How I Lost 25 Pounds in One Month

In my post, Never Let Yourself Go, Part II – Your Body,  I promised that I would give you the details of my diet from about 10 years ago that led to my losing 25 pounds in one month.  So here they are.

When I discovered that I was, in fact, overweight, I, for the first time in my adult life, found myself in completely unfamiliar territory.  I had always been terribly thin and never had to diet.  I felt I did not have the skills or knowledge necessary to pull this off since I had never done it before – diet, that is.  Then I realized that my mother, God Bless her, had been on a diet for as long as I could remember and, well, it didn’t seem that she really knew what she was doing either.  I mean, if someone is always on a diet, there would seem to be some kind of disconnect there somewhere, right?  So I knew that I didn’t want to do whatever she was doing. 

Then out of the blue, I remembered a comment from my high school Science teacher who said that if you want to weigh 123 pounds, you simply consume the number of calories necessary to sustain your body at 123 pounds.  Eureka!  A scientific formula to which I could relate. 

My teacher was trying to convey to us the scientific principles of calories and energy.  He explained how a skinny person, like me, could eat what seemed like an enormous amount of junk food and never gain weight, while someone who ate what was touted to be a more healthful diet of grains and fruit could be overweight – it’s all in the calories.  Take in more calories than you expend, the body stores the extra energy as fat.  Plain and simple.

Now, if you’ll recall back about 10 years ago, counting calories as a weight-loss method was no longer popular.  In fact, weight management instructors were saying that counting calories was the worst way to try to lose weight.  But I remembered a comment from my college Health and Safety instructor who said that counting calories is the only scientifically proven way to lose weight.  I like science.  So with confirmation of my plan, I set out to find a way to customize a calorie-counting diet to suit my needs and achieve success.

At first, I really didn’t know how much I was supposed to weigh.  I thought, maybe I’m supposed to weigh 150+.  Maybe a Size 10 is right for me at this age.  Wishful thinking, but I knew better.  I worked for an insurance company at the time and was able to get their weight tables used to determine a healthy weight based on height.  This gave me a range.  I then went onto the internet and found a program that would also use my body frame and activity level to get the range a little more narrow.  This gave me a range of 123 to 135.  I decided to shoot for 123, figuring if I fall short – I’ll still be in good shape.  At this point, I needed to lose 26 pounds.

My next step, and this is the critical part, was to determine how many calories I needed to consume to become a 123-pound person.  When most people think of a calorie-counting diet, they immediately think of cutting their calories back to an unsustainable amount – like 1,000 to 1,200 calories a day.  That’s the first place people go wrong.  All you need to do, is determine how many calories your “future self” will be eating when s/he weighs that ideal weight.  This is much easier than you think and is a critical part of the program.

I decided against adding an exercise regimen to my plan in the beginning for two reasons.  One, I had been a member of a gym for several years and every time I stayed with a routine, I gained weight.  Which was part of the reason why I was having to do this to begin with.  I didn’t watch my weight and “treated” myself every time I worked out – adding calories and, apparently, fat.  Plus, and this is reason number two, it was going to be difficult enough just keeping up with the diet.  I wanted to get the weight off first, and then tone my muscle while maintaining my 123 weight.  One thing at a time – focus.

So how does one go about eating like a 123-pound person?  Well, first you have to figure out how many calories will sustain your body at 123 pounds given your height and activity level.  I again, consulted the internet.  There were fewer sources out there back then than there are today, and I have no idea what the one I used was called, but here is one supplied by the American Cancer Society that is easy to use.  Simply enter your goal weight and be honest about your activity level.  I would choose sedentary.  That way, you don’t have to lift a finger if you don’t want to and any exercise you do get would just be icing on the cake.  OH!  That was cruel – sorry!  Moving on to the next step.

Now that you know how many calories you should be consuming, and this is where it starts to get difficult if you let it, you need to keep track – meticulously – of exactly how many calories you consume.  I mean every piece of gum, breath mint, sip of soda – everything.  Here’s what I did.

I started an Excel spreadsheet with each day listed at the top and the meal times at the left side.  The calorie number I was given back then was 1425 calories per day.  I divided that up into 300 calories for breakfast, a 100 calorie mid-morning snack, 300 for lunch, 150 for an afternoon snack, which left a whopping 575 calories for dinner.  In this spreadsheet, I would log my actual calories for each day.  I kept the sheet on a floppy disk, updated it every time I had a meal or snack and took it back and forth with me between work and home.  I counted everything, and ate nothing that I couldn’t get the calorie count for.  If you think this is over the top, just remember that you’re not going to do this part forever.  I only did it for three weeks.  After that, my body was retrained.  We’ll talk more about that in a minute. The next step, was figuring out what to eat.

This could have been the diet breaker if I had allowed it to be.  But I was determined.  As stated earlier, I decided to eat absolutely nothing that I could not get the calorie count for.  So I started out with pre-packaged and frozen meals.  Ten years ago, there were good options in these areas, but not as many as there are today, so I became bored rather quickly.  I then decided to research restaurant caloric charts.  I found a book, which is out of print today, but very similar to the Fast-Food Guide.  I used this book, in addition to as much information I could get both online and in the restaurants regarding the calorie counts of their food.  Again, if I could not get the calorie count, I did not guess, I simply did not eat it.  This is very important.  I’ll explain why a little later.

Armed with a plan, a tracking system, and plenty of choices, I felt that I could stay on the diet as long as necessary as long as I did not become overly hungry or weak.  I did have to adjust my caloric allowances for each meal and snack because eating only 575 calories for dinner was next to impossible.  But I did stick to my daily allowance of 1425 and did not go over – even if that meant going to bed hungry.  I learned that it’s okay to be hungry every once in a while.  Too many of us have the belief that if you’re hungry, there’s something wrong with you, when in reality it only means that your stomach is empty.  It’s a physiological response – that’s it.  It does not mean that you must eat right away! 

Another paradigm shift was realizing how small the difference was between a 150-pound body and a 123-pound body.  This is the reason why keeping a log is so important and sticking to your allotted amount of calories is so important; the number of calories between the two are so small!  One piece of cake or candy, or anything similar really will “blow” your diet.  It could mean starting all over, which is what most people do and become tired of.  Who wouldn’t!  If the reward for something is failure, we soon lose interest in doing that thing. 

For me, right now, an extra 100 calories per day would add 7 pounds to my weight in about a month.  One hundred calories is nothing – and yet everything!  You can use that calculator I gave you above to play around with different weights and calorie ranges.  You’ll notice very little difference in the amount of calories you can consume at various weight levels.  This is why so many people fail on diets – especially calorie-counting diets; they fail to track their calories honestly, and fail to exercise their self-discipline long enough to notice results.  This is also why fad diets work at first, but then eventually fail.  Fad diets usually have you consume or eliminate one particular food group, which causes you to drop your caloric intake for a few days or weeks.  Gradually, however, you resume your original caloric intake, just with different foods.  The diet stops working and you stop the diet.  But if you earnestly count your calories, and you really want to lose weight, my system will work for you.

I also learned what kinds of foods to eat to make my calories last longer and give me more energy.  Foods high in fat and sugar pack a ton of calories with very little benefit.  The proportion of benefit to calories is not worth it.  Foods high in protein and complex carbohydrates gave me plenty of sustainable energy, did not leave me hungry after two hours, and helped me meet my goals easily.  When it came to fast food, I learned very quickly that there were some restaurants I just needed to stay out of  - forever!  Sure, I could have a Big Mac with fries and a coke, but that was almost my entire daily allotment!  I also learned that small changes make a big difference.  For example, when I went to Taco Bell, the new diet meant getting 2 tacos instead of 3, and a diet Pepsi instead of regular.  I had almost as much food, didn’t really miss what I didn’t have, and it paid off big time.

While I’m not a candy or sweets person, I do like peanut M&Ms.  I literally took the calorie count for a package of M&Ms, divided that by the number of them in the package, and had an on-going snack relationship with M&M’s.  I guess I’m lucky to be one of those people who can eat like only 3 at a time.  It would sometimes take me an entire week to finish off one snack-size bag!  But the point is, I ate everything I wanted.  I just paid the price for it and before eating it, debated on whether it was worth the price – just like a really nice clothing item.  I’m sure you’ve done that before; you find a really nice suit or something you like at the department store, try it on, it looks really good, but then you look at the price tag and put it back. You have no problem putting it back on the rack because the price is simply not worth it to you at this time.  Eating can be exactly the same way; is what you’re about to consume really worth being overweight?

Another method I used to be able to eat whatever I wanted was to “save” calories.  This was actually fun.  I had a friend at work who liked to go out on Friday nights.  Her husband always worked a night shift that night, so when my husband was out of town, we would treat ourselves to dinner and a movie.  She was supportive of my diet, but really craving a piece of “Derby pie” from a local restaurant.  We made our plans on Monday, and I started “saving up” enough calories to be able to eat that piece of pie come Friday night.  I called the restaurant on Monday and found out that one serving was 750 calories.  Using my Excel spreadsheet, I decreased my calories just a little each day and each meal until I had exactly 750 saved up.  That was, without, a doubt, the best tasting piece of Derby pie I’ve ever had – before or since!  But the best part was, the next morning, my weight was continuing to fall.  Which brings me to the next topic, I have yet to discuss how quickly the extra weight came off.

It was fast.  My husband went away for two weeks on a business trip.  One of the reasons I decided to start the diet at this particular time was because I knew it would be easier if I had only myself to worry about.  I didn’t have to cook a big meal for him every night so I could get away with my Lean Cuisines.  By the time he returned, I had lost 15 pounds!  He could hardly believe it – he said I looked like a different person.  I could tell a big difference in my clothes, but I had not really noticed a difference in the mirror yet – probably because I was wearing the same clothes.  In about another week I lost the remaining 10 pounds almost effortlessly.  By this time, my stomach had shrunk and my body was adjusting to my new habits.  My system was working and I was working my system, everyone was supportive of me, and I was very pleased with the fast results.  I really lost the weight I wanted to lose in about three weeks, but I stayed on the diet another week to really let it set in.  I wanted to develop the habit of eating like a 123-pound person and wanted to make certain my body had fully adjusted.  I also wanted to make sure I was eating as many calories as I could.  In other words, if I continued to consume 1425 calories every day, would my weight level off at 123 like it was supposed to?  Were the formulas used by the calculators accurate?  The answer, as it turns out, is yes, they were very accurate.

Now, a lot of people who read this will say that losing that much weight in 3 weeks is unhealthy.  I disagree.  I experienced no negative side-effects whatsoever.  I was eating more healthfully than before, overall. Your body will love you for this.  If you think about it, no one’s body wants to be unhealthy.  Your body craves to be strong and dependable. I really didn’t feel like I was depriving myself of that much.  I ate almost as much food as before the diet, and I definitely ate as much as I truly needed to eat.  While I would not, and do not now, eat a steady diet of frozen dinners and restaurant food, it helped my body to realize what amount of food is healthy for me.  When I went off the diet, that is, when I stopped using the Excel spreadsheet, my stomach told me when it was full.  I no longer needed a chart to tell me how many calories were in a menu item because my stomach told me when I had consumed 300 calories.  And the amazing thing was, my body knew the difference between a 300-calorie lunch, a 150-calorie snack, and a 600-calorie dinner.  I had developed good habits through this process that have stuck with me for 10 years now.  I know when I’ve overeaten before getting on the scale.  When my husband and I are planning an evening out and I know I’ll want to order the steak and lobster, I start about a week ahead of time, “saving” enough calories to be able to do that.  I guess my retort to anyone who thinks this diet plan is unhealthy is this:  which is healthier, fast weight loss by creating good habits through the use of some pre-packaged foods and healthy fast-food choices, or being overweight?

My husband used this plan to lose about 20 pounds over a two-week period just a few months ago.  He was suffering from sleep apnea and knew losing weight would make a big difference – and it did.  The sleep apnea is now gone, and he eats whatever he wants but maintains his new weight.  We both weigh two to three times per week, and if we notice a gain, we cut back for the next couple of days.  It’s so easy when you have just a couple of pounds to lose.

For you supplement junkies out there, if you really feel the need to take a pill to lose weight, you can do that with this system – take a good quality multi-vitamin.  I use Centrum – not for weight loss – just for my general health, which is all you really need to do.  Have you ever noticed how all of those pill-based weight-loss systems tell you that if you follow their plan exactly, which includes taking their miracle pill, eat complex carbohydrates, and exercise daily, they will guarantee your weight loss!  And if you don’t do those things the guarantee is voided.  Hello!

I’d like now to summarize this “diet plan” for you.  I’ve shared a lot of insights and might have confused you along the way, so to be sure you understand the process step-by-step, here it is.

Debra’s 7-Step Plan for Achieving Your Ideal Weight

  1. Make a commitment to yourself to become healthy.  Use a daily affirmation like, “I think and eat like a 123-pound person.”
  2. Research your ideal weight.  Some people know the weight at which they feel their best.  If that’s you, use that.  If not, find your ideal weight by clicking here
  3. Look into how many calories will sustain the weight you desire to be.  Click here to find out.
  4. Focus on weight-loss only for now.  You’ll add exercise when you’re ready.
  5. Keep detailed records.  This is the most important part.  You cannot guess or be “close enough” on this one.  Your body’s habits are off – or you wouldn’t have a problem to begin with.  You must use your mind to retrain your body.  If you cheat on this, you’re only cheating yourself and your diet will fail.  Don’t do that to yourself.  You deserve to be healthy.  If you find yourself thinking about cheating, go back to number one and strengthen your affirmation with a reason.  “I think and eat like a 123-pound person because I want to live long enough to see my grandchildren graduate from college.”  Remember, being overweight is an illness that will kill you.
  6. “Save” calories ahead for special treats.  To “cheat” on your diet legally, use your tracking system like a bank account.  Save up enough calories to indulge yourself at a future event.  Don’t allow yourself to consume the calories first, then pay for them the follwoing week.  That doesn’t work and is another source of failure.  Pay for them in advance and only use up what you’ve saved for – think of it like a pre-paid calorie card!
  7. Surround yourself with only supportive people.  If someone says to you, “Wow, what happened to you?  You look bad!  Have you lost weight?  Why?  You didn’t need to lose any weight – you looked terrific before, not you look sick.”  Just ignore them.  They’re either jealous, or have a very twisted view of what a healthy person is supposed to look like.

Good luck and feel free to use the “Comments” link below to ask questions.




Technorati Tags: , ,

You can subscribe to this blog here.

GET THE BOOK   If you’d like to read all my latest success tips and how I’ve applied 20 years of solid business principles and the law of attraction to acquiring the life of my dreams, and am helping others do the same, you’ll want your own copy of Wake Up and Create the Life You Want: A Self-Empowerment Guide.  It comes with my free report on “The Science of Getting Rich.”  Both are downloadable, so you get them immediately, pay no shipping, and it’s only $19.95.

Lose Weight Fast with Hypnosis 

Posted under Education, Inspiration, Motivation, Weight Loss

256 Comments so far

  1. Mandy October 26, 2006 8:51 pm

    Thanks so much for posting this! I know you have explained this to me before, but I never took the time to actually put it into action until now…and it’s working!

  2. Debra Moorhead October 27, 2006 8:49 am

    That’s great, Mandy! Just keep at it until you reach your goal - I know you can do it.

  3. Lena Rae November 1, 2006 10:57 am


    Dr.Moorhead told me about your new blog yesterday. This is very informative and interesting. I have to leave the house right now, but will study this more in depth later. Can’t wait to study your points of interest. Looking forward to learning from you.

    L. Rae

  4. Karen November 1, 2006 2:03 pm


    Great job on this article! It is all laid out so simple. The biggest step is actually taking action and doing exactly what you did during this month.

    Karen Gates
    Negative Calorie Diet

  5. Mari January 22, 2007 11:12 am

    This is a great article. You are a very informative writer, and I appreciate it all!
    Counting calories-what a simple concept! My husband and I are not overweight, but we do have a bit of weight to lose. We started counting calories on Thursday, January 18th. I have lost 5 pounds, and it is so simple. I never paid attention to my calories before, and I think the way I was eating lately would’ve increased my weight by 10 pounds easily. Now, my scale is going down, and I don’t even feel like I’ve put in very much effort.
    Thank you for the incite.

  6. Debra Moorhead January 22, 2007 11:22 am

    That’s great, Mari. I wish everyone could realize how easy this diet plan really is. Good luck to you and your husband.

  7. Helen January 29, 2007 2:54 pm

    I have been doing the low calorie thing since January 2nd, and i’ve lost about 10 pounds over a month. I was only eating about 1000 calories a day though. Is that what was slowing the weight loss down? Will eating more calories according to my goal weight speed up the weight loss?

  8. Debra Moorhead January 29, 2007 3:38 pm


    A lot of nutritionists and physicians who specialize in weight loss say that you should never reduce your calories below 1200 per day because doing so will cause your metabolism to slow down, making your weight loss slower. From a strictly scientific standpoint however, consuming fewer calories should cause faster weight loss. What I would do if I were you, is consider two things. First, how has your energy level been? If you’ve felt sluggish, then you probably are consuming too few calories and your metabolism will kick back in and help you if you consume a few more. Second, I would try consuming the number of calories necessary to maintain my ideal weight and see what happens. It could very well be that you are depriving yourself for nothing. Does that make sense?

