Jeff Schmidt's office is filled with awards - none better than the prize of slipping on an old shirt.

"I should be able to wrap the shirt around," says Schmidt, as he tries on an old work shirt. "Everybody is just amazed. People come up to me and ask how I lost the weight and I tell them about the BDA."

The BDA is something the 43 -year-old heard about two years ago when he saw a News 8 report on Blake Sylvia.

He lost 70 pounds in seven months without dieting.

He did it with a simple mealtime strategy he calls the BDA - "Before, During and After" diet.

The key is H2O.

Drink one glass of water before a meal, one during the meal and another after eating.

Each glass is about eight ounces.

"People don't want complicated diets," explains UT Southwestern dietician Lona Sandon.

By some estimates, eight out of every ten Americans are overweight.

Sandon says the water diet appeals to people who want to lose weight for several reasons: It's simple, it's free and it works.

There's nothing magical or mystical about the process. The water is helping fill you up and make you feel full. So if you already feel full before you even start the meal, guess what? You're probably going to eat less.

Sandon says Before, During, and After is safe and can potentially save dieters 500 calories a day.

That's almost seven Big Macs a week.

Two years ago, Jeff Schmidt cancelled a weight loss lap band surgery to give the BDA water diet a try.

"I didn't have to do the surgery or write a check for $15,000," he said, smiling. "I lost a little over 50 pounds in a year's time."

That weight has stayed off, giving Schmidt the confidence to finally clean out his closet - knowing he won't be "big" Jeff ever again.


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