Ways To Help You Lose Weight
It’s true that many people find it difficult to lose weight. With our society increasingly moving toward sedentary desk jobs and awash in processed foods, it’s not hard to see the many different factors at play that prevent people from slimming down. However, the flip side of that is that there’s now more ways available to lose weight than ever before.
Ultimately, losing weight will always come down to having the right balance of calories in and calories out. You can break down this simple concept in many different ways. Some people go vegetarian, others say goodbye to carbs and others become serious gym rats. Most people seek to use a balance of the many different aspects of weight loss to live a healthy lifestyle that they can sustain.
From the perennial favorites (yes, you should be drinking more water) to the new surprises (who knew about Mediterranean meal delivery plans?!), here are nine ways to start taking control of your weight and your health today.
1. Increase your daily water intake.
Many people find that water is a kind of “secret sauce” for weight loss. It can help you feel more full and prevent you from piling on extra calories when you’re not actually hungry. Plus, water has tons of amazing potential health benefits outside of weight loss, including improved energy levels, better digestion and an increase in physical performance. In other words, water is the perfect companion throughout your day, so make your water bottle your BFF from now on.
2. Build a consistent habit of physical activity.
You don’t have to do Schwarzenegger lifts or Tour de France bike rides to get active. Physical activity is pretty much always good as long as it’s reasonably safe, so think about where you can work in a jog, a bike ride or a quick set of push-ups into your life. Even small bits of physical activity count, so try walking around the block if you can’t fit in anything else. When combined with an improved diet and performed consistently, these little steps can create substantial improvements over a period of time.
3. Incorporate the Mediterranean diet into your lifestyle.
What is the Mediterranean diet? It’s the antidote to trendy fad diets. The Mediterranean eating pattern has been studied for decades and consistently found to be among the very best in preventing health problems. It centers around fruits, vegetables and lean proteins in modest portions, with an emphasis on olive oil and other good fats. Thanks to its basis in Mediterranean food traditions, this diet also has tons of really tasty recipes available, including Mediterranean diet meal delivery kits that arrive at your home portioned out and ready to heat.
4. Find healthy snacks that you enjoy and keep them on hand.
Most of us snack, so you want to be sure that you’ve got some healthy and tasty morsels available when a craving hits. Vegetables and fruits are highly snackable when prepared the right way. Try portioning out some carrot sticks and dip or a fruit bowl for the next time you find yourself with the urge to nosh. Keep the healthy snacks where they’re easily accessible and the “bad” snacks (if you keep them around at all) in a location where you have to work for them a little.
5. Try out a vegetarian or low-meat diet.
Cutting out or reducing meat intake can make your path to weight loss much easier. Many people worry that going meatless will jeopardize their protein intake, but it doesn’t have to. Plant-based proteins are abundant, from beans to avocados to nuts. Newer approaches like the flexitarian diet have also become popular. Rather than a strict avoidance of meat, flexitarian steers you in the direction of cutting out most meat from your diet and replacing it with plant-based foods.
6. Stay satisfied with lean protein and whole grains.
It’s easier to avoid overeating when your food helps you stay full and energized. That’s why lean protein and whole grains are staples of most weight loss diet plans. These foods give your body long-term energy because they’re slower to break down and more nourishing. Wondering which foods you should be eating for long-term satisfaction? Check out the satiety index, a scale that measures just that.
7. Watch your portion sizes.
Excessively large portions are among the most common ways that people take in large amounts of calories without realizing it. Rather than doubling up on portions, eat more slowly and savor your food. The previous tip on lean foods comes into play here, too. Eating smaller portions of more filling foods, like lean proteins, will always be better for your body and make you feel better than chowing down on a big helping of junk food.
8. Ditch sugary drinks.
Speaking of hidden calories, sugary drinks are another of the worst offenders. Beverages like soda and sweetened juice drinks will load you up with added sugar and calories and not give you much in return. Stick with water or unsweetened coffee or tea instead. Sports drinks can be OK when used to replenish your energy during a workout, but make sure you’re not guzzling them all day because most still have tons of sugar.
9. Prep your meals ahead of time.
It’s oh-so-easy to reach for that frozen pizza when you get home from a long day at work and don’t feel like cooking. Instead, plan ahead by taking some time to prepare a large portion of healthy, flavorful food ahead of time and portion it out into quick, grab-and-go containers. (#mealprepsunday is a popular social media trend that can give you some inspiration.) The more you can make it easy for yourself to make the healthy choice when you’re under time pressure, the more you’ll be able to shift your diet toward the better options.
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