5 Small Areas to Focus on When You Want to Start Ditching Pounds (& Protect the Weight Loss)

I am trying to lose 35 pounds and it is going so, so slowly — about a pound a week. Any shortcuts that will get me to my goal more quickly?

Bravo for working to reclaim your health. Losing a pound or two a week is a proven way to shed weight and keep it off. If you lose weight too quickly your body fights to retain and regain it. It's a simple matter of self-preservation left over from ancient times when quick weight loss was a sign you were in danger of starvation. That said, there are some pretty nifty ways to streamline your weight loss effort.


Ditch alcohol for a month: It's sugary and metabolism-slowing. Removing it initially (and always being moderate later) will help your efforts.

Time of Day

Don't eat after 7 p.m. and eat most of your day's calories before 3 p.m. Dr. Mike's book "What to Eat When" explains why timing your meals matters so much. Hint: It puts you in sync with your internal body clock—and that influences your weight gain—and loss.


Drink coffee, with no sugar or fatty dairy added. It boosts metabolism, suppresses appetite and, says the Mayo Clinic, it may offer protection against type 2 diabetes.

Protein (and Fiber)

Eat lean protein from salmon and plants and fiber-dense foods like broccoli and 100% whole grains at every meal. That protects your digestive system, stabilizes your glucose levels, and helps retain and build muscle.


Stay well-hydrated with water. You may mistake thirst for hunger, making you eat more than you need. The rule of thumb is to never feel thirsty — and that means a basic daily intake of at least 64 ounces of water (food contributes some), increasing your intake as needed when you exercise and sweat.

Is Your Stomach Cramp Actually Diverticulitis?

It may not just be indigestion.

We've all been there — we get a cramp in our stomach, maybe with some nausea or constipation. It's easy to think it may just be indigestion. But what if it's something more serious like diverticulitis? That's a condition of inflammation or infection in one or more small pouches that can form in your digestive tract. Here's how to tell the difference between the pain and how to know when you should see a doctor.