One Small Change: 3 Ways to Lose 5 Pounds in a Month
No AlcoholMy one small change: "I ditched alcohol for one month"
Kellie Fagan, 25
Current weight: 128.5
Pounds lost: 6.5The Challenge
"My diet downfall is drinking," says Fagan. "Social events with my friends and colleagues always involve alcohol. I can end up having a dozen or more light beers, margaritas, or glasses of wine during any given week. And when I get a buzz, it's hard to resist junk food, which makes losing weight close to impossible."The Expert Says
"Having one or two drinks a day or four-plus on the weekend -- even if it's light beer or wine -- adds hundreds, even thousands of calories to your diet," says Molly Morgan, RD, a dietitian in Vestal, New York. Also upping the calorie ante: "Alcohol lowers your inhibitions, so an order of French fries or a burger doesn't seem as bad as it normally would."The Plan
Go for the flavorful fake-out. At your next party, have an appetizing drink that looks like a cocktail, such as sparkling water with lime. This way you won't feel bored or deprived.
Skip fruit juice. It averages at least 110 calories a glass.
Don't sip while stressed. If you're drinking to unwind after a tough day, better to target that stress in a healthy way. Head to the gym! Go for a walk!
"Early on, I went out for a friend's birthday and struggled not to drink," Fagan admits. "I didn't think I could do it, but I just had diet soda the entire evening. There were plenty of times over the month when I wanted a drink, but once I started waking up feeling refreshed on Mondays, instead of exhausted from a weekend of partying, it got easier. It also helped that my friends and family were 100 percent supportive."How to Stick with It
"I created a cravings swap," says Fagan. "After a stressful day, all I wanted was a beer (okay, several). Instead, I relaxed on the couch with a bit of ice cream. The calories can't even compare to a bunch of beers."The Unexpected Perk
"I stopped smoking, too," says Fagan. "I crave cigarettes more when I drink, so it made sense to kick the habit while I wasn't touching booze. And I'm not turning back!"Will She Stay with It?
Not entirely. "I plan on having an occasional cocktail, but it's going to be in moderation."
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