Since our editor, Scott, started the Social Diet and announced to the world he was going to lose 20 pounds or fail publicly, Cooking Light has received many letters and comments via social media in support of his efforts. Many offered their encouragement and shared stories of their own weight loss, and the strategies they used. Here are 5 weight-loss tips from readers.

1.    “Make lunch your big treat meal of the day, and dinner a light, vegetable plate.” –Marian A.Marian, who has been subscribed to Cooking Light since 1987, lost 20 pounds in 4 months. With her daughter’s wedding coming up, she used lighter strategies such as this one. By making lunch a big event, she found herself eating less later in the day, and even said her husband enjoyed the time they spent together during their lunch dates.

2.    “ I lost 70 pounds in 9 months by making 90 to 95% of my meals from Cooking Light magazine, website, and newsletters.” –Gretchen M.Gretchen suggested to just look right under our noses, at the latest Cooking Light recipes. Using a healthy recipe provides a framework and keeps calories and fat in check.

3.    “Muscle confusion—mix up your workout routine.” –Cindy A.Cindy said to mix up your cardio to avoid getting stuck in a work out rut. She does everything from cardio boxing, to 12-mile bike rides, to step class. This helps target different muscle groups and keep things interesting.

4.    “Add color to your meal every day—fruits and vegetables, no M & M’s.” –Jill M.Jill said trying to eat as many colors as she can in a day has made her eat more fruits and veggies. Think red tomatoes, green broccoli, white cauliflower, yellow squash, purple cabbage, and orange carrots. According to research, colorful veggies contain more antioxidants.

5.    “Measure what you eat—make it part of your routine. Even measure your cereal.” –Jill M.We mentioned before how hard it is to properly portion foods like cereal, pasta, and popcorn. Jill said keeping a few measuring cups handy, and measuring everything (down to your morning cereal) will help with portioning.

Do you have tips for healthy weight loss? Share your stories with us! Comment here, email and tweet @Cooking_Light using #SocialDiet.