Lately, I’ve been bombarded with questions, comments and remarks about my healthier options on my blog. I love to eat junk as much as the next guy. However, I stay away from fast food, processed food and other junk as much as possible. It was important to me that I could still enjoy that big piece of chocolate peanut butter cake occasionally, while also making sure it didn’t add to my waist line as much as it normally would have. I do this in a very natural way. No diets or gimmicks. No powders, or shakes or detoxing or pills.
Just natural weight loss in the form of healthy (or healthier) eating.
I’ve got a nice bunch of tips for you, so you can do the same.
1. Learn to cook and make the time.
There is no easier or quicker way to natural weight loss, than cooking the things you consume. The power that goes into cooking and/or preparing your own foods, can help you lose up to a pound a week. You’re simply watching what you’re putting in your food. This makes a big difference, as just the additives & preservatives in prepared food can put weight on rapidly.
2. Plan out your menus and snacks.
Try planning our your meals and snacks for at least a week at a time. If you find that difficult at first, just try a day in advance. People who plan out their meals and snacks, are more likely to lose weight naturally, than those that don’t. Planning out your meals and snacks can also keep you on track and make you less likely to reach for snacks if you know you are having this snack at this time. You are also less likely to deviate from your plan, which helps tremendously.
3. Eat five to six times per day.
Three meals (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner) and two to three small snacks in between. I break mine down like this (but you do what works for you)
Snack #1 + Coffee – 5:30am-9am
Breakfast – 9am-11:30am
Lunch – 11:30am-2:30pm
Snack #2 – 2:30pm-4:30pm
Dinner – 4:30pm-6:00pm
Snack #3/Dessert – 6:00pm-Bed
When I get up in the morning, I’m really not the hungry so rather than forcing myself to eat a big meal, I eat my breakfast later and have a small snack with my coffee in the morning. Usually a piece of fruit, a handful of nuts, a yogurt or something else on the smaller side. At all meals, include a lean protein, lots of fresh fruit and vegetables, and a complex carbohydrate. This helps keep your body fuller longer, keeps you energized and helps your body burn calories all day long.
4. Shop the perimeter of the grocery store.
If you do the majority of your shopping on the outer part of the store, you are staying with foods that are fresh, closer to the way nature intended. Stay away from pre-packaged. Don’t buy that little plastic container of fruit. Instead, buy a large piece of fruit and cut it up yourself. It saves money, but it’s also better for you – fresh fruit or veggies are MUCH better than their containerized counterparts. The main exception to this rule, is the frozen fruit and veggie aisle. Fresh is best, frozen is good, canned is the worst. I stock up on frozen veggies ANYTIME they are on sale. The more natural or whole and fresh a food is, the better it is for you.
5. Drink at least 64 ounces of water a day.
Drink water. Lots and lots of water. Our bodies are made up of about 60% water, so water is important for healthy skin, hair, and nails. It also helps with controlling body temperature, heart rate, and blood pressure. Did you know that many times fatigue is caused by a lack of hydration? And water doesn’t just have to be water. Fruits, Vegetables, Soups, Broths – there are plenty of foods that count towards that water intake goal. But when push comes to shove, just grab a glass of water.
6. Don’t stop eating your favorites.
Many people think they have to deprive themselves of something they love if it isn’t particularly healthy. That’s not the case. Just eat a small portion or make your own homemade version from scratch. If you don’t do this, eventually you are likely to cave in and conquer the crave with much more than you would have originally consumed. Even with strong will power this can be hard.
7. Get Label Smart.
Check labels like a hawk. Look for very small ingredients lists. Don’t purchase anything with an ingredient you don’t recognize or can’t pronounce. Try making your own. Don’t bother with the store bought apple sauce – just make your own. When reading labels, pay very close attention to the serving size of the item. Something that is only 100 calories sounds great for a snack, but on closer inspection you realize you can only eat half of the already very small sized pacakage. Pay attention to labels on similar products, what one might lack in calories, they might be far higher in added sugar. Not a good compromise.
8. Forgive yourself.
Forgive yourself if you struggle with your weight, good food choices or if you fall off the wagon one day. Just get back up on it the next day and keep at it. It’s a lifestyle change and is not as easy as it sounds.
9. Eat more protein.
Increasing your protein helps you feel full longer and lose weight. Many that are losing weight naturally, are eating more eggs, nuts, cottage cheese, greek yogurt, beans, peanut butter, etc. I’ve upped my protein intake to be really close to a gram per pound of body weight. I feel great and am full much longer. Obviously other great sources of protein are lean meats, poultry and even fish.
10. Slow down and savor your food.
Don’t rush through your meals. Take small bites and chew slowly. Savor each flavor. You’re more likely to consume the proper amount of food your body needs when you take time to enjoy your meal. This allows your stomach more time to feel full, which will eliminate over eating.
It’s a lot easier than you think to lose weight naturally. It’s about knowing how, feeling confident and wanting the healthiest life possible.
What tips do you have for others that are trying to lose weight naturally?