15 Best Diet Tricks to Lose Weight

by John Staughton (BASc, BFA) last updated -

The desire to lose weight is something that unifies people all over the globe, and with the rates of obesity consistently rising, there are always new and creative strategies to lose weight quickly and easily. Whether you are considering using the latest diet trick online or the hot new diet recommended by nutritional experts, it is best to be informed. Depending on what kind of weight you are looking to lose, or how fast you are expecting results, your choice of diet program or strategy will be different.

Best Diet Tricks

Some of the most trusted diet tricks are a mixture of lifestyle habits, dietary choices and physical activities, including cutting back on alcohol, increasing protein intake, watching less television, shrinking your portion sizes, avoiding snacks, diversifying your exercise, adding salad, walking more and many other simple approaches.

Walk More

Increasing your amount of physical activity is an important part of any weight-loss effort, and walking is often the simplest way to boost your metabolism and passively burn calories. Avoid taking elevators, cars or public transportation (if possible). Most experts recommend 10-15,000 steps per day for measurable weight loss.

A picture representing a balanced diet with fruits, vegetables, oil, cheese, bread, egg, and nuts.

A balanced diet should contain vegetables, fruits, fats, proteins and carbs. Photo Credit: Shutterstock

Increase Protein Intake

By increasing your protein intake, and reducing your carbohydrates, your body will benefit from a better source of energy that can help with growth and development, and is less likely to be stored by the body as fat. This will also increase muscle development if you are working out in addition to dieting. [1]

Avoid Television

If you automatically sit down in front of the television for hours every night, break the habit and do something that encourages more physical activity, and makes it less convenient to snack mindlessly in front of your favorite TV show.

Reduce Portion Size

Dieting can be a psychological battle, and one way to fool the body into think that it’s full is to simply shrink some of your portions, or even use smaller plates, which will reduce your overall calorie intake. [2]

Healthy Snacking

Stop buying salty snacks and filling your cupboards with temptation. If you don’t have access to that type of food, you will have to consider each time you eat snacks, rather than an easy and unconscious behavior. Furthermore, don’t snack close to bedtime, as the body is less able to digest that food, leading to a higher rate of fat deposition. [3]

Dynamic Exercise

You should definitely be exercising in addition to your diet, but it is important to vary your exercise styles, including cardiovascular training and resistance training. Your body will become accustomed to physical activity, but if you change the way you work out, it will keep your metabolism dynamic and responsive.

Eat Salads

Not only are vegetables packed with minerals that your body needs, but they are also high in dietary fiber, which can help to fill you up and prevent overeating, as well as snacking between meals.

Avoid Alcohol

One of the worst things you can do for dieting efforts is to consume an excessive amount of alcohol. Booze is filled with calories, and the nature of alcohol is that you often lose track of how much you have consumed, compromising your weight-loss goals before they can even get underway. [4]

Drink More Water

Similar to eating a salad at the beginning of your meals, drinking more water in the 30 minutes before your meal, and while you eat, can help your stomach fill up and prevent overeating. [5]

Count Your Savings

Being on a diet requires motivation and actual results. If your physical results aren’t immediately apparent, you can keep your determination up by seeing how much money you’ve saved by eating less and not eating out at restaurants as often.

Workout/Diet Journal

Holding yourself accountable is a powerful way to inspire change in your life. Take notes on the exercise you do and the food you eat each week. This way, when you do or do not see the results of your diet, you have an explanation of why, and you will know how to do better next week.

Get More Sleep

When the body is deprived of sleep, it doesn’t have time to recover its energy, which can cause excess stress hormones in the body. This will stimulate the body to store more fat, which can run counter to your weight-loss goals. [6]

Eat Out Less

When you eat at restaurants, it may be convenient, but there is no real way to know how your food is being prepared, or how many calories it contains. This can wreak havoc on your calorie goals of the day, and compromise your weight-loss efforts.

Frequent, Tiny Meals

If you want to stimulate your metabolism through your diet, eating smaller meals more often throughout the day can keep your stomach working and will aid your overall weight loss, rather than large, concentrated meals 1-2 times per day.

