Okay, I’m pretty sure that you’ve told yourself countless times that you should go on a diet to lose weight. More importantly, you want to know how to lose weight naturally.
BUT, according to a study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA), diets and other weight loss programs are only good IF the overweight or obese person will strongly commit to the programs and their goals from start to finish.
Unfortunately, a lot of people don’t have the patience or the stamina to make such a commitment.
So…what can you do to lose weight?
Well, it’s as simple as making major changes in your lifestyle. Nutritionists follow a three-way approach to introducing lifestyle interventions in people who are overweight or obese.
- Dietary changes
- Increasing physical activity
- Behavior modification.
Much like the JAMA article above, later studies have demonstrated that changing certain lifestyle habits will enable you to lose weight more easily and naturally than the most scientifically advanced weight loss program around.
Let me give you a round-up of 13 lifestyle tips that will show you how to lose weight naturally. To make it easier for you, I’ve divided these tips according to the three-way approach mentioned above.
How to lose weight naturally: Dietary Changes
1) Eat a healthy, balanced diet
You always hear about diets that cut out carbs and fats. The problem is it is the carbs and fats that you eat that give you energy throughout your day.
Let me tell you right out. You don’t need to eliminate carbs and fats in your diet, BUT they should be in the daily recommended proportions. This little advice is especially important if you are building muscle while losing weight at the same time. If you get rid of the carbs and fats in your diet, your body will start to derive its energy from your muscles leading to muscle loss.
2) Eat more vegetables, fruits, and other plant-based foods
Veggies, fruits, and other plant-based foods are not only rich in nutrients and calories; they also contain fiber which aid in the elimination of fats and toxins from the body.
If you want to lose weight faster, you should be eating a larger proportion of these plant-based foods.
3) Be mindful of your fat intake
Earlier, I said that you don’t need to get rid of fats from your diet. But, you should be mindful of how much fat you do eat.
Ideally, you should only eat one to two tablespoons of healthy fats with every meal. Great sources of healthy fats are wild fish (which is also rich in omega-3 fatty acids that are good for your heart), nuts, avocados, seeds, nut butter, and coconut butter.
4) An apple a day keeps those excess pounds away
If there’s any fruit that you should eat on a daily basis, it would be the apple. Apples, you see, contain a wonder fiber called pectin. Pectin not only helps you to get rid of all of those toxins and fats; it also enables you to feel full faster. It also aids in lowering your cholesterol and blood sugar levels.
Aside from pectin, apples are rich in nutrients, such as antioxidants, Vitamin C, and potassium, which help to build up your immunity.
5) Be mindful of the grains you buy
It is said that grain-free diets will help you to lose weight. However, there are certain grains that you should add to your diet because they will help you to lose weight easily. A good example is whole grain oats, pure, rolled, or steel-cut oats to be specific.
Instead of eating your regular breakfast fare – like toast, bagel or nutrition bar – have a bowl of oatmeal instead.
6) Eat smart snacks
While it is easy to eat healthy during your regular meals, you tend to get derailed once the craving for munchies strikes. Needless to say, a lot of excess pounds have been gained by eating chips, pastries, and other fattening foods.
Prepare smart snacks for your week. These would include yummy fruit slices like apples and pears, nuts like almonds, veggie sticks made from celery or carrots, hummus, nut butter, and dark chocolate squares.
7) Get rid of the sugar and salty foods
Refined sugar and salty foods are not only bad for your health and weight loss goals; they also promote those same cravings for them that cause you to gain more pounds.
Make sure that you check the labels of all the foods that you buy, including those so-called “health” foods. They might contain sugar and salt.
8) Eat more fat-burning foods
Did you know that there are foods that will help you burn off all those excess fats? These fat-burning foods either burn off calories as you eat them (also known as the “thermogenic effect”) or increase your metabolism.
Good examples of fat-burning foods are lean meats like chicken, green tea, lentils, blueberries, apple cider vinegar, chia seeds, ghee, grapefruit, and peppers like chili peppers and cayenne.
Peppers contain capsaicin, which increases the body’s temperature and burns off calories.
Increasing Physical Activity
9) Start moving
If your butt has been too comfy on your couch, now is the time to get on your feet. Of course, I’m not telling you to run a mile or hit the gym and wear yourself out to exhaustion. To do so this early in the game will make you lose interest in exercise entirely.
Start by walking around the house and then outside in your neighborhood. As you become accustomed to physical activity, you can move forward to more intensive exercises. You can go to a brisk run or yoga of moderate intensity for 30 minutes daily.
Don’t think too much of how tired you feel. Instead, focus on the adrenalin high and revel in how light your body is steadily feeling.
10) Quit going to fast food joints and restaurants and prepare your meals yourself
Living a hectic, fast-paced lifestyle means that you tend to sacrifice meal preparation at home for easy-to-buy, but fattening fast foods.
It is important that you set aside four hours or more during your weekends to prepare food for yourself. When you do this, you become more mindful of the types of food that you will be eating for the week. This way, you can also monitor just how much of the food groups you are supposed to take.
You can cook dishes in advance and just tag them for the day that you will be eating them. Cut up all those veggie sticks and portion out those healthy nuts for each day of the week, and keep them in Ziplock bags.
11) Drink more water daily
Sometimes, you may prefer colas or coffee during the day to give you that extra energy for work.
However, if you want something healthy drink, water is still the BEST, and it’s cheaper too. Water not only helps to keep you hydrated. Drinking water between meals will help you to feel full so that you eat less. Water is needed to maintain good metabolism and it aids in flushing out all the toxins and fats from your body.
12) Make a healthy grocery list
If you have this habit of just heading out to the grocery and grabbing stuff off the shelves, now is the time to quit this habit.
Preparing grocery list will not only enable you to determine the stuff you need. When it comes to food, your grocery list will make you more aware of the food that you have been buying.
If you see more unhealthy foods in your list, replace all of them with healthier alternatives, especially those foods that will help you to lose weight. Check out my previous article on how to make a healthy grocery list.
13) Get enough sleep
When you are not getting enough sleep – approximately seven to nine hours a day – there is an increase in a hormone called ghrelin, which causes you to eat more and indulge in late night snacks. This is accompanied by a major drop in the levels of the hormone leptin, which tells you to stop eating. There is also a sharp increase in the hormone cortisol, which prompts your body to conserve calories for energy when you are awake. All of these hormones act to put your body in starvation mode so that you have a very strong craving for late-night snacking on high-carb foods.
Now, if you think that oversleeping in excess of nine hours will help you to lose more weight, guess again! When you oversleep, you disrupt your sleep cycle. Your body tries to keep up with your energy needs by making you feel hungry and overeat.
So, make sure that you just get the recommended seven to nine hours of sleep per day. If you haven’t already, check out my article on how to become a morning person.
Know you know how to lose weight naturally, what will you do?
Now you know how to lose weight naturally. What’s more important is to now start implementing these changes to start seeing results.
Don’t let another day go by without making a change. Just think, 5 years from now, what would you like to see when looking at yourself in the mirror?