    Please keep in touch and let us know what happens. Congratulations on your success this far!

  9. Mari February 6, 2007 7:16 pm

    I just wanted to update you on our progress! My husband Josh has lost 15 pounds, and I have lost 11. It has been about 3 weeks.

    We have not felt deprived or like we are dieting. The only challenge is finding out how many calories are in foods if we decide to go out to eat.

    Thank you so much!

  10. Debra Moorhead February 7, 2007 11:52 am

    That’s awesome, Mari! Keep up the good work and please keep us informed!

  11. Sariah February 22, 2007 3:19 pm

    I have been on a “diet” of some sort since I was 13, just trying to maintain a size 8. I even forced myself to be anerexic for a few years, but psychologically I just didn’t have an eating disorder. All diets include exercise, and I just gain muscle with exercise, I feel better, but my pants size doesn’t shrink with workouts. Thank you for your honesty of your personal experience. Its so simple, I’ve always known this, just never heard any succuess stories and thought it would be a gradual, long drawn out process. I just want to have a closet with one size in it, not maintain a year round wardrobe with size 6 to size 14. I know this will work because like you said its science. Thanks!

  12. Debra Moorhead February 22, 2007 7:49 pm


    Go for it! I’ve heard from a lot more women, in addition to the ones who have posted here, who say that this plan is working for them as well. It’s almost too simple, you know? We think it has to be complicated in order to work, but it doesn’t. If you run into any snags, feel free to e-mail me.

  13. Monica February 23, 2007 12:52 pm

    I just found this website last night and today I decided that I will try it out! My only question is regarding exercise. Usually, I burn about 450 cal. with cardio (stationary bike) per day. How will this effect my weight loss results? Many thanks.


  14. Debra Moorhead February 23, 2007 2:03 pm


    If you have already developed a habit with the stationary bike, and by that I mean you’ve been at it for more than 30 days and YOU LOVE IT, keep doing it. You will simply adjust your caloric intake to allow for it. Most of the current daily calorie needs calculators allow you to choose your activity level. I advise almost everyone to choose “Sedentary,” but you should choose “Moderate.” The most important aspect, is to lose the weight. So if the calories you’re consuming are not causing you to lose within a week, cut them back. Does that make sense?

  15. Trixie February 27, 2007 9:45 pm

    i used the american cancer society website to determine my calorie needs to weigh 110 which is ideal for my height, and it gave me 1,452 calories. For you, you were given 1,425 calories, and i’m sure height plays into this, but why is your calorie amount smaller? I’m 5′2 and a small frame.

  16. Debra Moorhead February 27, 2007 11:52 pm


    Thanks for that question - it’s a good one.

    The calculator that I used 10 years ago is no longer available. I just tried the American Cancer Society’s for my ideal weight of 123 and it calculated 1624, which is probably more accurate. I dropped way down below - like to 114 - before I realized I could afford to eat more calories.

    I suggest you give it a try, but if you have any trouble, let me know so I can try to find another link for everyone.

  17. Trish March 18, 2007 3:13 pm

    First of all- this weight-loss plan is working well for me- I’ve lost about 16 lbs in 24 days, which I am proud of. However, I can never tell whether I’m “plateau-ing” and I feel that I should be losing more weight than I am. Am I doing something wrong and/or is there something I can do to speed up the process? (fyi, I am 170 now, trying to reach 130–lots to go!)

  18. Debra Moorhead March 18, 2007 3:43 pm


    That is awesome – congratulations! Now, don’t get bogged down in terminology from other weight-loss programs. You’re doing great. To keep it going, just keep focusing on your calories. Say to yourself, like 2000 times a day, I think and eat like a 130-pound person. I weigh 130 pounds.” Do you think the 130-pound Trish worries whether she’s doing the “p” word you mentioned? I’m thinking not. Why? Because she’s happy weighing 130 and enjoying food, and enjoying her life.

    Now, I’m going to go a little deeper here. How will you feel once you’ve reached your ideal of 130? Take time to feel that for a moment. Now know this: that same perspective is available to you now. Feel that now. For just a couple of minutes. Then, focus, like a thoroughbred in a derby race, on counting those calories. Enjoy the food you eat, and the calories you consume, from the perspective of the 130-pound Trish. Does that make sense?

  19. Melissa March 26, 2007 10:26 pm

    Hello, I just began working out today. I am a 5ft 1 inch, 20 yr old student that has gained more than the average “freshman 15″… I am currently 150 pounds and trying to get back down to my normal weight of 123. I calculated and my daily intake should be around 1600 calories a day.. I did the math and if I eat 1600 cal. a day (380 calories less than what I’m eating now) and 1 pound = 3500 calories… I would be losing 6.5 pounds in 2 months… can this be right.. because if it is it is very discouraging.

  20. rebecca March 27, 2007 7:47 pm

    i loved the article and it made sense to me.
    I have 10 lbs to lose to be at the high-end of my ideal weight. I’m going to go for 16 and feel great. I’m going to go for it with your plan!

  21. Debra Moorhead March 28, 2007 3:31 pm

    Rebecca - go for it!

    Melissa - so many women have e-mailed me with a similar question.

    EVERYONE - I am working on an update to this article. If the plan is working for you, stick with it. It’s working for hundreds of people now. If you think you’re eating too many calories to achieve your goal fast enough, I’ll explain more on Friday, March 30th.

  22. Jonathan March 31, 2007 11:47 am

    I started an approach similar counting calorie strategy a few weeks before reading this. Your’s seems easier to follow. I printed this to share with my wife. And I will be giving it a 30-day trial the day after Easter. I will be posting my goals and results on my blog. Hope to report back here with success in thirty days.

  23. Debra Moorhead March 31, 2007 12:35 pm

    Good luck to you, Jonathan, and PLEASE keep us informed!

  24. Jonathan April 3, 2007 11:49 am

    Just an update. My wife is following your approach. I looked up my my ideal calorie count and found it to be slightly more than what I had set up for myself, but very close. So, I was doubly confirmed by the count. I have been basically following it for three weeks. I weighed myself on two different scales, so I can’t be totally accurate. According to the scales I lost 11 pounds, but I will give a 5 pound margin of error. So, it could be anywhere between 6 and 16 pounds that I have actually lost. So far, the concept seems to be working.
    Check out if you want to see more details on how I am following the diet.

  25. Jonathan April 3, 2007 11:51 am

    Just an update. My wife is following your article. I looked up my my ideal calorie count and found it to be slightly more than what I had set up for myself, but very close. So, I was doubly confirmed by the count. I have been basically following it for three weeks. I weighed myself on two different scales, so I can’t be totally accurate. According to the scales I lost 11 pounds, but I will give a 5 pound margin of error. So, it could be anywhere between 6 and 16 pounds that I have actually lost. So far, the concept seems to be working.
    Check out if you want to see more details on how I am following the diet.

  26. Debra Moorhead April 4, 2007 10:44 am

    Great, Jonathan! Keep up the good work and please continue to update us. I know you’re doing that on your blog as well. Don’t hesitate to e-mail me if you or your wife run into any stubbling blocks. I’m here to help and want you both to be successful.

  27. Danielle April 13, 2007 1:37 am

    This is very, very encouraging!
    I’ve been trying to lose weight for quite some time now, but it just never seems to come off!
    I’m very good at maintaining a certain weight, but every once and awhile i’ll have a big family weekend or something and what do you know! +3 pounds.
    Basically, that’s what happens to me over and over; maintain for a long time, then gain a bit, maintain for a long time, then gain a bit, etc.
    Over Christmas I decided it was time to put a stop to this, and I began working out more often - probably about 3 times a week for an hour and a half each time.
    But nothing! Nothing at all.

    I’ve been going over and over ideas in my head. Maybe I needed to try some sort of weight loss pill? Or further better my diet?
    Well.. of course that one would help..

    The way this sounds though seems the smartest and safest way. I’m very encouraged by the responses you’ve been getting, as well as by pretty much everything in your article. In fact, I’ve made myself a calorie-counting spreadsheet and you can sure bet I’m starting tomorrow!

    Here’s hoping to being able to comfortably wear a bathing suit for the first time in 3 years!

    I’ll keep you posted on how things go.

  28. Danielle April 13, 2007 1:43 am

    Oh, and by the way, I’m currently 5′5, 150 pounds (up 5 pounds since the beginning of last summer - grrrr!) hoping to be down to 125 by early June.

    Do you think that’s a reasonable goal?

  29. Debra Moorhead April 13, 2007 9:49 am

    Welcome aboard, Danielle! Yes, I do think you have a reasonable goal. I’m just one inch taller and that’s almost exactly what I did in about a month. I really think you’ll have success with this. Feel free to e-mail me with any questions, concerns, or comments.

  30. Devon April 29, 2007 2:06 pm

    If i find the calorie count for every item in a recipe and then made that meal, would the amount that all those calories add up to be accurate for the entire meal? (this is just my second day on the diet)

  31. Debra Moorhead April 29, 2007 8:40 pm

    Yes, Devon, that’s exactly how to do it. Just don’t forget to divide by your portion size (if that applies.)

  32. devon May 7, 2007 11:46 pm

    most of the food in my fridge are frozen waffles and chicken nuggets and those kinds of “junk” food. is that still okay? i have the calorie count for all of it, but i know i’m missing veggies and other things.

    i’ve lost 3 pounds so far!

  33. Debra Moorhead May 8, 2007 6:56 am

    That’s great, Devon! Keep it going. What you’ll find is that the waffles consume a large portion of your calorie count for the day without giving much back in the way of satisfaction. But it’s all okay - whatever you want. You’ll gradually make what you consider to be better choices and trade offs.

  34. Jenni May 16, 2007 4:34 pm

    Hi Debra! Congratulations on your new lifestyle change! (I refuse to call it a diet haha) I hope that over the next few months, I will reach my goal of losing 25 pounds to be down to my ideal weight for my height. I am trying super hard!! Thanks for having this website, it is really great motivation. :D

  35. Debra Moorhead May 16, 2007 5:09 pm

    Thanks, Jenni and please keep us posted on your progress. Motivation is so important - let me know if I can help in any way!

  36. KJ July 11, 2007 12:26 am

    I need to lose 25 lbs and I’m very interested in this diet. I am just so nervous. Is it really as easy as it sounds? I need some suggestions on foods to eat in order to consume 1900 calories daily. Help please!!:)

  37. Debra Moorhead July 11, 2007 6:55 am


    I’ll e-mail you personally on this.

  38. Marie July 15, 2007 7:42 am

    Hey Debra,

    I’ve been doing this diet thing for a little over a week now. I’ve lost 5 pounds and i think that’s really good!

    I thought this would be kidna hard but it’s surprisingly easy for me and i know that i’m gonna keep it up! Thanks so much for letting the world know about this. I was trying to find some sort of diet to do that i didn’t have to pay for. It’s really great for me because i can eat what i want.

  39. Debra Moorhead July 15, 2007 9:58 am

    That’s awesome, Marie! Keep up the good work and let us know from time to time how you’re progressing. Thanks for sharing your information for that, too, will help the world.

  40. KJ July 18, 2007 1:53 am

    Day 3 and still going. I’m really enjoying eating what I want. I haven’t lost anything so far, but hopefully I will see a little weight loss after I complete a week. One thing I noticed and I hope this hasn’t thrown me off, but the online calorie guide that I used doesn’t always match the calorie guide on the restaurant’s actual website. So I’ve been double checking. I don’t know if anyone else is aware of this, but just be careful!

  41. Debra Moorhead July 19, 2007 7:41 am

    Thanks for the tip, KJ. And please keep us posted!

  42. BR July 19, 2007 5:55 pm

    I am 193 lbs. Need to lose 25 lbs. in one month. Will cutting to 1500 cals/day, and 1500 cals. workout each day get me there?

  43. Debra Moorhead July 20, 2007 12:54 pm

    Since 3500 calories equals one pound, and you want to lose 25 pounds in one month, you will need to burn or consume less about 2,900 calories per day. The answer to your question depends upon your age, activity level, and height. You ability to reach your goal will depend upon your willingness to do what is necessary to cut back on or burn that many calories.

    A better option would be to do what I talk about in the article - determine how many calories you need to consume to weight what you want to weigh, then consume that many calories. The time frame just depends on how well you stick to your diet.

    Hope that helps.

  44. KJ July 22, 2007 10:23 pm

    Day 7 and 2 lbs lost!

  45. Debra Moorhead July 24, 2007 8:41 pm

    Congratulations! Keep it going and keep us posted! I am so excited for you, KJ.

  46. Violet July 27, 2007 1:44 am


    I started changing my lifestyle last summer. I was 225 lbs and I began to cut down on my portions and began to exercise a little more. I lost about 45 lbs and currently weigh around 180. I have lost a lot of my motivation because I am feeling lazy and more hopeless. My long-term goal weight is 120 and I am eager to try calorie counting as a new apporach to get me fired up again.
    I will be going to college in Mid-August and I want to be 167 by then. If I follow these rules, do you think that this goal is a possibility? I am going on a vacation for two weeks. Any suggestions on how to handle eating habits with that aspect? Any help would be appreciated!


  47. Debra Moorhead July 27, 2007 5:10 pm

    Whether your goal is obtainable or not just depends upon how willing you are to change your mindset, and how willing you are to seriously count calories.

    Vacation can be the perfect time to start a new diet because you’re less likely to fall back into old habits. Follow the steps listed to determine the number of calories you can consume to weigh 167. Make sure every restaurant you eat at on vacation can give you calorie counts. If I were in your situation, I would use the vacation as an opportunity to “do it right.”

    Good luck and keep us posted!

  48. Lola July 30, 2007 3:45 pm

    Congrats to you on your weight loss. However, it’s silly to suggest that you lost more than 1 lb. of real body weight per day just counting calories. Water weight, maybe. Counting calories is smart, and people can see results in 2 weeks, but it’s more like 2-5 lbs at the most. You shouldn’t mislead your readers this way.

  49. Debra Moorhead July 30, 2007 7:36 pm

    Thanks for comment, Lola. Whether it was water or fat or brain cells or whatever else contributed to my weight, it went away and never came back. I’m just sharing my experiences, here, that’s all!

  50. Lindsay Marie August 1, 2007 1:31 am

    First of all, I would like to thank you for this article and congratulate you on your weight loss. This article has really changed my outlook on dieting. I have been trying to lose weight for several years now and have only managed to gain 20 pounds. I am curently 5′8 and 196 pounds. I would really like to get down to 112.

    I am, what you call, a “yo yo” dieter. I’ll lose 15 pounds and gain it back within a week. This article has really inspired me. I went to the website you sugested and found my calorie intake should be 1478. Normally, I try to keep my calorie intake between 800 and 1000 calories. It will be alot easier to stay on a diet with more calories.

    I’ll be starting classes on August 13 and I’ld really like to lose some weight, perferably 10-15 pounds. I have alot of self-esteem issues and I want to walk into school feeling atleast a little confidant. I have had alot of problems because of my weight. I have been contemplating anorexia and bulimia the last few days. I’ve also been suicidal because of my low self esteem. You really don’t know how much your article has helped me.

    I’m planning on starting my new healthy diet tomorrow. Which is great because it’s August 1.
    Once again, thank you so much and I’ll keep you updated on my weight loss.

    Lindsay Marie

  51. Deborah September 1, 2007 1:08 am

    I’m glad that your theory worked for you, but as you yourself pointed out, each pound of fat is a deficit of 3500 calories. For you to have lost 15 pounds of fat in two weeks (with no exercise) would have required a deficit in calories of 52,500 calories over 14 days, so 3750 per day! At your old weight (149?) you required 2032 calories per day according to the calculator you linked us to, so there was no WAY to have a deficit of 3750 per day unless you ate nothing and exercised essentially nonstop (1700 calories worth).

    If you really knew science like you claim to, you’d know that if you required 2032 calories per day as a 149 pound girl and you only ate 1677 calories as the 123 pound girl of your dreams (the calculator in your link gives me 1677 for a sedentary 123 female even though your story says you got less), you only have a daily deficit of 355 calories or 607 if you used your number, which only averages to about a pound a week at best.

    Also I think that it is not very responsible of you to champion losing an obscene amount of weight each week while saying that “you noticed no negative side effects.” You’re not a medical doctor and you are in no way qualified to make that diagnosis, but you say it as a way to contradict actual medical advice. The fact is that your body CANNOT break down fat that fast so what was lost was probably a lot of muscle. That is the reason doctors say to go slowly, because otherwise your body will break down and use muscle before it goes to your fat cells (it’s called starvation mode, your body thinks it needs to store fat to survive so it goes to your muscles first). You may be 123 pounds now, but I’d bet that if you got a %fat test you’d find that you’re still overfat because your body just used up its muscles. That’s another reason why you are supposed to exercise while you diet, to keep your muscles in use so they’re less likely to be used as energy.

