Many people across the globe (especially in America) struggle with weight problems and obesity. If you are overweight, you are not alone – and it is becoming more prevalent as fast food gets bigger and organic, non-GMO foods become more rare and expensive. With all the different weight-loss methods, plans, and programs, it can be difficult to sift through them to find out which ones are effective and which ones are simply snake-oil in a pretty looking package. Here, we will examine some effective methods and practices for fast, healthy weight loss.
- Replace Soda with Water: This is probably the number one effective method to lose weight. Though you should ideally combine this with diet and exercise, when you eliminate excessive beer and soda and drink water almost or entirely exclusively, this alone can shed a significant number of pounds. You’re not only hydrating your body, which is both cleansing and essential for many different biological functions and processes – you are also eliminating unhealthy chemicals and excess carbohydrates from your diet.
- Replace Carbohydrates with Protein: Eat the burger without the bread. Eat fruit or peanuts instead of cake. Don’t drink soda or eat sweets. This method was popularized by the Atkins and South Beach diets in the early 2000’s. Though these commercial diets themselves are extreme, the ideas behind them are factual and effective in moderation. Keep in mind that even if you eat only meat and vegetables, you still need to watch your trans-fats and bad cholesterol for good circulatory health. Protein shakes and bars are another option.
- Reduce Salt Intake: Part of our weight is usually water-weight. When our diet is heavy in salt, our bodies retain more water. If you reduce your salt intake, you not only lower your blood pressure and increase heart health – you may also lose weight.
- Green Vegetables: Green, leafy vegetables are often filled with healthy anti-oxidants and nutrients such as magnesium. These help to reduce appetite and maintain healthy weight.
- Fruits: Fruits also tend to contain anti-oxidants and essential vitamins which can help in reducing appetite, especially if you have a vitamin deficiency. There are also so-called ‘superfruits,’ such as Acai berries and Pomegranates, which have even more healthy benefits. When we are hungry, it is often because our body needs something it doesn’t have. When we are getting the vitamins we need, we are less hungry, and our weight tends to become healthier.
- Exercise: This is an obvious choice – though many people recommend running, even lifting weights can be an effective way to shed unwanted pounds by converting them to muscle. You can be 220 pounds and fat, or you can be 220 pounds of muscle and still look fit and healthy.
- Go Organic: Foods from the grocery store and the fast-food restaurant are often filled with unwanted chemicals, some designed to keep you coming back for more – If you make an effort to eat natural, fresh, unprocessed foods, you will be consuming much fewer unhealthy substances, and lose much more weight.
- Drink Caffeine – but NOT TOO MUCH!! Some caffeine will raise your metabolism and thus increase your rate of weight loss, but too much can lead to unpleasant jitters, heart problems, and unwanted crashing. Many commercial ‘weight loss supplements’ contain LOTS of caffeine. If you choose to take one, take it as directed and without adding extra caffeine.
- Get Healthy Sleep: Surprisingly, those who get enough sleep actually have better metabolism than those who get little to no sleep. A well-rested body is better equipped to process and digest food in a healthy way, thus maintaining a healthier weight.
- Patience: Significant healthy weight loss doesn’t happen in a week. Though it is possible to simply fast your weight away by eating nothing, drinking only water, and exercising, this is NOT healthy, and the pounds tend to come right back if you do not maintain a healthy lifestyle after the crash diet.
These 10 tips can help you to lose weight and stay healthy. Remember that your health comes first, and nothing can replace the advice of a health professional. If you have diabetes or other health problems, you may need to take extra steps to maintain a healthy weight. You may also need to follow more specific instructions regarding vitamin and mineral intake or implement caffeine restrictions. There is no one more qualified to diagnose a condition and set special guidelines than a health professional. Do not hesitate to make an appointment, especially if you feel that your obesity may be related to or co-morbid with another condition.
That being said, these general guidelines have helped many to lose the pounds and keep them away, thus maintaining a healthy lifestyle!