If you’re trying to lose weight, you may be thinking that the best way is to cut back on carbs and fats, or perhaps follow a fad diet. However, there are natural ways to lose weight that don’t involve restrictive eating or giving up your favorite foods. The key is finding approaches to eating and living that help you feel healthier overall—and that won’t leave you feeling deprived.
If you’ve found yourself hitting a wall when it comes to losing weight, natural methods can be very beneficial in helping you shed those pounds and keep them off for good. If you’re ready to ditch the crash diets, rigid food rules and unbalanced routines, here are 7 ways to lose weight naturally:
Change up your exercise routine
If you’ve been doing the same workout for a while, or if you’re just not seeing results, it might be time to shake things up a bit. When you exercise, you burn calories and fat, but only if you go hard enough to reach your maximum potential. If you don’t, you won’t see results. Exercising just enough to break a sweat, or to raise your heart rate up to 60% of your maximum, will help you maintain your current weight. But going all out is the only way to lose weight.
Add more vegetables to your diet
Eating more vegetables can help you lose weight in two ways. First, they’re packed with nutrients that can boost metabolism and help you avoid unhealthy cravings for sweets and salty snacks. And second, vegetables are naturally low in calories, so eating more of them can help you lose and maintain a healthy weight.
In fact, researchers found that people who ate two cups of vegetables at every meal lost an average of 10 pounds more than people who didn’t increase their vegetable intake. When choosing which veggies to eat, focus on leafy greens like spinach, broccoli, and asparagus, which are packed with vitamins and minerals, and contain fewer calories than other vegetables.
Boost your breakfast with protein and fibre
Research shows that people who start their day with a healthy breakfast are less likely to overeat later in the day. In fact, people who eat a high-protein breakfast are less hungry and have fewer cravings for unhealthy foods, like sweets and salty snacks, compared to people who don’t eat protein at breakfast. Bran and fibre-rich whole grains are great sources of protein to add to your morning.
In fact, combining the two can help you feel more full, which can help you avoid overeating later in the day. Plus, mixing protein and fibre together has been shown to increase your metabolism and help you burn calories faster.
Move throughout the day
When you exercise, you burn calories, which helps you lose weight. But what you don’t know is that even when you’re not working out, your body is burning calories all day long. Fitness experts call this “non-exercise activity thermogenesis,” or NEAT. It’s a fancy way of saying that your daily activities, like walking to the store or typing at your desk, can help you burn extra calories and lose weight.
When you’re naturally moving throughout the day, you can reach your recommended daily calorie burn without ever setting foot in the gym. That said, adding a few short bursts of exercise to your day can help you burn even more calories and lose weight even faster.
Watch what you drink
If you’re trying to lose weight, it’s important to pay attention to what you drink, as well as what you eat. Drinks with a high sugar content, like soda, can help you pack on pounds. And sugar-free drinks aren’t any better for your waistline, because they often contain artificial sweeteners linked to weight gain.
If you like to sip on something throughout the day, choose water. It’s calorie-free and can help you stay hydrated, which can boost your metabolism. And if you prefer to drink coffee, tea, or another beverage, choose one that is low in calories and sugar, like unsweetened tea. And remember to always drink plenty of water to stay hydrated and curb your cravings for sweet drinks.
Commit to a weight-loss program that works for you
There are lots of different ways to lose weight, and it can be hard to know which one is right for you. But the best thing you can do is commit to a program and get started—any program will do in the short term. When you commit to a program and follow it, you will see results—even if they’re not as dramatic as you hoped. Plus, by committing to a program, you’ll also learn how to sustain your weight loss long-term. If you’re not sure where to start, grab a copy of a magazine like Women’s Health or Fitness, and look for an eating and exercise plan that works for you.
Go for a walk before (and after) your meals
If you’re eating more calories than you’re burning, you’re probably going to gain weight. But what if you could boost your calorie burn throughout the day? Well, you can—by going for a walk before (and after) each meal. When you go for a walk before a meal, you boost your calorie burn, which helps you eat less at your meal. And when you go for a walk after a meal, you help your body digest your food better, which can reduce bloating and help you feel fuller for longer.
If you’re trying to lose weight, cutting back on calories and exercising more are no-brainers. But did you know that changing up your routine, eating more veggies, and watching what you drink can also help you shed pounds? If you want to lose weight naturally, these tips can help you reach your goal. So put down the fad diets and restrictive eating plans. Instead, focus on eating more vegetables, adding more protein to your breakfast, moving throughout the day, and going for a walk before (and after) your meals. Natural ways to lose weight can be simpler than you think. Now that you know what they are, it’s time to get started!