  52. Debra Moorhead September 1, 2007 2:44 pm

    Actually, Deborah, it doesn’t sound like you are all that happy for me afterall.

    My last body fat percentage test, taken July 2007, revealed that I have 18% body fat. My internist was very please with that. As am I.

    I am reminded of a quote from Henry Ford that I cannot find right at this moment, so I’ll paraphrase it: Whether you think you can, or can’t, either way, you’re right.

    I never claim to be a medical doctor or make medical diagnoses. But tell me this, what makes YOU an expert on what MY body can and cannot do?

  53. KJ September 1, 2007 11:22 pm

    Hi! I got off track for awhile, but it’s been about 12 days with strict counting and I’ve lost 9lbs. I’m pleased with how this is going. I have been doing some cardio along with it. It’s working quite well for me.

  54. Debra Moorhead September 3, 2007 7:50 pm

    Thanks for sharing, KJ, and keep us posted! I LOVE success stories. The great thing is you can modify this diet to fit your needs. It’s more about understanding how the process works. Even when you get off track, you know why you’re not losing, and what you need to do to get back on track. You feel more in control, and that’s so important.

  55. Marie September 9, 2007 10:51 pm

    hey it’s me again. i lost this link so i couldn’t find it and post again.
    I now weight 128 pounds and i’m 5′2. So i only have about 10 more to go. I didn’t lose the weight as fast as you did, but i have to admit i got lost on the diet and cheated a bit. but i’m still doing pretty well, i think.

  56. Debra Moorhead September 10, 2007 8:16 am

    That’s great, Marie, it sounds like you’re doing well. Keep in touch!

  57. Drew September 27, 2007 12:22 pm

    Just a couple thoughts…

    To Lindsay Marie: Hang in there girl. Your body is just your outer “jacket.” It isn’t who you are as a person. Your beauty and self worth should in no way be determined by what a scale says or some money grubbing style magazine says. I’ve met plenty of hideous, ugly, cruel creatures with “beautiful” bodies and I’ll take my company with the person with a kind heart and quick mind ten times out of ten, regardless of their “looks.” And there is no way you should be aiming for 112 at 5′8″. You should be aiming for around the 140-150 range. 130 would be the absolute low end.

    Now to the Debra vs. Deborah debate…

    Debra’s calorie counting weight loss plan/theory is sound science and definitely works. There is no way most people are going to loss undesired (i.e. FAT) pounds unless they take stock of how many calories they are throwing into their system. Debra’s right, you need to create a calories deficit for your body to turn to burning its internal energy stores (fat and muscle).

    On the same note, Deborah’s post is also correct. If you are losing more than, at most, 3 pounds per week it is likely water weight, muscle, severed limbs or a combination of the three. Your body simply can’t burn fat that fast. The goal of a weight loss plan shouldn’t just be to see the numbers on the scale go down, but to reshape your body and eliminate unhealthy body fat. To do this, a person should not aim to be sedentary during their diet but to be active and “flex their muscles.” Exercise is so important because it triggers your body to burn fat instead of muscle, stimulates the metabolism to burn calories even when you are at rest, and the activity itself burns calories. Not to mention, exercise strengthens the heart, builds muscle, strengthens bones, and fights stress/anxiety. And if you really want to legitimately lose FAT fast, there are exercise routines that will literally melt it away (check out HIIT).

    I can validate my comments above from my reading and from personal experience. I once did the calorie cutting “starvation” diet and lost 22 pounds in ten days (181 to 159). I felt great when I got on the scale, but when I did a body fat test I was still over 20% (too much for a man). I lost weight, but it was mostly water and muscle. And as soon as I went back to a 2000 cal diet I slowly but surely gained it all back.

    More recently, however, I educated myself and decided to “get in shape” the right way. I dedicated myself to exercising 5x/week and counting and cutting my calories to a slight deficit level (around 1800). Since May, I have seen my weight drop from 190 to 152 pounds. This came out to about 2-3 pounds a week. During this time, I’ve dropped five inches on my waistline and taken my body fat percentage from 23% to 12%. I look great, and ten times better than I did when I just “lost weight.” What’s amazing is that I have now changed my metabolism due to exercise and food choices, so I can actually eat almost as much as I did when I used to be overweight. My body is just a fat burning machine now.

  58. Debra Moorhead September 28, 2007 8:04 pm

    Great job, Drew!

  59. Jen October 2, 2007 12:10 pm

    Hey Debra !
    I am about 5″3 and a half or 5″4 and currently about 143 pounds on a bad day. I would like to be anywhere from 117-122 pounds. Is this possible to do in a month if I STICK WITH YOUR PLAN? I know alot of people can lose 25 pounds in a month because they have MORE TO LOSE … but I only want to lose about 20-25 pounds … how long do you think this will take? I would appreciate any tips or motivation ! Honestly, I will do whatever it takes … I will workout every single day. I just need a good plan and HOPE that it will work. Eating a lot scares me because I think it will cause me GAIN weight so when I put myself on a diet I eat like 800 calories a day. PLEASE HELP ME .. and thank you so much I REALLY appreciate it.

  60. Ashlwy December 5, 2007 1:40 pm

    I am just curious how it is possible that you lost 25 lbs in a month. That girl Amanda on you podcast took 6 months to lose only 10 more pounds than you did…DO you think it was a mental thing or…It seems to me if it was as easy as you say it was for yoiu, more people would be skinnier…but I do not know. I just started today, and I am really excited! I hope I get at least 20 lbs of in the next month, but i it takes me 6 months to lose all 40lbs than I will still be happy. I am going to exercise, but I decided not to try to make it complicated. Just be active every day doing somehting I enjoy (usually my kickboxing videos) and listen to good music…I will no longer starve myself with low carbs, working out like a freak, and no calories…I am tired of losing and gaining weight…I will let you know how it works out…for everyone helps you log your calories…I want to be 120 lbs so I am eating 1400 cals/day and exercising…

  61. Debra Moorhead December 5, 2007 9:17 pm


    I think the reason I lost that much weight in one month was two-fold: First, I was excited about it - the more that came off, the more excited I became about my plan and the more I stuck with it; Second, I didn’t tell anyone. I know that goes against what a lot of people say, but when you start talking about losing weight with other people how does the conversation usually go? Something like, “Wow, that’s going to be really difficult. Good luck with that and let me know how it goes. If it works for you, maybe I’ll try it.” Etc. Etc.

    Focus on your goal and be excited about whatever plan you choose.

    Please stay in touch . . .

  62. Ashlwy December 7, 2007 2:08 am

    day 2 for me…I feel awsome…not deprived but i have been eating more helthy and my meals have been spread over 4-5 a day instead o 3…i feel less bloated…i am trying also to belive that i will lose 25 lbs this month! I think if you believe something it will happen

  63. Debra Moorhead December 7, 2007 8:10 pm

    Thanks for checking in, Ashley - keep up the great thoughts.

  64. Ashley Vega December 15, 2007 1:50 pm

    Hi, everyone! About a month and two weeks I was weighing 155 and I am only 62 inches tall (5′2″). I lost 25 lbs. This diet worked for me. I am now 135 lbs. Which makes me feel good. I also gave up meat, sodas and a lot of the process foods I was eating. Now my goal is to lose ten pounds more. The first two weeks were hard, but I kept on and at the end it is worth it! Thank you so much!

  65. Debra Moorhead December 15, 2007 3:23 pm

    CONGRATULATIONS ASHLEY!!! Thanks so much for sharing your results and feelings about it being worth it in the end. Your comment may just be what someone needs to hear to achieve their own great results. Good luck on the final 10 - not that you need luck - you’ve got science and now great habits on your side. Enjoy life!

  66. Charlotte L. December 16, 2007 10:46 pm

    I just started this diet a day ago. I must be honest, I did not think that it was going to be so fairly easy. I decided to go down to at least 125. I have nothing to lose, but the weight. I followed the calorie count you used ten years ago. I think its a good start. I started on Saturday and I must tell you that I was not hungry at all. I ate healthy food. Drank water. Cut back on sweets, coffee, and sodas. I did not miss it at all. I will continue this and follow any other advise that you can give me to become the future 125 girl I want to be. As of right now, I am five feet and three inches, weighing 160 pounds. I will post my progress every week for the next month. Thank you so much! Charlotte Linemus

  67. Debra Moorhead December 16, 2007 11:06 pm


    Just get excited about your diet, and how good you’re going to feel once you’ve lost the weight. Get excited about every pound. When you get an idea of something to try - do it. I look forward to your checking in every week.


  68. Luce December 18, 2007 12:18 am

    Am starting today!
    Will post progress as much as possible!

  69. Debra Moorhead December 18, 2007 9:57 am

    Thanks, Luce - good luck and yes, please, keep us posted.

  70. lLiz L. December 19, 2007 6:09 pm

    I have a couple of questions that I would love to ask you. When you were doing your diet ten years ago, did you started saving calories on the first week? I am going out with friends this Saturday night, and I have started saving calories. I also wanted to know, how can I use this diet, while working all night? Would my body react to the daily caloric intake as it would as if I was working during the day?

  71. Debra Moorhead December 19, 2007 7:16 pm

    ILiz L.,

    I don’t think I started saving calories the first week, but that doesn’t mean that you can’t. I just didn’t think of it that soon!

    To my knowledge, it would not matter whether your working hours are nocturnal or not. As long as you are working 8 hours and sleeping 8 hours, the calorie counts would be accurate. With that being said, if you are burning the candle at both ends and working 16 hours or more per day, you would be able to afford a few more calories. What I have done in times like that, is take my total calorie count for the day and divide by 16 (normal waking hours). That gives you the number of calories you need per hour to maintain a moderate energy level. Then, for each hour you physically work in addition to that, add that per hour intake. Does that make sense?

    Please stay in touch and let me know how you’re doing.

  72. lLiz L. December 22, 2007 11:57 pm

    I wanted to post that I lost seven pounds this week. I am kind of scare, because I do not want the weight to come back. I am exercising, and eating real healthy. I also started getting this massive headaches and I went to the doctor. I was thinking that it was the diet, but as it turned out to be my wisdom teeth were coming out. So, I had them removed and I am now eating soups and drinking water.

  73. Debra Moorhead December 23, 2007 6:52 pm


    Please don’t be scared. Instead, come at it from the perspective of, “Isn’t this wonderful - I wonder how long I can keep it up? Until my dreams come true, of course!” Amazing results are achievalbe with amazing changes - that’s how it works. Don’t listen to the naysayers - listen to those who have experienced great results, and model them. You are on the right track, all you have to do now is stay on the right track. You can do it.

    Stay hydrated while recuperating from your surgery - just remember to not drink from a straw!

  74. Charlotte December 28, 2007 11:55 pm

    So, I am back here to update people on my weight loss. I have lost 14 lbs. I still have more to go. I am currently going through a rough time, but I am not an emotional eater anymore. I only eat my calorie allotment. Thanks for everything!

  75. Charlotte December 28, 2007 11:58 pm

    Oh, I forgot to mention that I was 160 when I started. I am now down to 146 lbs. In my wild dreams, did I think this could happen!

  76. Debra Moorhead December 29, 2007 8:04 am

    That’s fantastic, Charlotte! Thanks for staying in touch and please continue to do so.

  77. Athina December 31, 2007 1:02 am

    Hi Debra
    I would just like thank you and let you know that your posts are very inspiring especially this one!
    In the last 6 months i have gained 25 pounds. This 25 was actually a 5, but i ended up gaining more everytime i tried to lose weight. I now weigh 135.
    I came across your website about a month ago but decided to start tomorrow as it is a New Year.
    I was wondering what helped you stay motivated during this time?
    Anyways wish me luck!
    Have a very Happy NYE and a year to match.

  78. Debra Moorhead December 31, 2007 1:18 am

    Hi, Athina, and of course, good luck!

    I think the two things that helped me stay motivated were my enthusiasm for the plan - I just knew it would work - and the fact that I didn’t tell anyone - they would just have talked me out of it. The enthusiasm is what took it off so quickly. If you resist the plan, you’ll resist any weight loss as well. So believe in whatever plan - make it yours, keep it to yourself, and get excited over every pound, or just every time you eat right. If you trust in a system, you’ll stick with it.

    But come back here for motivation and encouragement anytime you need it, and please keep in touch!

  79. Debra Moorhead, The Motivation Maven January 3, 2008 9:47 am


    You must use a valid e-mail address from now on to post comments on this post.

    Debra Moorhead

  80. Athina January 5, 2008 7:27 pm

    Im back here to update..
    On the 31st I weighed 134.5 and this morning I am 130.5:)..
    A bit slow for my liking, but it IS coming off and I am not gaining! Very happy about that!!
    Tomorrow I have a family birthday and therefore lots of tempting food. We’ll see how that goes.
    I’ll post soon..

  81. Debra Moorhead, The Motivation Maven January 6, 2008 7:40 am


    You’re doing great and now that you mention it, I had times when it came off slowly, and then times when my weight would drop very fast. So just stick with it - there are so many variables. The key is excitement and enthusiasm for attaining your goal.

    Thanks for posting and keeping in touch–

  82. Athina January 8, 2008 5:42 am

    Hi Debra
    Im back for encouragement!
    The last two days I consumed more calories than needed. Due to this i now weigh 134!
    You said you were enthusiastic and just knew it would work. Im very enthusiastic, but this little set back is very discouraging.
    I think the problem is that im very used to this cycle: losing weight and then putting it all back on.
    Tomorrow im going back to my plan, but seeing the numbers high again is going to be very disappointing. But I will lose the weight (and hopefully soon too:)..). Nothing is impossible!
    Anyways Debra thank you for your advice and words of encouragement.

  83. Debra Moorhead, The Motivation Maven January 8, 2008 8:45 pm


    It might help you to think in terms of weekly calories. If I over-ate one day, I would take the extra calories off over the next 2-3 days. Of course you can always start from where you are, but sometimes a slightly different approach can be encouraging too!

  84. Rosa January 9, 2008 8:44 am

    I wanted to share my story. I started on the 1 of January, 2007 and I weight 143 lbs when I started this diet. Now I am weighing 135 lbs. I have never seen myself weigh so much less. I also wanted to state that I have been stuck in 135.2-135.8. Is there a way to get out of this plateu and continue losing weight? Did you ever found yourself in this situation

  85. Debra Moorhead, The Motivation Maven January 10, 2008 12:16 pm


    Thanks for sharing. You may need to cut your calories back a little more. Is that possible?

  86. Rosa January 24, 2008 6:13 pm


    I am Rosa. I have lost 14 lbs so far. I am happy… I would love to see faster results, but I am getting used to this easy way of losing weight. I now weight 129 lbs. I can not wait for my husband to come from Iraq and see me skinnier. I still have about 14 lbs more to lose to be at my ideal weight. But I am enjoying every step of the way. Thanks Debra.

  87. Debra Moorhead, The Motivation Maven January 25, 2008 3:35 pm

    Thanks, Rosa - and Congratulations!

  88. ch_anderson1 January 28, 2008 6:14 pm

    Hello! I am 140lbs., now, and have a goal of 115lbs. I am starting today and believe I have the calculations correct for counting my calories. (1410) Is this correct? I found the calculator link on the continued site to be a bit faulty (maybe a site glitch?). Also, I thought I would ask if anyone had any suggestions on what a diet of approx. 1400 calories a day would consist of? I am completely stumped!

  89. ch_anderson1 January 28, 2008 6:16 pm

    Also, I forgot to add that my DH is joinging with me, as well! Currently @ 210, with a goal of 165! Am I correct in calculating his needs @ 1813 a day? Thank you sooooooo much for the help!!!! :-)

  90. Debra Moorhead, The Motivation Maven January 28, 2008 7:21 pm


    1410 sounds good; not sure about the 1813, but I think it would be good to start with that. Sounds like I need to check some links, huh?

    You can eat anything you want, as long as you can find out the caloric count. I would try 300 calories per meal and two 100-calorie snacks. 1410 was my number even though I was shooting for 123, but I did get down to 115. You’re going to be surprised at how easy it really is.

    Please keep touch and let us know how you’re doing.

  91. Alejandra February 6, 2008 9:57 pm


    I am Ale, short for Alejandra. I started this diet today. I will post as the days pass by. My goal is to lose 15-25 lbs. I have not set any date to achieve my goal. I am positive and excited about this.

  92. Debra Moorhead, The Motivation Maven February 7, 2008 8:59 am

    Welcome, Ale! Yes, please keep us posted! I am positive and excited for you as well.

  93. Alejandra February 16, 2008 9:46 pm

    Hi, it’s me again, Ale! I wanted to post my progress. I lost 5 pounds from the last time I posted. I am rather fascinated. I had a mild set back on Wednesday. I recovered quickly. I began drinking water instead of juices or sodas. I am walking everyday a mile for now. My husband is very supportive. He is amazed at how easy this diet is. He promised me a Jeep. Of course that is if I meet my goal of losing those pesky 27 lbs by June! Well… just 27 more to go!Take care!

