive or canola oils instead of butter.
9. Use a 9-inch luncheon/salad plate for meals. Smaller plates equal smaller portions.
10. Don’t go back for seconds.
11. Don’t keep platters of food on the table.
12. At restaurants, ask for half portions; have the other half boxed in advance to take home ...
13. ... or share your order with a companion,
14. ... or eat a healthy appetizer and soup or salad instead of an entree.
15. Eat far more plants and fish than animals.
16. Eat far more birds than beasts.
17. Keep portion sizes sane (not the gigundo ones restaurants serve). Some samples: chicken or fish should equal a deck of cards; baked potato should equal a computer mouse; brown rice or whole-wheat pasta should equal a baseball; fruits and vegetables should equal a fist; 100 percent whole-grain muffin should equal a tennis ball; cheese (low/no-fat) should equal four cubes the size of dice; peanut butter should equal a golf ball; oil should equal a poker chip.
18. Walk every day, no excuses! Build up to 30 minutes a day.
19. When you’re doing a brisk 30 minutes, buy a pedometer and build up to 10,000 steps a day. That’s your ultimate goal. It benefits every cell of your body and is vital for lasting diet success.
20. Stretch for a few minutes after walking. It keeps your muscles limber and has a meditative element that helps you resist cravings.
The YOU Docs — Mehmet Oz, host of “The Dr. Oz Show,” and Mike Roizen of Cleveland Clinic — are the authors of “YOU: Losing Weight.” For more information go to www.RealAge.com.