July 09, 2014
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You've cut soda from your diet, you use smaller plates, and you could tell any random passerby the number of calories in your meals, but the weight just doesn't seem to be shedding. What's a girl to do?

Turns out, there may be a few steps on your way to weight loss that you've overlooked. We spoke with nutrition expert Mary Hartley, R.D., about several ways to lose weight that people may not think of at first, but that are actually some of the best things you can do to get the pounds to disappear for good.

1. Quit drinking. Even the most diligent dieters sometimes falter when it comes to their beverages of choice. According to Hartley, it may be time to ditch the booze. "At first, you quit drinking alcohol because you're sick of feeling guilty, of one more hangover, and of hearing about it from your loved ones, but, as an added bonus, when you give up the bloating and calories from alcohol, you lose weight."

2. Move to the city. "When you live in a city with lots of public transportation and few parking spots, it makes sense to dump the car," Hartley says. "Who knew all of that walking would take off weight?" If the opportunity presents itself, make the big move and see the results. Not looking for such a major geographic relocation? Turn your own city in to your own pedestrian- or bike-friendly playground.

3. Turn off the TV. It shouldn't come as a surprise that you burn fewer calories sitting and watching TV than you do during pretty much any other activity. Not only that, but Hartley says TV time tends to encourage people to snack. Her advice: To lose weight, spend less time in front of the TV and more time doing just about anything else.

4. Change your prescription. Your prescription is one of those sneaky factors that you probably don't realize is keeping you from losing weight. According to Hartley, "Weight gain is a side effect of certain medications for mood disorders, diabetes, high blood pressure, and seizures. If you think a prescription is affecting your weight, talk to your doctor, but never stop a prescription on your own."

5. Give up dieting. "Solid scientific evidence shows that people who 'diet' usually don't get to the permanent maintenance stage," Hartley says. "Switch from traditional diets to 'intuitive eating' to lose weight for good."

You've read our advice, now it's your turn. Let us know how these overlooked weight loss methods worked for you! Comment below or tweet us @Shape_Magazine and @DietsinReview.

By Elizabeth Simmons for