  94. Debra Moorhead, The Motivation Maven February 17, 2008 5:32 pm

    Thanks, Ale! WOW - a Jeep - I’m so glad your husband is supportive. Keep in touch–

  95. Rosa March 19, 2008 6:36 pm

    Hi, this is Rosa… I lost an overall of 30 pounds. I went down to 113 lbs since I last posted. I gained six to seven pounds because I looked so unhealthy. I was amazed at how effective this system is. I have my three sisters hooked on this diet! My teacher asked me how I lost so much weight from last semester to this new one. I told her about this website. My husband got back from Irak a while back and he can not keep his hands off me. I think this is the best thing ever. Thank you! I will be going on vacation tomorrow. We are going on a cruise and I can wear a bathing suit without feeling self-concious. Take care!

  96. Debra Moorhead, The Motivation Maven March 20, 2008 10:17 am

    Thanks, Rosa, thanks for sharing. I am so happy for you! You take care as well.

  97. Brenda R April 15, 2008 11:04 am

    I just stumbled upon your website and found this article to be very encouraging. I have been dieting on and off to keep my weight at size 10. I am a little shy of 5ft 5 inches and weigh 147 lbs. I want to lose 12 lbs to get to my goal weight of 135. I exercise regularly (cardio) and have good muscle tone. My weight loss has been very slow about 1/2 lb in one week which has become difficult to maintain. I need help, motivation and guidance to do this.

  98. Brenda,

    Welcome! I’m glad you’ve found encouragment, and my site. Just keep reading. A lot of people have had success with this approach. Don’t listen to the naysayers. Let me know if you need further assistance or have any questions.

  99. Tasia April 21, 2008 6:11 pm


    I happened upon this site by pure accident. I am so lucky to have found it because my husband will be gone for 4 weeks. I want to drop as many pounds as possible. I’m starting today @ 144lbs. I will keep everyone posted on my progress thru the 4 weeks. Please let this work! I have been overweight since my first baby which was 13 years ago!!! I need a solution.


  100. Hi, Tasia! It really works, you just have to stick with it and have fun figuring out how many calories and what you can eat. If you’re enjoying it, working it playfully, you’ll lose the weight faster!

  101. Lisa May 3, 2008 3:07 pm

    Hi Debra,

    I just discovered your site and am curious if fat grams figure at all into your plan - apparently you are saying that it is strictly counting calories.
    According to the link, to weigh 118 pounds, calorie consumption would be 1609. I know you mentioned that the calcalator you used years ago is missing - so how do you think 1609 for 118 pounds versus 1425 for 123 pounds compares?

  102. Hi Lisa,

    I did not count fat grams. However, the higher the fat content, the greater the number of calories - so fat does play a role and must be kept in balance.

    The calorie allowance also depends upon your height and activity level. With today’s calculators, I tell people to make sure they are entering all of the information properly - a lot of people forget to flip it over to “female” - and be sure to enter your height correctly.

  103. Tasia Miles May 11, 2008 12:27 pm


    This is Tasia. I just wanted to check in and post a quick update. It’s been about 3 weeks for me and although I have not lost as much as I wanted to I have lost 14 lbs thus far. I have one more week until hubby comes home so I’m praying for some more lbs to fly off. The most surprising thing was to learn what I was eating had my daily calorie intake in one sitting!! It’s really not difficult keeping track and when you go out to eat almost every restraunt now posts their nutrional info.

    Well I’ll check back in later!!

  104. Thanks for sharing that, Tasia. That was amazing to me too and I think it’s the knowing/realizing part that really makes the diet work. And you can’t get to that understanding without actually doing it.

    Remember to stay excited about your goal and the outcome - it will happen for you!

  105. Fredda May 28, 2008 10:06 pm

    Hi Debra!

    Thank you so much for this amazing post! I’m 5′4” and have always weighed 110 pounds… until I graduated from college and got a job in an office. For the past year and a half I’ve been trying to shed the 20 pounds I put on in the first SIX MONTHS of life in the working world. I start graduate school in three months, and I hope I’ll be comfortable in my own skin by then — tomorrow the “Debra Moorhead” diet starts!

    Thanks again for this wonderfully encouraging and informative post.

  106. Good luck, Fredda - let us know if we can help!

  107. Fredda June 9, 2008 1:17 pm


    Here is my update, in the hopes that this can help someone in my situation figure out whether or not this is the plan that they are looking for!

    First, this diet is working extremely well. I am looking to get down to 108 lbs from 122 (I’m 5′4”) and have been aiming for 1350 calories a day, which surprisingly enough is not hard at all. I eat four meals of about 200 calories throughout the day (fruit and almonds for breakfast, fruit and yogurt as a snack, tuna and toast for lunch and a Luna Bar for a snack) which leaves me with 500-600 calories for dinner (usually a Lean Cuisine for about 300 calories and some toast and veggies for the rest). Once I’m down to my goal weight, I plan on exercising again (I run and do yoga), and modifying my food intake accordingly (I’ll probably be adding about 200 calories/day).

    Last Monday morning, I weighed 122 lbs. By Saturday morning I was 117.2. Unfortunately, Saturday night I went out with my fiance’s family and later discovered online that the pie I had for dessert was 899 calories/slice, not the 200 or so calories I thought it would be! That set me back - I was 118.2 on Sunday morning, and then down to 117.6 this morning. I wish that instead of thinking “I’ve been good all day — 200 calories doesn’t matter” I’d been honest and said “I’m really not hungry anymore”!

    I will keep updating this each Monday till I reach my goal weight — hopefully it will help others looking for a good plan!

    Good luck to everyone else.

  108. Thanks so much for posting your progress Fredda - and way to go! You’re hitting on nuances that I experienced way back then, but couldn’t remember to verbalize when I was writing the post. A current perspective will be so helpful! I (and I’m sure many others) appreciate you!

  109. Fredda June 10, 2008 11:11 pm

    Tonight was an abject failure when it comes to this diet. I’m sure others have had this experience - any insight on how you guys dealt with it?

    Today was my anniversary. The day started poorly when I stepped on the scale and realized it hadn’t budged - though that was probably due to the fact that I had eaten little throughout the day, so I ended up having an enormous dinner which was definitely more than I needed to curb my hunger (though it did not break my calorie limit for the day). My boss kept my fiance and me late at work, and by the time we left our plans for the evening were ruined so we went to a nearby pizzaria where I ended up gorging myself so much that 2 hours later my stomach is still a bit upset. Instead of feeling celebratory, by the time I got home I had completely bummed and psyched myself out. The scale certainly didn’t help when it revealed that I’m right back where I was when I started this thing 8 days ago, nor did the memory of my previous mess up on this plan just three days ago, which had also set me back. In this instance I was clearly the one who failed, not the plan, but for a few hours I considered giving up on this entire plan and trying something drastic - maybe a water fast - instead. I’ve been down this road before. I try a reasonable diet, then I MESS IT UP, and I decide that the only way to get back on track is to try a fast or something similar… and of course, two weeks later, I’m back where I started + a pound or two.

    At some point I’m bound to learn from my mistakes, right? The moment I finish this post, I’m headed to the kitchen to pack up my food for tomorrow, and tomorrow after work I am grocery shopping to stock up on some healthy foods for which I know the calorie count! In the first five days of this diet - during which I was faithful to it - I lost 5 pounds and felt good. Time to jump back on the bandwagon — a mistake that only set me back a week isn’t so bad in the long run! I’m so tired of this cycle that I keep worrying maybe I’m trying the wrong plan for me. Given its initial success, that is clearly silly. I am hereby forbidding myself from second guessing this plan for four weeks. If at the end of four weeks during which I strictly have adhered to this plan it has not had sufficient results, I’ll try another one. But I doubt that that will be the case - and it’s about time I gave a reasonable plan a, well, reasonable chance to work.

    Wish me luck — I apparently need it more than I thought.

  110. Fredda June 10, 2008 11:13 pm

    Tonight was an abject failure when it comes to this diet. I’m sure others have had this experience - any insight on how you guys dealt with it?

    Today was my anniversary. The day started poorly when I stepped on the scale and realized it hadn’t budged - though that was probably due to the fact that I had eaten little throughout yesterday, so I ended up having an enormous dinner which was definitely more than I needed to curb my hunger (though it did not break my calorie limit for the day). My boss kept my fiance and me late at work, and by the time we left our plans for the evening were ruined so we went to a nearby pizzaria where I ended up gorging myself so much that 2 hours later my stomach is still a bit upset. Instead of feeling celebratory, by the time I got home I had completely bummed and psyched myself out. The scale certainly didn’t help when it revealed that I’m right back where I was when I started this thing 8 days ago, nor did the memory of my previous mess up on this plan just three days ago, which had also set me back. In this instance I was clearly the one who failed, not the plan, but for a few hours I considered giving up on this entire plan and trying something drastic - maybe a water fast - instead. I’ve been down this road before. I try a reasonable diet, then I MESS IT UP, and I decide that the only way to get back on track is to try a fast or something similar… and of course, two weeks later, I’m back where I started + a pound or two.

    At some point I’m bound to learn from my mistakes, right? The moment I finish this post, I’m headed to the kitchen to pack up my food for tomorrow, and tomorrow after work I am grocery shopping to stock up on some healthy foods for which I know the calorie count! In the first five days of this diet - during which I was faithful to it - I lost 5 pounds and felt good. Time to jump back on the bandwagon — a mistake that only set me back a week isn’t so bad in the long run! I’m so tired of this cycle that I keep worrying maybe I’m trying the wrong plan for me. Given its initial success, that is clearly silly. I am hereby forbidding myself from second guessing this plan for four weeks. If at the end of four weeks during which I strictly have adhered to this plan it has not had sufficient results, I’ll try another one. But I doubt that that will be the case - and it’s about time I gave a reasonable plan a, well, reasonable chance to work.

    Wish me luck — I apparently need it more than I thought.

  111. Fredda,

    Remember and repeat this mantra, “I am where I am, and it’s okay.” Why is it okay? Because it’s all you’ve got anyway. Start from where you are and go from there. You learned that counting calories does work, and that all you have to do is think about what you’re going to eat ahead of time, and if you find yourself in an impromptu situation, like a pizzaria, eating light feels better in the long run. These are the lessons you’ve learned. Now, what are you going to do about it?

    You’re on the right track with the 4-week trial. But remember, if you fall off the wagon, it’s just a matter of getting back on, because you are where you are. You make the choice every moment to go wherever you want to go. You know how to do it right, each step back is another lesson learned. So you know what you know, what are you going to DO about it?


    I wish you great luck and much success.  Thanks for keeping us informed and come back here anytime you need to.

  112. Brie June 16, 2008 12:48 pm

    I think your blog is really inspiring but I had a couple of questions. First off did you pay any attention to carbs/protein/fat grams or just the overall calorie number? And as for the calorie calculator I did what you said and entered sedentary (because you said any exercise was just icing on the cake) and my goal weight (90 pounds,I’m 5′3 with an extremely small frame!) it said eating around 1,227 calories but a lot of people say that 1,200 calories is too low and it will result in starvation mode especially if you exercise daily (which I do mostly) so would this slow down my weight loss? How many calories should you consume if you wish to be 90 pounds? AGHH so confused. Any help would be greatly appreciated :]

  113. Hi, Brie. The only attention I gave to carbs/protein/fat was in that I noticed if i stayed away from fat and starchy carbs, I could eat more while consuming fewer calories. The guidelines are that less than 1200 calories puts your body into starvation mode, and that is for the average body of 5′4″ and medium frame. The 1227 sounds fine to me for your height and goal.

    Good luck and feel free to ask more questions - I appreciate you!

  114. Brie June 17, 2008 12:04 pm

    Thanks! I’m pretty clueless about this stuff being only 15 but my parents aren’t much into “healthy living” (my Dads a junk food fanatic and my Mom’s practically annorexic) so I really appreciate your help.Well also I know the calculator read 1,227 for a sedentary 90 pound 5′3 girl but since I do sports daily should I follow the moderate version which instantly brings it up to 1,514? Oh and also I’ve been hearing alot about something called calorie shifting to help weight loss and I even found a site that can give you a plan for yourself (I’ll list the link below) and I was wondering what you thought on that..? If it would helpful or unessecary - THANKS AGAIN!

  115. Brie,

    At a quick glance, I really like that website. It seems to agree with what I’ve found both from research and my own personal experience. Thanks for linking us to it.

    If you’re involved in sports every day I would definitely go with the higher number of calories. The only true way to know is to try it and see what happens. The most important thing is to get the results you want: A healthy weight in a healthy way. Go for it and please check back in with us to let us know how you’re doing!

  116. Alexis July 29, 2008 7:49 pm

    Dear Debra,

    I am Alexis Almodovar. I am 27 years old and I weigh 146.2 as of this morning. I had lost 22 pounds last April, but I gained it all back on June and July. I had a bilateral mamaplasty in June 5, 2008. This stopped me from continuing my weight loss regimen. I can not do a lot of stuff, since I am still recovering from the surgery. I will start my diet tomorrow. I want to lose just 12 pounds. I want to lose the weight for me! I want to look better and feel better. I now have small breast and I can fit in my old clothes (If I lose the weight!) Thank you, Alexis

  117. Good luck, Alexis, and let us know if we can help in any way!

  118. Jules September 4, 2008 1:29 pm

    Hi im Jules,
    I’ve tried pretty much every diet you can think of and even starving my self but nothing seems to work. I either get desperate because i see no weight coming off or get way to hungry and start eating like a pig. Right now i weight 125lbs and i am 5′2, my goal weight is 100lbs. Im going to try your plan on loosing weight and i really hope this works! I wish to lose those extra 25 pounds by the end of september. According to the link you gave us a 100lbs person eats 1364 calories, im still kind of confused on how this works. Am i supposed to eat 1364 calories every day? and the saving up calories idea has me confused too. Overall im pumped up to try this plan, ill keep you updated on my progress!

  119. Hey, Jules! Yes, 1364 would be your per day allotment. If you chose to eat only 1200 calories today, you could “save” the other 164 for a special treat later in the week.

    The most important concept is to stay pumped and motivated. It’s all about your vibration. Stay excited about the diet working, and it will!

    Good luck and please keep us informed.

  120. Roger Foxwell September 9, 2008 6:43 pm

    Fascinating. This is so simple and makes a lot of sense. My hypnotherapy clients will be very interested. I will link it on my blog.

  121. Carol September 9, 2008 7:15 pm

    Hi, I don’t know if this applies to me, I am morbidly obese at 295 pounds and measure 5′3.5. Could I possibly attempt eating for a 180 pound person (my first goal weight). Would this plan work for me. I’ve heard of this method through the Secret think like who you want to be and you will become that way. Any advice will help.

    Thanks Carol

  122. Susan September 10, 2008 12:35 pm

    Hello Debra! I’m starting this diet as soon as I can, I’m a 19 year old student I’m 5′5″ and I weigh 155 pounds, down from 160 a year ago (I think I actually lost weight at college, bizarre right?) anyways thanks so much for this article, you’re so inspiring and a lovely lady for keeping up with the comments!

  123. Lauren F. September 10, 2008 4:28 pm

    Hey, I just wanted to let you know of a website I stumbled upon after reading your article and reaching a revelation. On you can count your calories and manage them on a day by day basis. It makes the whole spreadsheet for you and you can even export it to Excel. It’s awesome! They add them all up and tell you how many you have left for the day. You can even track when you ate it and how many servings you had. It allows you to search for food and lets you know all the nutrition information. Ah… technology. Thanks for your article.

  124. KK September 10, 2008 10:50 pm

    Hi! I am so excited to have found this website. I’ve been dealing with anorexia nervosa for the past 6 years of my life and dropped drastically low (84 lbs) (i’m 5′8″) this past december. i entered recovery from my disorder and put on a whopping 57 lbs, mainly through unhealthy binge-eating. I am looking to be around 120 lbs. and remain free of my eating disorder. I am sooo excited to start this new HEALTHY lifestyle tomorrow! i am nervous (in a good, giggly kind-of way)! I’ll let you know how everything turns out!

    Here are my stats - height - 5′8″ current weight - 141 lbs
    goal weight - 120 lbs
    to lose - 21 lbs

    WISH ME LUCK! :)

  125. Shannon Emery September 11, 2008 10:49 am


    I am going to try this out. I’ve been overweight my whole life and my weight has yo-yo’d over the past few years because of college, personal trainers, and just plain laziness. I know I have the will power, I just need to do it. Thanks for all your suggestions and I am excited to see what happens! I’m starting my worksheet for Monday, Sept. 15 so I can prepare and get excited. I will keep you all updated. Thanks, Debra!

  126. Thanks, Roger - I love EFT.

    Carol: I would try for smaller increments first - like 250 - just because I think you’ll see success sooner and get your momentum going -see post for 9/11/08.

    Susan: Adoration is a wonderful thing - thanks so much - I appreciate you!

    Lauren: thanks for sharing that site. I will check it out and blog about it.

