Losing 200 Pounds With Just 4 Rules

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flickr.com/alancleaver
Alan Cleaver



Kentucky mom Anita Mills lost more than 200 pounds by following just four simple rules her doctor had given her.

That's pretty amazing in itself, considering Mills weighed 382 pounds when she started, but what's more surprising are the rules she followed, especially the fourth one: Don't tell anyone you're dieting.

When you think about it, it's pretty brilliant. No one gives you unwanted advice, or tries to undermine your resolve by saying things like, "Just this once..." or, "A tiny taste won't kill you." And if you hit a plateau or suffer a slip-up, you won't feel like everyone's watching and judging you.

It evidently worked for Mills. After a lifetime of being overweight, she says it finally hit her that she might not survive to care for her two sons, husband and elderly parents if she didn't do something.

Her doctor had written down four tips to help her lose weight and in August 2009, she decided to give them a try.

The tips are amazingly simple -- and obviously effective.  See what you think:

1. Eat 8 ounces of food every 3 hours.

2. No sugary drinks.

3. Do not skip meals.

4. Do not tell anyone what you're doing.

This strategy basically kept Mills from getting hungry and snacking on empty calories. It kept her away from soda, which packs a calorie wallop and can raise blood pressure and increase the risk for diabetes.  And it gave her the privacy to work on losing weight without a lot of outside interference.

She also said she walked most days and exercised a couple times a week to a low-impact Richard Simmons video. That's it.

It took her a little over a year, but she says it's given her a whole new life -- including an appearance on the Rachael Ray show, where she got a makeover.

The weight loss, she says, has also provided a lesson for her 19- and 23-year-old sons:

"I tell the kids this doesn't just mean weight loss; if you put your mind to anything, nothing can stop you."

Photo credit: Alan Cleaver via flickr.

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