Avoid Sugary Sodas

Sugar heavy sodas and desserts should be eliminated whenever possible, as these provide little more than empty calories and will contribute to weight gain, as well as your risk of diabetes. [7]

Best Diet Programs

Some of the best diet programs you can use are the volumetric diet, the TLC diet, the Weight Watchers diet, the TIE diet, the Mayo Clinic diet, the Ornish diet, and the HMR program. While the tips outlined in the section above are great to support and add to your consistent weight loss, these more formal diet programs have specific guidelines on the types and quantities of food you eat, and some are also paired with recommended exercise regimens.

Volumetric Diet

One of the more unusual diets out there, it has also been proven to be quite effective. Based on eating foods that are lower in density, the volumetric diet was developed by researchers at Penn State University and has found success with many people. For example, losing weight would be the result of eating soup, water-rich vegetables, whole grains, beans, and lean meat, rather than rice, pizza, bread and red meat.

Weight Watchers Diet

For decades, this diet has been followed by millions of people, but its recent reinvention of itself has drawn in even more followers. Encouraging people to eat whatever they want, but restricting their intake to a points system, this diet also pushes physical activity in various ways. This diet is more intensive in terms of recording everything you eat and following a strict plan, but for people who want constant support and guidance every step of the way, this is an excellent option. The “no foods are forbidden” rule also makes this a popular choice for many people. [8]

Flexitarian Diet

This is for people who generally want to replace meat with high-protein substitutes, such as beans, legumes, tofu and eggs, but who aren’t completely opposed to ever eating meat again. For those who are looking to eat healthier, without making a “moral” decision about their meat intake, this diet is ideal. [9]

HMR Program

Instead of restricting the amount of food you eat, the HMR program restricts the types of foods you eat, encouraging you to eat as many weight-loss foods (e.g., vegetables, fruits, seeds, legumes) as you want to feel full and maintain your desired energy levels, but many types of food are strictly prohibited. This is also a heavily guided and regimented diet program. [10]

Ornish Diet

This diet puts a strong focus on beans, legumes, whole grains, fruits, and vegetables, with no limits on your intake of these items. Low-fat dairy products are allowed in moderation, but should only make up approximately 10% of your diet. [11]

Mayo Clinic Diet

This is a comprehensive, lifelong diet that includes best dietary and exercise practices, as well as probing deeper behavioral changes, such as inner motivation to lose weight. There is also a guided food pyramid that should shape your food choices. The focus of this diet is on eating high amounts of low-energy-density foods, as well as exercising at least 30 minutes every day. [12]

TLC Diet

Standing for “Therapeutic Lifestyle Changes”, the TLC diet is focused on reducing cholesterol levels, which can make a huge difference in your weight-loss efforts. By cutting out saturated fats and replacing them with fruits, vegetables, and low-fat dairy products, you are able to see significant and rapid weight loss. [13]

Diets Recommended By Nutritionists

When it comes to the top diets recommended by experts, you would be wise to choose the Mediterranean Diet, the DASH Diet or the MIND Diet. Thousands of nutritionists and experts have weighed in and found these unique diet approaches to be the best for healthy, long-term weight loss.

Mediterranean Diet

Considered one of the best possible diets for weight loss, the Mediterranean diet is largely plant-based but is named for the countries near the Mediterranean, where this type of diet has kept those people thin for generations. Most of your food intake consists of vegetables, fruit, fish and whole grains, but very little red meat or poultry. [14]


DASH stands for Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension, considering that heart complications and high blood pressure are responsible for hundreds of thousands of deaths each year. This diet focuses on lowering your sodium intake, which can cause hypertension, to very strict levels. By holding your daily intake to less than 2,400 milligrams of sodium per day, you will seriously boost your heart health and lower your risk of diabetes. Low-sodium foods also tend to be good for weight loss, and relatively low in calories. [15]


As the name implies, the MIND diet centers on foods that are good for your cognitive health. Using certain elements of the Mediterranean diet, this diet includes many berries, cruciferous vegetables, nuts, and olive oil. This diet is ideal for people as they age and want to lose weight, while also protecting their long-term cognitive abilities, preventing conditions like Alzheimer’s and dementia. [16] [17]

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About the Author

John Staughton is a traveling writer, editor, publisher and photographer with English and Integrative Biology degrees from the University of Illinois in Champaign-Urbana (USA). He co-founded the literary journal, Sheriff Nottingham, and now serves as the Content Director for Stain’d Arts, a non-profit based in Denver, Colorado. On a perpetual journey towards the idea of home, he uses words to educate, inspire, uplift and evolve.

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