    KK: I want only the best for you, but I think 120 is too thin for 5′8″ Double-check the charts, I think 130-135 would be thin enough. Think about buying clothes - oooooooo - buying clothes - gotta go!

    Shannon - please keep us posted!

  127. Kelly September 13, 2008 1:06 am

    *sigh* I have friends who would do very well on this diet but for me, I can honestly say that it would take about a week before I would finally go over the top with all that calorie counting and say, “I’d rather be fat.”

  128. Sam September 17, 2008 7:23 am

    Wow this looks really great…
    Ive drawn up a chart and am going to start tomorrow!
    I currently weigh 135, and i want to get to 125…
    I have to work in Kj, becuase nothing here in South Africa works on a calorie system :)
    Will keep you informed and thanks again!

  129. Violet September 18, 2008 2:05 am

    This is exactly what I’ve been needing. Over the past year I’ve put on 20 pounds. I don’t feel like myself and I’ve wanted to lose the weight but I find myself falling off the wagon when I start doing good. I am so happy I found this because I feel like I can do this. I know I can! Thank you!

  130. Britt September 18, 2008 10:33 am

    Hi Debra! This sounds too good to be true. I have been on every diet but I have never really counted calories so this may work for me. I am currently 5′6″ and I weigh 195. The ACS calculator said I need to eat 1705 calories a day with a sedentary lifestyle to reach my goal weight of 125. This sounds like a lot - is this correct? Thanks for your help! I am excited to try this!

  131. Kelly - thanks for being honest! It just goes to show that it’s really all about the decision to make it happen, along with true desire. You’ve touched on a subject that many are not honest with themselves about - thank you!

    Sam - you can do it - yes - please keep us informed.

    Violet - knowing is believing and believing is everything! Many have done this just this way - you can, too.

    Hi, Britt! You won’t know until you try, right? 1705 does sound like a lot. I’m 5′6″ and I ate 1425. Now, I eventually got down to 114 at that level. If I were you, I would run the numbers again. Let me know what you come up with the second time and we’ll discuss it further–

    Thanks, everyone - I appreciate you!

  132. Anne-Marie September 21, 2008 10:54 pm

    I Stumble’d onto this tonight. I’m currently on a similar, self-made, diet…except with even lower calorie allowances. For me, I have to reduce not only calories, but cravings…which is something I never used to have a problem with, but do now.

    I was only about 10 lbs over my healthy weight when I went through a period of anxiety and depression. I gained so much weight in such a short time on these meds (and all the while my dr ignoring my unhappiness with this weight gain) that I seriously considered suicide for the first time in my life. These meds are evil and I got much more out of therapy than the meds. Once I found a natural way to deal with the anxiety and depression, I finally had to tackle the weight. Actually, I gained the weight so fast that I had nothing to wear. And shopping for fatter clothes made me want to drive into the ocean…nothing fit right…nothing looked good at all. I left every shopping trip disgusted with myself and cried on my way home. God blessed me with a few items that were tolerable. But I cannot believe what I was squeezing into at 207.

    I weighed 207 when I started my diet. I’m currently at 188. I weigh myself every day. Even at the lower calorie limits though I still plateau and have to work hard to jump start the weight-loss again. The high-end of healthy weight for me would be 145, but I want to get down to at least 130…where I feel comfortable.

    Reading this just reinforced and encouraged me to keep at it. I am determined. I didn’t eat myself here. In fact, I calculated what I would have had to eat to gain that weight from food (my dr was telling me I gained weight not from the meds, but because I was feeling happier and eating more). I would have had to eat over 5000 calories per day. I think I would have noticed eating that much.

    Just one question…if you dealt with appetite and cravings…what did you do to squash them?

  133. Hal September 22, 2008 5:24 am

    Hi Debra,

    I just stumbled upon this website and I am going to try out your weight loss strategy. It’s the first one in a long time to make sense to me and not sound like torture. I have been struggling with my weight since I was 12 and I am currently 19 and I am tired of feeling self conscious all the time. I feel like my weight is preventing me from being free to do what I wish. I am six feet tall and I currently weigh around 214 pounds and I am hoping to reach my target weight of between 145-150 pounds. I know that it’s a long journey, but I feel that if your diet works, it will motivate me even further to continue on and lose the rest of this weight. Thank you so much for posting your story online and tomorrow I will start the process of eliminating the excess 65 pounds that I have been burdened with for years.

  134. Meg September 22, 2008 10:57 am

    I’ve been looking for a no nonsense and realistic diet that would be easy to stay with. This sounds so simple and easy that I’m starting today!
    I’ve run my numbers and I’ll need to consume 1945 calories (I’m 6′2″) to reach my goal/ideal weight. This sounds like alot and I’m trying to figure out what foods I can eat to reach this. Any suggestions?

  135. Gloria September 22, 2008 3:28 pm

    I’ve been losing weight doing this, because it came to me as I’m fat because I’m eating high calorie fast food items. So I put 2 and 2 together and realized I should be eating 1,200 calories a day and I will lose weight, duh!
    I weighed in as obese 253, I am happy to say I am now 194. Long way to go, but I started in April, it’s now September so about 5 months I have been doing this:) I feel & look much better, get lots of compliments, i love it!
    My question is, Right now my goal is 180, 14lbs to go. I am getting a bit discouraged as I weight myself everyday and see no results, I know I shouldn’t do this, but dang it I can’t help it!
    I want to lose weight faster, I am not sure I am eating enough or eating too much. I try to stay at 1200 calories, sometimes less. I feel a little sluggish at times, other times I feel energized. Also, does anyone know when a woman gets her monthly visitor how much weight she puts on with the bloated feeling we get, lol!
    Can you tell me how many calories I need to consume?

  136. Anne-Marie - water, chewing gum, and genuine happiness. Focus on these and you’ll be fine.

    Hal - welcome and keep us posted.

    Meg - It is simple. Just double-check your numbers. I was at 1400, but you’re 6 inches taller than me, so it could be accurate.

    Gloria - use the calculators provided in the article to determine the number of calories you need to consume.

  137. Matt September 28, 2008 7:43 pm

    This diet, or restriction of caloric intake, sounds like it is really is a good plan. It’s something I’m definitely gonna try! I’m a 26 year old, single male, and I currently weigh 250 lbs. I thought that exercise was my only option, as I was overweight younger and had lost 40 lbs with exercise (and ephedra products). Through the past 5 years, I have slowly gained my weight back at about 5-10 lbs a year.
    I am so glad that I have StumbledUpon this website! Don’t get me wrong. I don’t want an easy way to lose my weight, as this diet seems like this diet requires extreme discipline to keep the amount of calories taken in, in check. I’ll keep you updated on the progress of this diet. Does this diet require eating breakfast, as I don’t usually eat breakfast. If I have any further questions, I’ll let you know.
    By the way, I’m starting this diet tomorrow.

  138. Matt September 28, 2008 7:52 pm

    Also, one more question. My ideal weight is between 168 and 192. Therefore, I’m compromising with 180. The other website is telling me that my normal caloric intake for a 6′1″, 180 lb, large adult is 2536 calories. Yes, I am an L.A. (large American), but it seems that 2536 calories is quite a bit, especially with some of your other posts telling of only 1200 or 1500 calories. Is this normal for a 26 year old male that is 6′1″ and 180 pounds with a large frame? Hope to hear from you soon!

  139. Matt September 29, 2008 1:15 pm

    Okay, one more question, and I’m all done. During this diet, are we required to eat our suggested amount of calories per day, or can we fluctuate with that? There are some days that I don’t eat very much at all, and then some days that I eat a lot. Any suggestions?

  140. Amber September 30, 2008 2:52 am


    This sounds awesome and the structure will really help me stay on track. I was wondering if you could post an example of the calorie spreadsheet that you kept. I’m terrible with computers and seeing exactly how you kept it would help so much.


  141. Matt,

    Consistency is key. Breakfast is not required, but I find eating something soon after I get out of bed puts me in a better mood - which is better for everyone! this diet is scientifically based. Generally, as long as, in the long run, you consume the calories for your ideal weight, you will weight that exact amount. How can you tell if it’s working? You weigh that much. You should be able to tell a difference in how you feel in just a couple of days on this program.

    Hope this helps - keep us posted.

  142. Amber

    You don’t need a spreadsheet - just use a notebook to keep track of how many calories you consume at each meal.

  143. Matt October 1, 2008 12:00 pm


    Was the amount of calories appropriate with my ideal body weight, or is 2536 too many calories?

  144. Yvette October 1, 2008 7:25 pm

    Hi Debra,

    I’ve been trying this out for the past two weeks and have barely seen any results. I’m wondering whether or not the calculators you provided me are giving me an accurate goal caloric intake.

    I also calculated how many fat grams I should be taking in.

    I’m about 5′2″ - 5′3″ and now weigh 177lbs. The calculators told me I should be taking in about 1600 calories a day for an ideal weight of 120. I calculated 53 grams of fat for those 1600 calories.

    Is this right? Is it just that it will take a little longer to really see the results?

    Any help you could offer would really be appreciated.



  145. Anu October 3, 2008 7:16 am

    Hi, I really liked reading your article and it sounded really pratical. I think am gonna try it but here’s the problem… i do not know the calorie count of all the food I eat and its difficult to figure it out coz I dont eat home cooked food… I guess at it… how do I fix this?

  146. Yvette,

    You’re right - I think the calculator is estimating too high. I will try to find new ones that are more accurate. If you were to drop your daily intake to 1350 I’ll bet you would start seeing better results. I would not worry about fat grams - to me, it just makes it more complicated - but do what works for you. Thanks for letting me know about the calculator - I did try it and got the same thing you did - I’ll see what else I can find.

    I just didn’t eat anything I couldn’t find the calorie count for. It’s a temporary problem - if you’ll stick to it for just a few weeks, in time, your body will tell you when it’s time to quit eating. 3 weeks of vigilant calorie counting made a world of difference in my life!

    Keep in touch!

  147. Sammy October 6, 2008 3:00 pm

    Congrats on finding such a perfect diet that works for you! Hopefully it works just as well for both my roommate and I. Today is day one for both of us :) We figured using the buddy system we can help eachother not cheat and stick to it. Unfortunately, we also live with three guys who think that this is “silly” of us. We both went grocery shopping last night and bought all sorts of healthy options. We split them up into serving sizes and then into ziplock baggies. Hopefully this will help us in only eating 34 cheez-its instead of half a box! We will definately keep everyong posted on our results. Thank you so much for your idea, wisedom and support. You’re a lifesavor :)

    My one question is…if we know that we will be drinking over the weekend should we save up a certain amount of calories from the week to go towards the alocohol?

  148. yulia October 7, 2008 10:51 pm

    Hi Debra,

    I have been searching for a way to lose weight in this kind of way for more than 2 years. 2 years ago I lost 25 pounds in a month but I did not know how I did it, but now thanks to you I do. I started today and I feel great, I am so excited to be 110 lbs for my birthday. I am currently 140 at 5′4″. I will keep you updated. Thank you so much for your posting!!!

  149. jessica jay October 12, 2008 7:50 am

    hi debra!
    im a 21 year old female 5′0 feet amd weigh 160 pounds. i want to lose 60 pounds. m going to try this diet and want to lose this as early as i can. i just wanted to know how much do you think i can lose by 20 november if i satrt from tomorrow. im going to consume 1200 calories each day.

  150. Karyn October 16, 2008 1:06 pm

    Hello and thank you for this article. It is very down to earth and so easy to follow. Yes I started today and am writing down what I eat in a small notebook. At lunch time to make life easier for myself, I purchase some ready made meals at the grocery store so I don’t have to worry about figuring out the calories in each meal. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you. This is just what I needed.

  151. Sammy - I would avoid drinking while on the diet, but if you choose to do so, keep in mind that those calories count. Are they worth it?

    Yulia - I am expecting to hear great things from you!

    Jessica - there are too many unknowns to answer your question. The trick is to keep your thoughts positive and energy level high - you’ll be satisfied with your results, and that’s all that matters.
    Be Happy!

    Karyn - you just might be the first person to ever really “get” this diet. Thank you, thank you, thank you!

  152. Yvette October 18, 2008 8:33 pm


    Thanks so much for the input. I can’t believe that after this long, you are still replying to everyone. It really shows how much you care. :o) I am going to try and adjust my caloric intake now.

    I’ve been through a lot these past couple of weeks, and to be quite frank, calorie counting has been the last thing on my mind. But I will certainly give it another go.



  153. Yulia October 19, 2008 2:32 am

    Hi Debra,

    My weight loss has been slowing down the second week. I am 5′4″ and I want to be 110 lbs. my caloric intake is 1225. Am I not eating enough? Another question, what was your average “saved” calories a day? More than 100 or less?

  154. Yvette - I love my readers! I try to answer everyone as soon as I can. Remember, you can only start from where you are - that’s all you’ve got. Good luck, and please keep in touch.

    Yulia - I would need to know your current weight to really help you, but 1225 is enough. 100 calories was the most I saved in a day, but I was eating 1425 to weigh 123 at 5′6″. Hope this helps. Please stay in touch–

  155. Yulia October 21, 2008 12:41 pm

    My current weight is 137 and I have been this weight for a week. Do I have to eat less or a little more to lose more weight?

  156. Yulia October 21, 2008 12:50 pm

    I forgot to add, I eat 300 calories for lunch, 100 for a midday snack, 325 for lunch, 100 for an afternoon snack, and 400 for dinner. What do you think?

  157. Karyn October 24, 2008 7:55 am

    I am so very pleased with the results of my weight loss. I am down 10 lbs from the 16th of Oct. to the 23. I am not missing out on my favorite foods and still have ice cream and cookies and such. All is done in moderation, and I feel great. Thank you, thank you, thank you.


  158. Leslie October 29, 2008 11:36 am

    I started with this program yesterday, so far so good! I am 24 years old, 5′3, 147 pounds. I am trying to get to 111 pounds (per my “ideal weight”). I have 36 pounds total to lose. My calorie intake a day is 1,514. I will write in and let you know my progress!! Thanks so much for the info~

  159. Yulia - I would try cutting 100 calories per day and see what happens. Just make sure you don’t start feeling sluggish. Now might be a good time to try a daily stroll. Energized and feeling good is key.

    Karyn - I am do happy for you!!! Thanks for sharing your experience. “I feel great,” - that’s what it’s all about!

    Leslie - Good luck and yes, please keep in touch. For faster weight loss, you might want to try 1400 calories per day - that’s based on what I’m seeing with everyone else on this plan and my own experience as well.

    Everyone - sorry it took me so long to get back to everyone. I’ve had the stomach flu. Great for weight loss, but I wouldn’t recommend it! LOL!

  160. Leslie October 30, 2008 12:31 pm

    Hi Debra,
    I am taking your advice and going down to 1400 a day for calories!! I agree with you, it does seem to work better and faster with other people results!! DAY 2 TODAY- 145, DOWN 2 POUNDS FROM WHEN I STARTED 2 DAYS AGO! Don’t expect to lose a pound a day normally, but it is working! Thanks Deb!!

  161. Janessa Samuel October 30, 2008 4:02 pm

    I am a little confused. I have always been bigger/overweight with some activity level but it has always been hard for me to lose weight ( I have a larger frame, so I am never going to be skinny but I do want to fit into my clothes). About 2 years ago, I got down to my goal weight of 160 and kept at that weight for sometime until I got pregnant and put on 80 pounds. So now I am at 240 and really trying to lose this weight. My son is almost one year now and I have been trying everything.. cutting calories, exercising but the weight is not going away. I looked at the calories for a woman 160 pounds and they said 2182 calories… I eat much less than this .. how come I have not lost the weight? I eat pretty good too… no bread, pasta or rice, lots of fruit, vegetables and lean protein.. can you please give me some advice. I really want to lose the weight over the 4 months …

  162. Fantastic Leslie - keep us informed!

    Janessa - there is a theory out there that I do believe in that says you must be enthusiastic about your weight loss. However, before we explore the philosophical side of things, I’d like to know how you know that you eat less than that - have you been keeping a diet diary? Please don’t misunderstand - I’m not asking to be spiteful or defensive - I just want to make sure I have all the facts before doling out advice–I want to help you in the best way I can.

  163. Janessa Samuel October 30, 2008 6:53 pm

    No problem Debra, I completely understand. I do keep a food diary and measure my food to ensure I am eating the serving size shown on the nutrition label. Like 1 cup of bran cereal is 110 calories, 1 cup skim milk is 90 calories. The only thing I could be misjudging is that i eat fruit (which i really love ) and the calorie intake is different for different size fruit. so using, they only give average/estimated calories.
    And I fully get your view that you ned to be enthusiastic about weight loss.. Positive thinking is everything and I am trying to stay positive even though i have struggled with weight and body issues for the last 10 years.. so ANY advice you can give, i would be really grateful.

  164. Janessa - okay - thanks - I’m wondering what would happen if you dropped to 1682 per day. I know that the calculator I’ve linked to in this article calculates a lot more than the one I used. (I’m searching for a better one.) You said that you already eat less than the 2182, how much less? Would 1682 be doable? If that seems like too much, try dropping 100 per day, then 150, then 200, and so on. And remember, it can be than one 1,000 dessert once this week that really sets you back. Keep in touch–I appreciate you!

