10 Lifestyle Changes You Can Make to Lose Weight Naturally

Diets tend to only work in the short term. If you have will power and like following prescribed plans then you might have some success with a diet, at least for a little while. However, most people who go on diets eventually end up regaining the weight. Why? To begin with, in choosing to follow a strict diet, you aren’t really focusing on lifestyle changes. Sure, you can follow a diet for several months and lose a bunch of weight if you are strict about it but what if you decide that you don’t want to follow some rigid plan concocted by someone else for the rest of your life? You might decide to go off the diet and then you will most likely gain back at least some of the weight. So, what are you to do if you really are serious about losing weight but are skeptical of dieting? Make lifestyle changes. Make changes that you are comfortable with, changes that will help you evolve as a person for the better, and changes that you know you can keep. Here I will give you a list of 10 relatively simple changes you can consider implementing yourself.

1. Cut out the liquid calories, especially soda. This is important. Most calorie laden drinks are high in sugar and not much else. Your fruit juice might have a lot of vitamin C but it probably also lacks fiber and will send your blood sugar for a wild ride. Slowly eliminate sodas, juices, energy drinks, and other calorie filled liquids. They aren’t very satisfying and will only keep you heavier. Replace liquid calories with water, water flavored with ginger/lemon, or herbal tea. A cup or two of green tea per day is nice too but don’t overdo it because it does have caffeine.

2. Eat only whole foods. Throw out the white bread, white rice, white sugar, and refined sugary cereals. Get rid of canned soups and make your own from scratch with wholesome ingredients. For breakfast try a fruit only smoothie with a spoonful of nut butter or some plant based milk. Or you could try a high fiber, whole grain, organic cereal and add flax seeds, berries, and nuts. For lunch and dinner focus on salads with avocados, nuts, and seeds, beans, all sorts of veggies, lentils, organic eggs, and organic meats in small quantities if you so choose. I personally think a whole foods vegan diet is best for long term health and weight loss but not everyone is in the position to adopt that sort of diet yet in there life so If you do eat animal products stick to organic varieties. You can eat whole grains but don’t go overboard on them, especially those containing gluten such as wheat as they can be rather addictive in nature.

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3. Don’t think about counting calories. I know this might sound counter to the dieting mentality but the only way you are truly going to make peace with your body is by LISTENING to it. Fixating on calories and number and rigid plans leads you to get so caught up in sticking to the framework that you forget how to listen to your own body. Tomorrow, forget about calories. This isn’t a license to binge because that is just as bad. Asses your hunger. Really listen to it. Think about what your body wants. Eat slowly. Chew thoroughly. Really taste your food. Focus on your satiety signals. When you are no longer hungry, stop eating. Don’t eat until you are stuffed or ill. Eat until you are no longer hungry. It is as simple as that.

4. Infuse your lifestyle with activity. You do not need a rigid gym schedule or expensive membership. You do not need expensive exercise machines, clothing, or other gear. Examine your lifestyle. Do you drive to a lot of places that you could walk to? Start walking. Consider purchasing a bike (used is fine) for errands around town (and for fun as well). Add a quick energizing morning walk or jog to your daily routine. Not because you “have” to but because it will make you feel much better for the rest of the day. What is so painful about that? Spend less time sitting and more time standing. Engage in more physical activities like hiking, gardening, or swimming for fun. Cut your computer and TV time in half. If you replace the extra time with more physical activities you will automatically be burning more calories. Exercise also acts as a natural appetite controller because it regulates insulin levels. It also boosts your metabolism and reduces anxiety and depression.

5. Get enough sleep. This is crucial. If you are getting less than 7 hours of sleep on a regular basis you are compromising your body and your life. It is as simple as that. Your body needs sleep to repair itself properly. Without enough sleep your appetite will be magnified. You will find yourself much hungrier than you would be if you got enough sleep. In addition, your tiredness will make you sluggish and less likely to seek exercise. Try to get at least 8 hours of sleep per night if you really want to lose weight naturally.

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6. Start using healthy alternative sweeteners. Ditch the refined sugar and experiment with natural sweeteners that won’t be so harsh to your waistline. To sweeten tea, smoothies, sauces, dips, and dressings, try stevia. Stevia is an all natural calorie free sweetener derived from the stevia leaf. Switch out all of those terribly unhealthy artificial sweeteners as soon as possible. They are nothing but disastrous for your health. Stevia has recently been approved by the FDA so it should be cheaper and easier to find now. Other good alternative sweeteners are xylitol (often found in chewing gum), brown rice syrup, raw agave nectar, fruit juice sweetened fruit spreads, and whole dates. If you really want to make bake goods. Try making a small batch of something you really enjoy just once a week. Experiment with whole grains and alternative sweeteners to make your treat healthier while retaining lots of flavor.

7. Get smart about your fats. Not all fats are bad for you. Not all fats are good for you. You have to learn to distinguish between the good and the bad. The best fats for you are those that are raw and not denatured by heat. Good choices include avocados, soaked and/or sprouted nuts and seeds, extra virgin olive oil, fresh coconuts, coconut milk, raw coconut oil, and raw red palm oil. Don’t eat any refined vegetable oils such a corn oil, soybean oil, cottonseed oil, rapeseed oil, or anything that says hydrogenated or fractionated in front of it. Avoid trans fats like the plague. Even if a label says 0 grams of trans fats per serving, that does not mean that there are no trans fats in it. FDA regulations allow food labels to proclaim no trans fats as long as the amount is under 0.5 grams per serving. However, even a small amount of trans fat is bad for you and if you a variety of things that each have a small amount in them than it will all add up and you might have a significant amount of trans fats in your diet in the end. Good fats are still calorie dense so don’t binge on them. Use them to control your appetite. They are very satisfying.

8. Eat a lot more fiber. Fiber acts like a broom for your body. It keeps you regular and can sweep away cholesterol. Fiber also helps your body store less fat. Fiber also helps you feel full longer. Try to get 40-50 grams a day. The government recommendation of 25 grams is a little too low, in my opinion, for optimal health. Great sources of fiber include leafy greens, flax seeds, chia seeds, all sorts of veggies, fruits, sweet potatoes, beans, lentils, split peas, and tempeh. Don’t over rely on high fiber cereals because they tend to use isolated sources of fiber and can make you gassy and bloated. Fiber is best when it comes in a whole food package the way it is found in nature. In addition, drinking plenty of water will ensure that fiber is able to properly do its job of cleaning out your body.

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9. Drink plenty of water. I would recommend drinking anywhere from a half gallon to a gallon of water per day. The more water you drink, the less hungry you will be. You will feel less bloated and cleaner inside. You will retain less water and will look thinner. Your skin will be nicer as well. Water is so necessary for the all the biological processes in your body. You are only doing yourself disservice when you skimp on water. If you are not a huge fan of the taste of water, you might just have to suck it up at first. Trust me, you will get used to it and enjoy it eventually.

10. Relax. Listen. Don’t obsess about dietary dogma. There are a million dietary groups out there trying to throw there diet plan at you as if it is undisputed law. There is no right diet for any one person. The only right diet for you is the on that you discover agrees most with your body. You can discover this by experimenting with different foods and by paying attention to how your body uses them. Never stick to any rigid plan if it is making you ill. Make your own plan and live in tune with yourself. The more in tune you are with yourself the more likely you will be to make healthy choices for your body for life.