Alright, with that out of the way, here's a list of my core essentials.
1. Don't announce to the world that you are dieting. The more you say that, the more they will pay attention to your weight lost and what you eat. Some people may even say, "you're too skinny, you don't need to diet." Others may go as far as to purposely "sabotage" your diet.
2. Avoid suspicion. You can politely decline food, but people start to wonder when you never eat what they offer you. It is better to eat a little something to appease them than to always refuse. Eating a bite of salad or a cookie is much better in the long run to throw off your trail than being watched like a hawk.
3. Exercise is key. You instantly burn calories, you burn more calories when your resting, and muscle will make you look thinner than "skinny fat." It distracts yourself from eating, and it can reduce your immediate appetite.
4. There are good carbs and bad carbs. Good carbs are fruit and vegetables. Bad carbs are anything processed, grains, potatoes, beans, added gluten, and yeast. Don't feel bad about eating good carbs. Avoid eating bad carbs.
5. Protein is good. It's much better to have non-processed meat than processed stuff. A piece of steak is much better than a sausage. Fish is amazing, same with poultry.
6. Dairy is underrated. Yogurt and non-fat milk have components that help bind to fat and prevent you from absorbing as much. Plus, you need a lot of calcium if you're eating lots of protein. The only reason why anti-dairy people say dairy is bad for bones and dieting is because western populations (that eat dairy) have a higher rate of osteoporosis and obesity than their non-western counterparts. That's bull. Westerners don't eat enough calcium to compensate their protein intake. Also most westerners eat too much in general.
7. Vegan/vegetarian for weight loss purposes only doesn't work. If you're vegan or vegetarian for animal rights and morals, that's perfectly fine. But it's not worth it as a diet.
8. Don't weigh yourself too often. Once a week is enough. Weigh too often and you'll freak out over the daily fluctuations of weight gain and lost. It takes time to see fat-loss differences, and water and food weight is what shows up on most of the "I lost 5 pounds over night" diets.
9. Over shoot your goal weight. When you start eating a maintenance diet, you will gain some weight back (3-5 pounds) as your stomach and intestines start filling with food. If your ultimate goal is 85, stop dieting when you reach 82 pounds and slowly ease into maintaining your weight.
10. Water! Water! Water! Water is key to life. It's key to health. When you are restricting your food intake, you are also indirectly restricting your water intake. You need to drink more water. Tea, juice, and soda count towards water intake levels, but sweetened tea, juice, and soda often have extra calories (and refined sugar, which is a bad carb from #4).
The "ana lifestyle" is a razor's edge between being skinny and developing an eating disorder. It is dancing between power and death. You wager your social life, your health, and your soul when you do this. If you think you've fallen on the wrong side of things, seek psychological and medical help.