  165. Janessa - I just thought of one more thing - how long has it been since you’ve had your thyroid tested? Childbirth - as blessed as it is - does some funky things to a woman’s body. It could be that getting on the right medication could work wonders! If you’re feeling tired or sluggish, I’d highly recommend a physical.

  166. Janessa Samuel October 30, 2008 10:26 pm

    Thanks Debra, I presently eat 1800 but I682 is very doable. I have gotten my husband on board to really keep temptations away so I know it can do it. Also, in 2005 I was diagnosed with PCOS which is supposed to make it that much harder to lose weight but very easy to put it on, it was also supposed to make it difficult or “impossible” for me to conceive naturally. However, I made the extra effort to lose the weight (through really rigorous exercise and dieting )and we naturally conceived in 2006. So I have had issues previously but the same doctors told me that conceiving naturally may mean that the PCOS was straightened out. However, I don’t know if my inability to lose the weight means that the PCOS has come back but I will definitely look into the PCOS and the thyroid. But I will beat this.. in my case its more about my health. I will definitely keep you posted. You are probably the first person who has really given me advice and made me feel that i can really achieve my goal.

  167. Leslie October 31, 2008 12:26 pm

    Hey Everyone! Leslie here, Just wanted to tell everyone out there to stay strong this weekend! As we all know, it’s Halloween (Happy Halloween!!) and if you all have a sweet tooth like I do, it is going to be hard to not divulge all those snickers/reeses/M&M’s lying around!! Just try to remember what Debra says about “saving” calories. If there is a treat this evening/weekend that you want to eat, save up for it! Also, check out to get detailed nutrition facts on some of our favorite holiday treats and foods! Be safe everyone and have a happy, healthy, goal-oriented Halloween!!

  168. Janessa - WOW! You’ve come through a lot - isn’t that wonderful. I definitely believe you can do anything you set your mind to - look at everything you’ve accomplished so far! Keep us informed of your progress and how we can help–

    Leslie - Calorie King looks like a good program. Have you used it? I wonder if I could get demos–I’ll check it out–thanks for sharing the link and the good vibes!

  169. Leslie November 4, 2008 1:00 pm

    So it has been 1 week since my last weigh in and I am down 5 pounds!!
    Oct 28- 5′3 147 lbs
    Nov 4- 5′3 142 lbs
    My goal is 5′3 115-120 lbs by Christmas. The plan is working! I will keep you posted!

  170. Awesome Leslie! Thanks so much for sharing your progress and keep up the good vibes!

  171. Ayana November 8, 2008 2:33 pm

    I was wondering if the time of day you eat really matters because sometimes I tend to wake up late and wonder if I should skip times for certain foods to at least get my main meals in.

  172. Maggie November 8, 2008 4:32 pm

    Thanks for this article! I’ve been doing this about 2 weeks now (charting my progress in a Google Docs spreadsheet is great b/c I don’t have to remember to take it with me) and am seeing the weight start to come off - albeit a bit more slowly than it did for you.

    I have a question though: even though I feel like I’m eating plenty of food (1486 calories for my goal weight of 120, based on a couple of different calorie calculators I looked at), I’m almost always hungry again within an hour or two of a meal! I try to get protein where I can but it seems like everything that’s high in protein is also high in fat (and therefore calories). So far I’ve resisted snacking, but I don’t know if I trust my willpower to hold out long-term! Any suggestions on how to feel full longer?

  173. Ayana - the only time I have found time of day to matter is if you go off your diet and consume a lot of calories right before going to bed. Even then, it only matters in that you’ve created a situation for yourself that is sort of like a double-whammy - too many calories and no way to burn them off, other than to cut back the next day.

    Did that answer your question? Keep in touch–

    Maggie - one thing I had to learn, is that it’s okay to have that little gnawing feeling of hunger before your next meal. (Drinking water helps in many ways - BTW) But we’ve come to associate being hungry with being poor and thinking that if our stomach is “growling,” we have to eat something. Your stomach will adjust, in fact, it must for long-term success. I would also eat 2-3 M&M’s and be surprised at how much that satisfied me - you don’t have to eat the whole bag, we just do out of habit and because we don’t realize what we’re doing. Chewing gum helps as well - just be sure that whatever method you choose is either calorie-free, or that you allow for it in your calculations. Good luck and please keep in touch!

  174. Ayana November 9, 2008 6:14 pm

    So, eating at like 8 pm or something for like a 300 calorie meal is alright? Oh and thanks a lot for this article. I decided to try this method of weight loss because I’m hoping to be 123 lbs by January. I’m hoping I can make it. Btw, I started a day ago weighing 148lbs. I hope this works, wish me luck.

  175. Tasia Miles November 11, 2008 12:05 pm

    I am back. I lost 30 lbs this summer then I moved and gained 8 lbs. So I am back on this lifestyle which really works! It is incredibly easy after you learn what it takes to watch your food and what your eating. You have to stay on it - it’s not a diet it’s a way to live. My mistake was when I moved I got lazy even though I knew better.

    I just wanted to give you guys a link to a great tool to assist you in tracking your calories. It also has the daily plate which is a searchable database for all types of food (store bought, restraunts, and home made). Makes it real easy to stay on course. Another neat feature is the weight chart. You can watch your goal come to life as you see the line go down. Helped me stay excited.

    Good Luck to all!

  176. Tasia Miles November 11, 2008 12:11 pm

    Ayana -

    Your goal is VERY possible. When I found this blog I originally was 148 lbs. My husband went on a business trip for 1 month and I wanted so badly to lose a lot of weight and shock him when he got off the plane. And - I did! I felt amazing. I went from 148 to 118 in a little over 2 months. Most of it was lost in the first month. My problem is I did not reach my final goal of 108 (which is perfect for me, I am only 4 ft 11in tall). We moved in August and lived in my mother in laws basement while my house was being built and she had so many temptations that I gained 8 back. I am now make on track and motivated. As I posted just a few minutes ago - try as a tool.

    Good luck and you can reach that goal

  177. Leslie November 12, 2008 12:16 pm

    Hey everyone,
    Just wanted to give you my updates to keep you motivted! I have lost 2 pounds since last week, which isn’t as much weight that i lost as the 1st week but its still a loss!! Tasia, thanks for the heads up and for the website, I will be checking it out! Here are my stats:
    Started: Oct. 28 5′3 weight: 147
    Nov. 4 5′3 weight: 142
    Nov. 11 5′3 weight: 140
    I am going to go down to 1300 calories starting this week to see if this helps with more weight loss. I will let you all know.

  178. Leslie November 12, 2008 12:17 pm

    I also have a question for you. When you went from 148 to 118, how many calories a day were you consuming?

  179. Hey everyone - thanks for all your comments and keeping us posted! It’s great that you’re communicating back and forth - I love it! I checked out and it was “temporarily unavailable,” but looks like it will be a great site for resources once it’s back up. Just remember to stay excited and if you get off track, get back on. One other thing I used to do, was if I ate too much one night, I would cut back 50 calories or so every day for the next week. Consistency counts, but averaging things out does too.

    Keep in touch–

  180. Siobhan November 12, 2008 1:24 pm

    Hi, I started this diet at the end of October. I lost 8 pounds within a few days, but since the first week my weight has stayed the same. I haven’t changed my calorie intake at all since I started. I’m 5′3″ and started at 160 lbs. I am hoping to get down to 111 lbs. but I seem to be just hanging right at 152, with absolutely no changes. Right now my calories consumed per day is at 1353. Is there anything I can do to start losing weight again?

  181. Tasia Miles November 12, 2008 5:33 pm


    I think you were talking to me. I went from 148 to 118.

    I consume 1200 a day. I am a lot shorter than most so my needs are different. And the is back up and running. Not sure what happened this morning but I was able to put in my consumed calories this afternoon.

    Also as I picked up exercise I started feeling sick so I added calories as needed. Now I eat smaller meals throughout the day and I feel wonderful. I walk about 5 miles a day and so yoga. So you have to adjust your needs if you decide to exercise. I think that one thing at a time is best. I lost the weight initially without exercising. The exercise helps me with stress and energy.


  182. Christiana Son November 13, 2008 4:04 pm

    Dear Debra,

    I had actually found this site while doing a and i’m so glad to have found it. I just started today and I already feel a bit healthier. I have just 1 question though. I would really like to start an excel spread sheet to keep track of the calorie’s i’m consuming per meal. What was your layout for the excel sheet? I also have a really good site i’d like to offer that keeps track of your weight:

    it may seem kinda tacky, but i’ve been using it for a while, and it’s a good visual for how much you’ve progressed and stuff…

    thank you and I hope to hear from you soon,
    Christiana Son

  183. ashley November 14, 2008 2:41 am

    I am currently 165 would like to be 123..I waswondering if this concept would work if i am working out..I am lifting weights and doing cardio..will i still lose as much weight

  184. Ayana November 15, 2008 3:17 pm

    Well today is the end of week one. So far I’ve lost 5 lbs. Though somehow I felt like I should be 2 lbs less than that. I’m glad that I did lose 5 lbs though. The reason why I think this is because I think I’ve been retaining some water due to the sodium I’m consuming. I was 143.6 yesterday, then 143.2 this morning so perhaps it’s because of that. Anyways, so far this plan is working. Week 2 begins today. Wish me luck! ^_^

  185. Carrie November 16, 2008 11:22 am

    My daughter just turned 1 on November 14th, and I am still carrying around ten pounds of pregnancy weight! I go to the gym every day at lunch and alternate cardio and strength training, but I am stuck, losing and gaining the same 3 or so pounds over and over. I’m going to give this a shot… for someone who is 5′3″ and would love to get down to 115-120, medium frame, does 1200 calories seem reasonable? I’m going to the grocery store tonight!

  186. Maggie November 16, 2008 7:45 pm

    Hi Debra,

    Just wanted to check in and say “You were right!” - I really have stopped feeling hungry between meals. (Well, mostly, anyways!) My weight is dropping slowly but consistently - I’ve now lost 6 of the 20 pounds I want to lose (goal weight 120)!

    Also I wanted to share a resource I found: will calculate the calories in a recipe if you put in the ingredient list and the number of servings. Just one catch - you have to double-check it to make sure it recognized all the ingredients. It’s been really helpful for me though!

  187. Siobhan - try cutting back to 1275. At 5′3″, I’m wondering if you’ve received an accurate calorie count. When you’re consistently eating the correct number of calories, you will stable out to the right weight. To lose more, drop a few more calories and see what happens. I’m working on finding a good calculator. Unbelievably hard to come by–

  188. Tasia - thanks for sharing your experiences. I concur–everything you said makes complete sense. I appreciate you!

    Christiana - the spreadsheet could be used for keeping track of anything you want, specifically what comes to mind is: Each day’s calories consumed, automatically subtracted from the allowance, so that you know when you get to dinner how many calories you can have. Keep calorie counts on hard-to-find items, your favorite snacks, etc. Play around with it and you’ll find lots of uses.

    Ashley - if you’ve already developed habits for working out, counting calories will just help make sure that you’re getting the results you truly want. You should still lose weight overall, if that is your goal. If I were you, however, I would look more at how I feel and LOOK, rather than the scales. We all know that muscle weighs more than fat, so you could actually not lose any weight on the scales, but look more “cut.” Does that make sense?

    Good luck, Ayana! And you’re doing great! Stay in touch–

    Carrie - start with 1200 and see what kind of results you get. I’ll bet you’ll be pleased, at least for a while. If that turns out to be too many, you can always cut further.

    Maggie - congratulations and thanks for sharing that site. I will try it out. That would have been extremely helpful to me back in the day! Keep up the great work and stay in touch–

  189. Carrie November 17, 2008 12:14 pm

    Thanks for the response, Debra! I’ve always heard that is unhealthy to go under 1200 calories a day, but is that a rule that slides a little bit for shorties? I’ve gone grocery shopping (although I’m sure I’ll be ready to start cooking again in a few months, isn’t it EASY to just throw in the frozen meals??), and I threw in some of those Progresso soups that are only like 140 calories for an entire can. As long as I don’t eat them all the time and watch my sodium intake, is this okay?

    My weight this morning was 147. Here’s to getting down below 120!

  190. Carrie - You’re right. 1200 is a general rule and if you’re short, it could be just a few too many for you. I’ve been working with a calculator that will give you your basal metabolic caloric needs - more to come later - but it often calculates 1127 for shorter people. I’ve been playing around with numbers as people give them to me. You are approaching your diet the right way. When it comes to sodium and other scares, we have to remember that this is a temporary situation only. You just need to retrain your body for the right number of calories, then, when you start cooking again, you’ll have a better sense of when to stop. These days, there are lots of healthy options - much more than when I did it. I just took the attitude that it’s better in the long run to get to and maintain my ideal weight than to worry about short-term issues like sodium. You’re a very intelligent person - you’ll figure it out and bring things back into balance if and when you need to do so.

    Keep in touch–I appreciate you!

  191. Leslie November 18, 2008 11:53 am

    —My Weekly Update—
    I started 3 weeks ago (Oct 28th) and have been tracking my updates weekly. It looks like I am losing about 2 pounds a week, which is fine with me. I am also going to start tracking my measurements.
    Oct. 28 5′3 weight: 147
    Nov. 4 5′3 weight: 142
    Nov. 11 5′3 weight: 140
    Nov. 18 5′3 weight: 138

  192. Awesome, Leslie! Thanks for checking in and recording your progress. You’re an inspiration to many and I appreciate you!

  193. Weight Loss Database November 19, 2008 12:49 pm

    About exercise: if you are doing the same exercising routines over and over again your body may get used to your plan and start burning less calories from the same activity. So having a variety of different routines in your plan and changing them from time to time should help you. If you need a new exercise idea, why not trying exercise video games (if you haven’t tried them yet)?

  194. Juliana November 19, 2008 3:13 pm

    I am only 25yo, 5′4″ and I have weighed in at 149lbs for about a month. Almost exactly at where you started 10 years ago. I read your article 4 days ago and it seemed almost miraculous to me that not only could it be so easy, but here is someone who did it and found success and she’s willing to share every bit of detail with me.

    3 days ago I began counting my calories. I jot everything down on a pad (so I don’t have to worry about being near a computer). On the 1st day I lost 2lbs. On the 2nd day nothing, and on the 3rd day, 1lb. That’s 3lbs in 3 days. I am beyond excited. I eat 5x/day. I am extremely relieved to have to think about incorporating an exercise regimen right now. When I was thinner, I enjoyed exercising, but at this weight I must admit I feel uncomfortable at the gym. So I will work on losing my 30lbs first. I am PUMPED about the fact that I can do this before the end of the year. I’m going to have to find another new year’s resolution because weight loss will be scratched off the list!

  195. Awesome, Juliana, and welcome! You can do it - please keep in touch and let us know how you’re doing!

  196. Leslie November 20, 2008 1:33 pm


    Your story sounds so similar to mine! When I started the program 3 weeks ago I was 5′3 and 147 pounds. I am already down to 138 as of Tuesday. Keep it up, it totally works! And since you are around my height…you will start to see a difference within the first week or so!

  197. Juliana November 20, 2008 2:45 pm

    Debra and Leslie - thank you for the comments. I’ve got a big smile on my face.

    Wanted to share this calculator/tool:

    This is for your BMR (basal metabolic rate). I didn’t know what my body fat percentage was, so I left it blank. This is a good tool to see how many calories your body needs just to stay alive - it’s a good tool to use in conjunction with the one Debra provided.

  198. Leslie and Juliana - you literally make my day joyful!

  199. Carrie November 22, 2008 12:19 pm

    Welp, it hasn’t even been a week yet, but I am seeing results! On Sunday, I was 147 pounds. This morning, I was 144.5 — down 2.5 pounds! Sure, it is not as drastic as some of you have reported, but slow and steady wins the race. Part of what I am doing (and this may sound silly) is having me and my husband pretend I am already at my goal weight. I’ll say something like, “Gosh, it feels so good to weigh 120 pounds!” and he’ll say something like, “You look so wonderful, my 120 pound wife!” Haha. It is so silly, but it helps!

    I’m officially at my lowest post-pregnancy weight. I’ve been here twice before though, and then I gain 3 pounds back. I didn’t have Debra before, though! I know this time is the time I’m going to succeed. I feel so in control of my food now, and I am really used to eating 1200 calories a day– less of an urge to snack, no growling belly, etc…

    I’ll check in next week with an update!

  200. Juliana November 24, 2008 2:53 pm

    Hi again,

    6lbs in 7 days. I should be consuming about 1450 calories at my goal weight, but I cut it down to 1350. Maybe that’s what’s helped. I feel very much in control and content in knowing exactly what I’m putting into my body. My *need to eat* all the time is slowly but surely leaving me, and I’m getting accustomed to the idea of eating to fuel my machine, and in controlled portions. I’m hoping to drop another 6 this week.
    I wish everyone a wonderful week. Focus on yourselves.

