Weight loss. Just seeing those words probably makes you cringe and want to head to the nearest ice cream shop for a huge cone. You may be thinking that’s just what you need—to have a sweet that totally ruins your last few weeks of progress—but ice cream doesn’t have to be the enemy. In fact, you can actually eat ice cream and other tasty treats while you’re trying to lose weight. While this may be hard to accept, it’s important to understand that harsh diets do more harm than good, which is why being lenient with yourself is the most effective thing you can do. It’s no secret that dieting is a very real struggle, but there’s a secret not many people know: losing weight doesn’t have to be hard. Really! In fact, weight loss can be downright easy and even fun when you find the right way to do it.
You Don’t Have to Suffer: 10 Effective Ways to Lose Weight
1. Downsize: One of the most common problems with diets is that you’re eating too much and don’t even realize it. In some countries, primarily America, portion sizes are huge. What’s meant for one person can easily feed two or three. While some people make the most of this and make their meal last for two or three days, others eat the entire meal in one go, unwittingly feeding their body thousands of calories more than the recommended daily amount. By simply cutting down your portion sizes, you can begin to lose weight right away.
There are a few ways to do this:
a. eat three main meals throughout the day that are packed with protein to keep you full and focused
b. forego the three meals and, instead, eat a series of small meals that contain fruits, veggies, and an ample source of protein
c. drink plenty of water between meals to stay hydrated and cut your appetite
2. Practice Moderation: Crash diets are just has harmful as eating nothing but junk food. Instead of cutting out sweets and snacks completely, keep them in your diet but eat them less frequently. For example, if you enjoy having chocolate, your daily routine can include three healthy meals, 30 minutes of exercise, and a handful of chocolate chips, a small ice cream cone, or even a small slice of chocolate cake. Of course you’ll want to opt for healthier options like dark chocolate and low fat ice cream, but a regular piece of cake won’t hurt either.
3. Get Enough Sleep: While you sleep, your body undergoes a rejuvenation process. Wounds are healed, cells are created, and you regain strength. Getting enough sleep also promote healthy digestion and regularity.
4. Drink Plenty of Water: As mentioned before, drinking water is an easy way to promote weight loss. While you should never replace a meal with water, you should drink water in between meals to cut your appetite. Sometimes you feel hungry when your body really just feels empty. Drinking water fills you up and allows your appetite to wane between meals.
5. Eat High Protein Meals: Protein is necessary for providing the body with energy as well as keeping it full. High protein meals and snacks give you a steady flow of energy that staves off hunger and keeps your feeling alert and strong. Foods like eggs, cheese, nuts, and lean meats are packed with protein, so add them to your meal to keep energy up and your hunger down.
6. Lower Stress: Stress is one of the leading causes of weight gain and retention. The weight gained when we are stressed can be toxic to the body and extremely hard to lose. Instead of dealing with stress weight, give a preemptive strike but working to lower stress all together. Take walks, hang out with friends, engage in long talks, or just do things that are enjoyable in the midst of a hectic day. When you’re less stressed, it’ll be easier to lose weight and keep it off.
7. Exercise: This doesn’t mean high impact, push yourself ‘til you’re a sweaty mess exercise—it means simple things like going for a walk, jogging, or taking a swim in the morning or after work. Anything to get your heart rate up and your body moving will aid in weight loss.
8. Eat: Some people think that not eating is the key to losing weight, but this can only start up a dangerous tailspin for your health. Instead of starving yourself or engaging in long fasts, go ahead and eat. Your body needs fuel and energy to burn when you exercise and go about your day, and eating gives it something to burn.
9. Try New Things: Don’t get locked into the idea that weight loss means you’re doomed to a life of salads and grains. Healthy foods can be delicious and you only need to be a little adventurous to discover this. Do some research on healthy recipes to try to find what stands out to you. Different cultures have delicious and healthful dishes that aid weight loss and come with a number of benefits. Instead of seeing a diet as a restriction, treat it as an opportunity.
10. Travel: This last one may sound far-fetched, but hear it out: while travelling, you’re most likely exploring new places and trying new activities. Your body expels a lot of energy during trips just from walking, touring, and other activities such as swimming, hiking, and biking. When you travel, you lose the comforts of your everyday car and are more likely to try new things that may push your body and your boundaries. Embrace this change as well as the change in scenery, foods, and people.