If you’ve ever struggled to lose weight fast – and keep it off – you’re one among millions (perhaps billions) of frustrated individuals.
About 45 million Americans plan to go on a diet every year – and that’s part of the problem. Dieting isn’t the answer. Diets just don’t work. Research reveals that 97 percent of dieters who have had fast weight loss, regain their weight (and sometimes more) within three years.
If you’ve been part of a structured diet program and have managed your weight, congratulations, you are one of a kind. What you’ve probably done is more than a diet, you allowed your habits to become part of your daily routine, right?
So once you decide to change your “diet” into a lifestyle, what do you do? There is so much information out there, who is right? That’s also part of the problem. The weight-loss industry rakes in a profit of more than $64 billion in every year.
When money is involved, some companies keep their ethics, while others want to keep up volume and profits. That means some companies have sacrificed the health and well-being of their customers by overlooking mountains of scientifically-proven medical research for the sake of financial gain.
The result: highly processed, sugar-laden, sodium-enriched “food”.
We want to help you make the right choices to lose weight fast and feel good every day. Here are 20 natural and healthy ways to lose weight:
#1 Keep a food journal
Various studies show that people who keep a food “diary” eat about 15 percent fewer calories and have faster weight loss. A tangible record of your food intake, which is likely to contain some unsavory items, is often enough to alter your eating habits.
#2 Find a Support Group
Whether online or in-person, having a person or group of individuals who support your goals works. According to the American Psychological Association (APA), social support makes it “easier to stick with a weight loss plan…share tips on diet and exercise and (find) an exercise buddy.”
#3 Drink More Water
It’s fine to drink your coffee, juice or milk in the morning, but don’t forget water. Research has shown that oftentimes those who are on a diet or weight loss plan lose more weight when they drink enough water.
Water helps to flush the body of toxins. It’s also important to stay away from sugary soda drinks. The average American consumes approximately 25 pounds of soft drinks annually.
#4 Opt for healthy snacks
Yes, lifestyle-based weight loss requires self-discipline. That means snacking healthy or skipping snacks. It’s also important to regular the amount and timing of your snacks. Forgoing your “midnight snack” or “guilty pleasure” can actually prevent a few extra pounds each year.
#5 Less TV
Just one less hour of TV, and you’ll be less inclined to go “movie theater” mode. Yes, we all love that scrumptious treat while watching our favorite show. Instead, go for a light walk or jog.
#6 Clean or Organize
Cleaning occupies your mind. It also is a great way to relax and destress. No kidding. Find something – a bathroom floor, a closet, inside or outside of a car, windows, anything – to clean. Cleaning also burns calories!
#7 Deny the “hunger impulse”
So many of us reach for that fatty treat out of habit. Actual physical hunger stimulates hunger hormones – and you’ll know when you need to eat. Most experts agree that when we think we’re hungry, we are actually just thirsty. Drink more and give it 20 minutes. If you’re still hungry, enjoy a healthy snack.
#8 Take the stairs for 10 minutes each day
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, frequent “stair-takers” burn five times more calories than their counterparts who use the elevator. This figures out to 10 pounds per year!
#9 Take a short walk every couple of hours
Use your breaks to your advantage. Take a brisk 5-minute walk every two hours, and you’ll have 20 minutes of aerobic activity in your pocket before even stepping out of the office of home office. Win!
#10 Ease off the additives
If you choose to eat processed foods, commit to buying products without corn syrup, fructose, or (if you can) sugar. Look for sugar-free versions and low sodium options without preservatives. It’s much easier to find products like these today, but you’d be surprised how much is still out there with ingredients you cannot pronounce.
#11 Close the kitchen
A great habit is to clean and close the kitchen after dinner. In fact, set a time it’s close and when it reopens in the AM. Late-evening feasting comes at a price. In fact, studies claim about 31 pounds of calories a year. It’s worth skipping.
#12 Take a brisk walk before dinner
Most research reveals walking after dinner helps with digestion and weight loss. According to a University of Glasgow study, “Walking before a meal reduces the fat levels in the blood and improves the function of the blood vessels, even in the individual has a high fat and carbohydrate meal.” A walk before dinner also increases the sensation of fullness.
#13 Eat most meals at home
Restaurants and other places serve large portions of food with higher levels of oil and salt than you would actually use at home. Skip the calories and indulge in healthier options of your favorite fast food dish at home.
#14 Use a smaller plate
The size of plates have dramatically increased in size compared to what they were 50 years ago. Using a smaller plate, especially if you like to go for seconds, tricks your mind into think you ate more.
#15 Order Smaller Portions
During the occasions when you treat yourself to fast food, order the smallest portion. This allows you to enjoy your favorite food without all the fat and calories of your usual portion. To experience an even bigger caloric difference, order a house salad instead of fries.
#16 Load up on veggies
Most vegetables are low in calories, high in nutrition and very filling. Consuming them raw or preparing them well can be delicious.
#17 Eat more (healthy) cereal
There’s a plethora of research that reveals that oatmeal or high fiber whole grain cereal is a great breakfast or snack option. Oat bran, Grape Nuts, Shredded Wheat and Steel Cut Oats are all excellent choices. Eating whole grains help you feel fuller longer.
#18 Leave white bread alone
According to a Harvard University study: “whole grain intake was associated with up to 9% lower mortality and up to 15% lower Cardio Vascular related mortality, the leading cause of death globally. Obesity dramatically increases the risk of CVD. Opt for whole grains instead.
#19 Change your milk type
If you drink whole milk, change to 2 percent; if you drink 2 percent, change to 1 percent. For some, plant based milk like Oat Milk works even better. Once you have the developed an acquired taste of a healthy milk you won’t even be able to tell a difference.
#20 Brush after every meal
Brushing your teeth after every meal is a psychological method for losing weight – and a very effective one. This habit signals to your body and brain that mealtime is over. Thus, we’re less likely to appease the “hunger impulse” of snacking.
Final Thoughts on Losing Weight
When these habits become part of your every day lifestyle losing weight and keeping it off will feel easy to you. It’s not about a diet. It’s not about a strict exercise regime.
Honor your body and give it what it needs to thrive and work for you, not against you. If you have a weight loss tip that has worked well for you we would love to hear it in the comments!