  201. Carrie - awesome - thanks for keeping us updated and being willing to share what works for you. We are all different, but if it works for you, it might just work for someone else. That’s kind of how this whole thing got started in the first place! Good luck and have a great week.

    Juliana - excellent advice and you have a great week, too. I’m so glad you’re feeling in control and taking charge. Wonderful feeling, isn’t it?

  202. Leslie November 25, 2008 11:36 am

    —My Weekly Update—
    I started 4 weeks ago (Oct 28th) and have been tracking my updates weekly.
    Oct. 28 5′3 weight: 147
    Nov. 4 5′3 weight: 142
    Nov. 11 5′3 weight: 140
    Nov. 18 5′3 weight: 138
    Nov. 25 5′3 weight: 136

    - So I am DEF. losing 2 pounds a week, I would like to lose more but, as of last week,I started cutting down my calorie intake from 1300 to roughly 975-1000 a day. So I am not going to cut down anymore. If I continue to just lose 2 pounds, well hey, its 2 pounds! I am going to try and start incorporating hot yoga or maybe walking a mile 2 times a week to see if that makes a difference. Also, I feel like I don’t drink enough water so I am going to start doing that too this week!

    On another POSITIVE note, as I said last week, I was going to start tracking my measurments as well. They are:

    Nov. 14th: Waist: 32 1/2″ Hips: 40″
    Nov. 21st: Waist: 32″ Hips: 38″

    So even if I am not “losing” a lot of weight, I am DEF losing major inches off of my body! 2 inches in the hips ALONE in one week and another 1/2 inch in the waist! Everbody’s body is maybe I am one of those people who lose more inches than they do weight?? Until next time… Happy Thanksgiving everyone, safe travels and good look resisting the cravings!

  203. Leslie, I think you’re doing great! Happy Thanksgiving!

  204. Vithya November 28, 2008 1:55 am


    I am so surprised that this method of weight loss actually worked for some people. I have tried almost everything to lose weight. I bought products, exercise machines and diet plans to lose weight but nothing worked. I weigh 143 pounds and I need to lose 20 pounds. After trying everything I decided to quit because nothing seemed to work for me. But when I came across this article I feel that I can actually lose that 20 pounds. I am not used to eating only 1633 calories a day and so I am very scared about starting this diet. I dont think I can keep it up. Any advice on how to manage my calorie intake?

  205. tiffany November 28, 2008 1:58 pm

    this is GREAT!!! i have really been trying to lose weight, im about 155 at 5′5 feet tall and would love to be around 120.
    thanks for the motivation, im going home in 3 weeks and losing just 10lbs would be great.
    my question is would you mind sharing what you ate during those 3 weeks you lost the 26lbs?i want to have an idea of what worked! THANKS AGAIN

  206. Vithya - thoughts are everything! You must do whatever you need to do to remain positive. Try reading some of the other articles on this site regarding motivation and keeping your spirits high. Nearly everyone makes it (the “diet”) harder than it really is. Once you see how easy it is, you’ll likely be pleasantly surprised. The greatest discipline required is in keeping the spreadsheet - focus on that and you’ll be fine.

    Tiffany - I ate mostly microwave dinners, canned soups, and restaurant items that I could get calorie counts for. There are even more options available now than when I did it, so good luck and let us know what you find!

  207. tiffany November 29, 2008 3:04 pm

    thanks! i am eating 1541 calories
    Breakfast-4 egg whites, 3 omega eggs, spinacnh,1/4c cheese,2tbso freesh salsa
    Pwo-1 scoop protein powder
    Lunch-4oz fried chicken(dipped in buttermilk and coated with soyflour,and baked) with loaded mashed cauliflower-broccoli,1/4c chedder, 1tbsp no sugar ketchup
    Snack-celery with 4tsbp cream cheese
    Dinner-3oz beef with 1cup spag squash with 2 tbsp parm cheese and 2 tbsp flaxseed butter
    Snack-tea with ¼ whipped cream(heavy whipping cream whipped with splenda)

    i still don’t think it will be possible to lose even 15lbs in under a month-but i guess its because i have never actually stuck to my diet. im going to try REALLY hard. did you do any exercises? and if you don’t mind me asking how much did u weigh before? thanks, im keeping my fingers crossed

  208. Tiffany - if you’ll read the linked articles, you’ll lots of detailed answers to your questions, but here are the straight answers - no, I did not exercise. I started somewhere over 149 lbs - not sure how far over because I jumped off the scales once they hit that point! LOL!

    Now, don’t think it is impossible. Believe instead that it is possible. It IS possible - others have done it, you can, too. I believe you can do it. But we’ve got to get YOU believing it.

  209. NiNi November 30, 2008 12:25 am

    thanks girl! i’m going to start this diet and get back to you in a month (promise)

  210. Christiana Son November 30, 2008 11:09 pm

    Hello again Debra,

    I asked a question before about the spreadsheet. I read a lot of your articles and I am very much like you, from before. I am also 5″6 and am about 151 right now, the only difference would be our ages. I’m a senior in high school and I’m very discouraged about my weight. Two years ago I was 134 mainly because over the summer I had gone on mission with my church to Republic of Dominica and kept myself busy there as well as not eating much (sometimes I even drank just coffee for dinner because the food sometimes made me feel strange). Before I had left to there I was approximately 160ish and came back 150. I was so excited with how much I lost, I kept at it and went all the way to 134. But the weight slowly crept up for the year and I’m just back where I started!! I’m really discouraged about this and even more of the fact that I know that I will not have that opportunity to just lose weight over that 10-day missions to excite me into losing again. I really wanted to be around 123-128 before I went into college. It’s really hard as well since I’m still in high school and I have a schedule. And it is also really hard trying to keep track of my calorie intake because sometimes I have no idea how much calories are in the sandwich or meal or whatever I am getting. It also does not help that my best friend is non supportive of this. Whenever I mention anything about a diet, she rolls her eyes. I think that when I talk about losing weight she thinks that the idea is me being vain or superficial. And my mom (who was always a petite size) has always pressured me to lose weight ever since 5th grade. She makes it sound so easy, but I’m much different from her and feel discouraged when she comments on my weight. A little help please?


  211. Leslie December 2, 2008 11:55 am

    —My Weekly Update—
    I started 5 weeks ago (Oct 28th) and have been tracking my updates weekly.
    Oct. 28 5′3 weight: 147
    Nov. 4 5′3 weight: 142
    Nov. 11 5′3 weight: 140
    Nov. 18 5′3 weight: 138
    Nov. 25 5′3 weight: 136
    Dec. 2 5′3 weight: 136

    - Didn’t lose any (probbaly due to holiday weekend, but didn’t gain any either!)

    Nov. 14th: Waist: 32 1/2″ Hips: 40″
    Nov. 21st: Waist: 32″ Hips: 38″
    Nov. 28th: Waist: 31 1/2″ Hips: 38″

    Lost another 1/2 inch off my waist!

    If anyone out there is like me, they usually OVER indulge on holidays! So, I must say that I am satisfied at the fact that I didn’t gain any weight, although I didn’t lose any. I am eating roughly 975-1050 calories a day. I have also started walking about 2 miles (up and downhill) a day since Saturday. Until next week…

  212. Juliana December 2, 2008 1:56 pm

    Hi everyone,
    Hope it was a good holiday for all.
    I started this diet 15 days ago and have lost 9lbs.
    I actually haven’t kept track of my food for the last few days; since I eat a rotation of the same things, I pretty much know what I’m putting into my body and can gauge the calories I have in the day. I’ve taken up hot yoga 3x/week and I really like it. I know I will be hungry right after, so I make sure I eat accordingly throughout the day so as to not go over my calories after the exercise. It also helps to know exactly what I’m going to eat after yoga, and have it be quick and easy to prepare so I don’t get into a panicky hungry mode.

    I’m happy with 9lbs in 2 weeks. Hoping to be -4lbs by next Monday.

    Good week to everyone and keep focusing on yourselves. Very little in this life CAN’T be overcome. A diet is something that depends only on you; take advantage of that and take charge of your life.

  213. Juliana December 2, 2008 2:03 pm

    Forgot to mention that one thing I do religiously is weigh myself. Every day and night, especially when I eat something different from what I’ve been eating. I get plenty of sleep 8-9 hours/day. I drink plenty of water and I like to drink decaf green tea about an hour after lunch and just before bed. May be completely irrelevant, but works for me.

  214. NiNi - Looking forward to hearing from you!

    Christiana - lose the friend who is not supportive and listen to your mother. You probably have more in common with her than you think. Trust me on this one. I felt exactly the way you did once, but sometimes, in fact, most of the time, it’s those that are closest to us that get on our nerves the most. What you need is an attitude adjustment. (I mean that in a positive way.) Anything you think of as being difficult will be difficult. The good news is, anything you think of as being easy will be easy. Isn’t that great? This is an easy diet. You just have to take charge of what’s going into your body. If your friend rolling her eyes bothers you, and apparently it does, you either need to be determined to ignore her, or stop hanging out with her. The situation could be resolved simply by telling her how her actions make you feel. Curiously - how close is your friend to her ideal weight?

    Also, I never told anyone about my diet. You have a right to weigh whatever you want, whether that’s 100 pounds or 300 pounds. You shouldn’t have to defend what you want or explain to anyone why you want it. Keep it to yourself, or share it only with those who will be truly supportive. Sometimes people go overboard, turning support into judgment, which doesn’t help either. Keeping it to yourself precludes all of those problems. You’ve just got to do whatever it takes to take care of yourself, inside and out. Hope this helps - please keep in touch and let us know if we can help further, or how you’re doing in general.

    Juliana - I love your updates - please keep them coming!

    All - I appreciate you!

  215. Missy Dec 6/08 10:43 am December 7, 2008 2:39 pm

    Stumbled upon this site and love it!! 36 yrs old, 5″2, 131 lbs on Tuesday. Want to get back down to between 105-110. I’ll post my progress Tuesday. Good luck to you all!!!

  216. Welcome, Missy! We would appreciate hearing from you again.

  217. Leslie December 9, 2008 11:58 am

    —My Weekly Update—
    I started 6 weeks ago (Oct 28th) and have been tracking my updates weekly.
    Oct. 28 5′3 weight: 147
    Nov. 4 5′3 weight: 142
    Nov. 11 5′3 weight: 140
    Nov. 18 5′3 weight: 138
    Nov. 25 5′3 weight: 136
    Dec. 2 5′3 weight: 136
    Dec. 9 5′3 weight: 135

    - Lost 1 pound, which is decent…but inches are melting away! Another 1/2 inch off my waist and hips!

    Nov. 14th: Waist: 32 1/2″ Hips: 40″
    Nov. 21st: Waist: 32″ Hips: 38″
    Nov. 28th: Waist: 31 1/2″ Hips: 38″
    Dec. 5th: Waist: 31″ Hips: 37 1/2″

    Debra, I have been walking uphill for the past week and a half or so about 3 times a week… other than that nothing has changed. I am consuming 975-1075 calories a day…any idea on why my weight loss is slowing???

  218. Missy December 9, 2008 6:02 pm

    Ok so here’s my first week progress. I had a little bit of a slip up last night but I’m back on track today.

    Start Tues Dec 2- weight 131
    Tues Dec 9- weight 128

    Down 3 lbs this week and I’ll post my progress next week. Best of luck to all of you!!

  219. Tess December 10, 2008 1:51 am

    Starting tomorrow AM. Made the spreadsheet. 5′4”, currently 128 lbs. Ideal weight: 114-120. We’ll see how it goes. I have calorie counted before, hopefully I will keep it up. I tend to eat when bored at work, or just for a break. Any tips on how to avoid that? Also, I will eat when sad or cold, but primarily when bored at work or for a break. And there are TONS of sweets at my work- sometimes several cakes per day, so it’s easy to eat for social and break purposes, and for entertainment rather than fuel. I’m planning on 1394 cals per day and I’m curious as to how much I will lose. I doubt that number will result in the extremely rapid weight loss you had, maybe more like 2 pounds per week if I’m lucky, which is healthy weight loss. I’d like to lose more fast, but that tends to lower my metabolism and I end up gaining it back. I want to succeed. Thank you for the inspiration!

  220. Juliana December 11, 2008 5:08 pm

    Leslie, we must have similar body types/metabolism. I lost 9lbs during my first two weeks. Now I’m halfway into week 4, and I haven’t lost anything more than the 9lbs. Similar to you, however, I have been noticing that my clothes are fitting much looser, even without concrete weight loss. I don’t know if that really makes any sense, but I’ll take it. I’m sure our bodies have simply adjusted to the amount of calories we’re eating now. I have to admit, I did stop counting my calories about 2 weeks ago (bad girl!) so I’m going back to the pen and paper. I’ll also try to add pilates 2x/week at home (on top of my 3x/wk yoga classes). But like you said, NOT gaining weight and maintaining this 9lbs loss is already a good thing!

  221. Leslie - keep in mind that when you add exercise, you confuse the issue. It’s not a bad thing, it’s just that you start building muscle - especially walking uphill - and that will “add” weight. If you feel good about yourself and are continuing to look good in your clothes and are getting the results you want, and I think you are, I wouldn’t worry about the scales. I now, about 10 years later, weigh around 130, give or take on any particular day, but I’m more muscular and still wear a size 4. I could probably add muscle to my arms and weigh even more, but still be a size 4. I’m more concerned with how I feel - great - than what the scales say, or what size I wear. When I’m heavier, a size 6, or not getting exercise, I don’t feel as good in a lot of aspects. If you feel good, keep doing what you’re doing. If you start to feel bad, find what makes you feel better. And I mean really better, not indulging in food - I think you know what I mean there.

    I think you’re doing great and actually “losing” more than what the scales show due to the exercise. Did all of that make sense?

    Missy - you’re doing great! The point is to get right back on track. Don’t beat yourself up over a slip-up and don’t stop altogether because of it. You are where you are an it’s okay. Start from where you are now and create the life you want.

    Tess - a desire to succeed is the most important aspect of all of this. Keep us informed!

    Juliana - good attitude! And there is something about not tracking it that seems to impede progress. Speaking personally, I probably eat 100 or so calories more that I should if I’m not tracking it, and that’s just enough to keep you from seeing results. But as long as you are satisfied with your results and know what to do to get back on track, you’ll be fine. We’re going for satisfaction here - not perfection. Keep in touch.

    –thanks all!

  222. Leslie December 12, 2008 1:30 pm

    yes this makes sense! Thanks all!! And Juliana, it does seem like we are quite the keep me updated on your progress and any changes you may see!

  223. Leslie December 17, 2008 6:16 pm

    —My Weekly Update—
    I started 7 weeks ago (Oct 28th) and have been tracking my updates weekly.
    Oct. 28 5′3 weight: 147
    Nov. 4 5′3 weight: 142
    Nov. 11 5′3 weight: 140
    Nov. 18 5′3 weight: 138
    Nov. 25 5′3 weight: 136
    Dec. 2 5′3 weight: 136
    Dec. 9 5′3 weight: 135
    Dec. 16 5′3 weight: 135

    Nov. 14th: Waist: 32 1/2″ Hips: 40″
    Nov. 21st: Waist: 32″ Hips: 38″
    Nov. 28th: Waist: 31 1/2″ Hips: 38″
    Dec. 5th: Waist: 31″ Hips: 37 1/2″
    Dec. 12th: Waist: 30 1/2″ Hips: 37 1/2″

    Down a 1/2 inch in the waist. This past week though I must say it was hard for me to not snack out AND to write everything down. Back on track today and will let you know my next update on Tuesday, Dec. 23rd.

  224. Juliana December 20, 2008 12:03 pm

    Happy Saturday, everyone!
    It’s snowing endlessly here in the Northeast. Hope everyone is safe and warm.

    So I began counting calories again… and look at that, I dropped 3lbs in the last 4 days. I wonder if the time I took off calorie counting (didn’t gain, just didn’t lose) kind of fooled my body into readjusting my metabolism… who knows.

    Tomorrow will mark my 5th week, and I’ve lost 13.4 lbs. All my jeans are loose, and one of the pairs I can take off and put on without unbuttoning :)

    Hope you all have a wonderful week. Save those calories for the holidays!!!

  225. Missy December 23, 2008 2:29 pm

    Here’s my progress to date,

    Start Tues Dec 2- weight 131
    Tues Dec 9- weight 128
    Tues Dec 23-weight 125
    Slowly but surely I’m on my way!! Good luck to you all and Happy Holidays!!

  226. Leslie - thanks for the consistency - can hardly wait to hear from you today!

    Juliana - my ex-mother-in-law used to eat to stay warm! I’m glad you’re counting calories and won’t have a setback due to the cold weather. It’s been bad here, too, and we’re getting sleet right now. Have a great holiday!

    Missy - Happy Holidays to you as well and enjoy the steady progress!

  227. Isabelliz January 6, 2009 4:03 pm

    Isabelliz here!I came across this website two years ago, I believe. But never did I pay attention to it. Now that I have reached my all time weight of 148.8 lbs, I am willing to give it a chance. I start today and I am willing to compromise myself to this diet. I want to lose the weight before my anniversary and I will keep you posted on my achievements.

    Current Weight: 148.8 lbs
    Goal Weight: 135 lbs
    Ideal Weight: 125 lbs

    Thank you so much. I will be posting weekly. That way I keep myself motivated.

  228. Gauri January 7, 2009 12:08 am

    I have been trying to lose weight for a long time but never found a “doable” plan! I’m 5′ 3.5″ and weigh about 185 pounds as of today. I need to drop at least 35 pounds. I gained massive amount of weight 3 yrs ago due to hypothyroidism. Unfortunately after that it has been a battle losing weight.

    To cut the long story short, I’m feeling very motivated after reading your article and hopefully this plan will work for me. It seems manageable.

    My question is that I’m originally from India and tend to eat Indian food at home (everyday dinner). Not to be mistaken for the Indian food from restaurants, what I cook usually doesn’t contain much oil or spices (its basically cooked veggies), but I tend to eat a low-carb whole wheat tortilla and some rice as well. I’m not quite sure how to calculate calorie content of these foods (especially the curries(indian veggies), rice, and dal(lentils)) since these are not traditional American foods for which calorie info is easily available.

    Any suggestions? Also, I would appreciate any tips on what foods to eat..I am not a heavy meat eater and can live on veggies and fruits. But I do eat bread regularly.

    Hoping to hear from you.

    I’ll keep you posted about any progress I make on this plan. :)

  229. Welcome Isabelliz and Gauri! Please keep us posted on your progress.

    Gauri - the only thing I know for sure is that the diet won’t work unless you know how many calories you are consuming. This is science, which deals with facts and numbers, and there’s just no getting around that. Some people have luck on just cutting back, but more people have success in working the numbers. You might try going to a larger supermarket and searching the isles for foods you like that do have calorie counts available.

    Hope that helps - good luck!

  230. Sharon Robertson January 11, 2009 9:23 am

    So simple, yet so profound. I am going to try this. Thank you for the Idea.

  231. Thanks, Sharon, good luck, and welcome!

  232. Leslie January 12, 2009 4:11 pm

    Hi All-

    Sorry I have been out of commission over the past 3 weeks or so with the holidays ect…but just wanted to get back on track. I gained about 5lbs give or take over the holidays but have already lost it! Also, I have decided to run a half marathon (13 miles!!) in April, and have begun training for that! I am NOT a big runner by any means, but felt that this was a solid New Year goal that I could accomplish if I put my mind to it (AND I am sure to lose some lbs!) With this said, I have decided to start raising my calorie intake as I will need more fuel since I am burning more. As I get more pregressive in my training, I will raise the calories more!

    My question for you Debra is this… Before I started training (when my workout level was Sedentary) my calorie intake per day was 975-1,000. Since my exersize level will start to pregress (currently at a moderate to heavy level but will get up to exceptional level) what should my new calorie intake be? Should I double my calorie intake once I am heavy into my training? Just wanted to get your thoughts!

    Below is my track record…Good luck everyone!

    —My Weekly Update—
    I started 2 1/2 months ago (Oct 28th) and have been tracking my updates weekly.
    Oct. 28 5′3 weight: 147
    Nov. 4 5′3 weight: 142
    Nov. 11 5′3 weight: 140
    Nov. 18 5′3 weight: 138
    Nov. 25 5′3 weight: 136
    Dec. 2 5′3 weight: 136
    Dec. 9 5′3 weight: 135
    Dec. 16 5′3 weight: 135
    Jan. 12 5′3 weight: 135

  233. Gigi January 13, 2009 8:00 am

    I just accidentally stumbled upon this site, and I must say it really has me excited!! I have been trying to lose weight for a year and I went from 165 to about 145. That was already difficult. I’m 5′8, 25 years old. I was a dancer and weighed about 120-123 lbs about 2 years ago and I really want to be at that weight again.

    The problem started when I went back to college. I work and go to school. Most days I won’t even eat until about 10pm, eat one HUGE meal, then go to bed and do it all over again the next day. It sounds wierd because I wasn’t eating much, but I put on 40 lbs in about 2 months!! Yikes! It’s been a struggle ever since.

    I’ll be honest, I’m a little scared about eating this many calories since I’m only used to eating once or twice a day. >_< But I’m gonna trust you!! At my height (5′8) do you think its okay for my daily caloric intake to be about 1,450 - 1,500? Or do I need a little more?

    Thank you so much!! I hope this works. I’m really excited. Sometimes the simplist plan is the best. I don’t know how people didn’t see this before. Eat at the weight you want to be! Genius!!

  234. Gauri January 13, 2009 10:38 am

    Dear Debra,

    I appreciate your response to my question. I have finally started on this diet plan yesterday (Jan. 10, 2009). I was very surprised to see that it was not really a “diet”! I didn’t reduce any portions in any meal..I ate as much as I do on a normal day (no restaurant food!). According to the useful websites provided by you, my ideal weight range in 134 - 151 Lbs (I’m aiming for 140 Lbs right now), and the corresponding amount of calories that can be consumed per day is 1827 - 2059 (1909 cal for a weight of 140 Lbs.). However, my calorie consumption on a daily basis seems to average between 1450 - 1800 calories even now when I am overweight!! I think I might be doing something wrong in my calculations (I’m certainly not undernourished!..I would be if I were eating so less everyday)…when you say count calories in each meal, do you mean just look at the “calories per serving” number on the food packet/nutrition info and multiply it by the number of servings you eat? Or is there any special calculation involved for calories from fat? Please clarify this for me.

    Once again, your feedback will be appreciated.

  235. James Lee January 19, 2009 5:11 pm

    Hi Debra,

    I read this article on the 13th, and started it on the 14th. My fiance and I have got a food scale and we count EVERYTHING. We find ourselves saving calories simply by not wanting to eat certain foods. So far I have lost 4 lbs. My start weight was 241 and my goal is 180. I am 5′11 with a large frame so I think that is a good goal for me.

    Best of all, I am doing this for a purpose, so my mind automatically tells my body no, and I’m not even hungry!!

    Another thing that has helped me a lot to cut calories is I drink a lot of tea. Also, put a measuring spoon in the sugar jar if you must use it!! lol, Thanks Debra!!!

  236. Sorry everyone - my switch in WordPress to send me an email whenever anyone posts a comment is not working and I’ve been so busy lately I completely forgot to check in. So here goes - in order of easiest reply–

    James - welcome and good luck, you are your fiance can come here anytime with questions or for encouragement. I find that just reading the other comments motivates me!

    Gigi - if only everyone could see me through your eyes! I think your starting calories are fine - remember that you can adjust them if you’re not getting the results you want - very scientific - I’ll bet you’re going to love this “plan.”
    Please keep in touch.

    Gauri - yes, just the number of calories per serving times the number of servings you eat - nothing special - except being honest with yourself - LOL! If you’re eating raw foods, you do have to allow more calories per gram for fat, that’s why I prefer to keep it simple in the beginning and eat only what you can find the exact calories for. Remember it’s not forever, just until you retrain your body. After a few weeks, you’ll know what 300 calories - for example - feels like and you’ll stop eating after that. You’ll know when you’ve over eaten and when to cut back. Hope this helps.

    Leslie - welcome back and congrats on the commitment! Wow! I’m not sure I would double the calories, although running does burn a lot of calories fast. Do you train on a treadmill? There are some that track the approximate number of calories you burn during each session. That would give you a starting number. Does that make sense?

  237. Lisa January 24, 2009 12:24 pm

    Hey, I just started on this and I thought it was wonderful at first, like wow, this is really simple!

    Well, I calculated my age and my height and my goal weight which is 140, and I’ve been counting out 1,700 calories a day, which is more than I usually eat.

    But I’ve seemed to be gaining weight instead of losing weight. Am I doing something wrong? Any help would be greatly appreciated!

  238. lillian chores January 25, 2009 3:50 pm

    I may have missed it, but has ANYONE discussed whether light white wine can be used as part of the calorie allotment? Yes, I do know it’s supposed to preoccupy the liver to NOT burn fat until the alcohol has been processed, and I know it lowers your inhibitions about intake, and I agree it is “empty calories” and, worst, it is probably addictive for a lot of people — BUT beside all those negatives, is a calorie a calorie, and if you wanted to drink your dinner once in awhile, what do you think?

  239. Lisa,

    1700 per day sounds like a lot. I am working on my own calculator, but in the meantime, tell me how tall you are and how much you want to weigh and I’ll give you some numbers. Remember that at 5′6″ I ate 1425.


    You asked for what I think, so here goes.

    Anytime you do something that you believe is bad or wrong for you, you lower your self-esteem. Losing weight will be much easier if you keep your self-esteem high. Personally, I don’t drink much alcohol of any kind because I either don’t like the taste of it, or I don’t like the bloated feeling it leaves me with. I will occasionally (like twice per year) indulge in a tropical drink containing rum or something like that. But given all the negatives you listed, I would stay away from light white wine. Hope this helps–

  240. Lisa January 27, 2009 1:46 am

    I’ve checked a bunch of times on different calculators. I’m 5′7 and I’m 23. They all say I need around 1,700 calories to maintain 140 in weight. I actually tried upping my calories to lose 20 pounds instead of the 60 pounds I would have been losing if I were trying to eat for a 140 pound person. So I started eating for a 180 pound person and now I’m starting to lose weight. I guess eating 1,700 was too little for me.

    I’ve always tried to lose weight eating less, and always gaining and thinking something was wrong with me. But now that I’ve been eating around 1,900 calories I’ve been losing it. So as soon as I hit my 180 mark, I’ll lower my calorie intake to 1,700 to get down to 140. :]

    I hope that wasn’t too confusing! Lol.

  241. Tasia Miles January 27, 2009 11:55 am

    Hello Everyone,

    I wanted to post my update, it’s been awhile. Well I am 105lbs!! I did it. I have to admit I could have acheived my goals sooner but I kept falling off and then getting back on. I found after losing the bulk of it early this fall I was happy.

    This does work. I wanted to post a success so you guys knew it worked for me as well.

    Good Luck!

  242. tina January 29, 2009 7:32 pm

    I just stumbled upon this site today and I couldn’t be more excited! From a logical, scientific viewpoint, this plan makes perfect sense. I’ll be checking in regularly to update my progress. For starters:

    36 years old
    5′5″ medium frame
    161 lbs. (ugh)

    Goal weight: 125

  243. Wow, Tasia - thanks for posting that! You’re amazing! I think everyone need so to hear that it’s okay to mess up, you just get back on and start from where you are in any given moment. It does make you happier to be at a healthy weight. It just helps in so many ways.

    Lisa - whatever works for you, girl!

    Tina - give yourself a break and lose the “ugh.” - it’s not that bad. Your goal weight of 125 sounds good. Now let’s see how fast you can get there - make a game of it. This is supposed to be fun and exciting. Keep it that way and you’ve going to do great.

  244. Sean February 1, 2009 2:25 pm

    Hi, I started this diet about a week ago and since then have lost about 7 pounds. But since then it seems I have plateaued and my weight is constant. I’m eating enough to sustain a 130 pound person, but I’m still at 170. I went back and calculated my calorie intake for each day and saw that I was eating about 1100 calories each day instead of 1702! So should I start eating MORE to lose weight?!

  245. missy February 3, 2009 11:50 am

    Well I’m back and making myself accountable. I stopped counting calories and I weigh 133 lbs today. 5″2 …37 yrs old. My goal weight is 110 lbs.
    And I really like what you said Debra about making it a game to see how fast you can take the weight off. That clicks with me. So I went to the store today. Stocked up on some special k cereal for breakfast…got some water based soups for lunch and some lean cuisines for dinners and I’m back on track. Wish me luck and I’ll keep you all posted. Good luck to you all.

  246. Sean, 1100 seems low. It is natural to “plateau” somewhat - you’ll probably see results again in a couple of days. 1400-1500 would be a good number to shoot for.

    Missy, Good luck! It sounds like you’re on the right track and accepting responsibility is a huge part of this. Please keep us posted!

  247. Sean February 4, 2009 8:51 pm

    Thank you!
    I started eating closer to the 1700 target and I finally got passed that mark adn hopefully keep it up!

    You are very helpful! Thanks!
    I’ll keep you updated! Haha.

  248. Linda February 7, 2009 1:40 pm

    hey debra, i’m currently 126 i want to go down to around 105-107 which means that i have to lose 21 pounds. I picked out Sedentary for my exercise plan so does that mean that I don’t have to exercise at all? my calorie amount that they said that i should be consuming is 1459 but i subtracted 250 so that would mean that i have to take around 1209 calories a day

    please comment back if i made a mistake


  249. Linda February 7, 2009 1:44 pm

    hey sorry i didn’t post everything in one post. i just scrolled up and saw that some of the comments go back to 2006! and although it’s 2009 now your still responding back to everyone and as i can tell most of these people have lost weight. I can’t wait to give it a try :]

  250. Linda,

    I advise people to keep things simple and not try to exercise at the same time they start this program. It’s just too much. So, no, you don’t have to exercise at all and everyone who’s tried it says it works. You’ll feel more like exercising once you lose the weight - so just chill about that for now.

    Your 1209 seems more accurate for a goal of 105 than 1459; you must be around 5 feet tall, is that right?

  251. Linda February 8, 2009 9:02 pm

    yup exactly 5ft

  252. Linda February 8, 2009 9:05 pm

    oh and btw does that mean that i can have whatever i want as long as i control the portions and count every calorie?

  253. Jenn February 8, 2009 10:46 pm

    Okay. My name is Jenn and I’m 14 years old. I’m 5′6″ and one week ago I was 157 pounds. Thanks to you Debra, exactly one week later, I am 151 pounds! I am so excited, and this made me even more pumped! The first day for me was hard, because I’m used to eating like a pig and not caring how much I put into my body. After 2 days, I got used to the smaller intake of food and felt the difference right away. My friends and family have already commented on my face looking smaller and my stomach starting to smooth down. I cannot tell you how happy I am to finally find something that is so easy to do and get so quick of results. I am grateful for finding this website and I will keep sharing my progress with you and others who are reading my comment. Again thank you for putting your secret out there.

  254. Leslie February 9, 2009 11:27 am

    Hey Guys! I it has been a couple of weeks since I tracked my progress… but the reason is that it hasn’t really changed. I don’t know if my body is just getting used to the routine or not… I am consuming around 11-1300 calroies a day and running and walking about 3 miles 3 to 4 times a week. I am training for a half marathon so that is why I have started the exercise and have raised my calorie intake.

    Debra, do you have any idea or thoughts on how to get me over the 135 pund hump…my goal is 122 in (hopefully) 6 weeks. Is that doable?? 13 pounds in 6 weeks? Please advise…below are my current results…I have gone down 1/2 inch in my waist!

    —My Updates—

    Oct. 28 5′3 weight: 147
    Nov. 4 5′3 weight: 142
    Nov. 11 5′3 weight: 140
    Nov. 18 5′3 weight: 138
    Nov. 25 5′3 weight: 136
    Dec. 2 5′3 weight: 136
    Dec. 9 5′3 weight: 135
    Dec. 16 5′3 weight: 135
    Jan. 12 5′3 weight: 135
    Feb. 9 5′3 weight: 135

    Nov. 14th: Waist: 32 1/2″ Hips: 40″
    Nov. 21st: Waist: 32″ Hips: 38″
    Nov. 28th: Waist: 31 1/2″ Hips: 38″
    Dec. 5th: Waist: 31″ Hips: 37 1/2″
    Dec. 12th: Waist: 30 1/2″ Hips: 37 1/2″
    Jan. 22nd: Waist: 30 1/2″ Hips: 37″
    Feb. 6th: Waist: 30″ Hips: 37″

  255. Kathy February 13, 2009 11:07 am


    Just came across this and I would love to try it! But when I put in my desired weight of 123 I get back 1677 which is quite higher then your number of 1425. Is there a way to factor in age? I read through some of the posts and I believe you said you were 5′6 which is what I am as well. For now I will try this with your number since we might be about the same age. I’ve already had a coffee with cream, bagel and cream cheeze so that might have to be it for the day! I will check back with my progress, I was looking for something like this.

  256. Linda - yes, you can have anything you want - just count it. and keep in mind that what you want might change after you see how much it “costs.”

    Jenn - you’re awesome! thanks for sharing your experience. Please keep in touch.

    Leslie - I believe that anything is possible. I am not expert in how the exercise might be affecting your results. You certainly have access to other experts on the web. You’re doing great and I think you’ll get there. Sometimes you do just level off, and then you it looks like you lose 2-3 pounds in one day - go figure. You’re doing great, though, and as long as you feel great, don’t worry too much about the exact number.

    Kathy - I’m turning 41 in April, but I was 26 when I went on this diet. I’d stick with the 1425. You can always eat more!


Leave a Comment

Name (required)

Email (required)



To prove you're a person (not a spam script), type the security word shown in the picture.
Anti-Spam Image

More Blog Posts

Next Post: Time Chunking
Previous Post: Put Yourself First