Obesity is considered the most common health problem today with more than two-thirds of American adults being obese or overweight. However, big changes in a person’s life, such as weight loss, don’t often come all at once, but from small yet effective baby steps. There are various weight loss secrets that can certainly help a person achieve their goal. The following are seven weight loss tips to help you achieve your weight loss goals for 2017.
- Set Small Goals: The Great Wall of China was not built in a day, just as you are not going to lose 300 pounds overnight. Taking a 30-second walk down the street may be your first goal. After that, your next goal may be to increase your exercise time by one minute or eat up to three salads a week. Basically, you are learning new habits that will set the foundation for your life, and one small change can lead to another.
- Increase Your Vegetable Intake: Eating a different vegetable each day is another attainable small goal that a lot of people can handle. Start with some spinach, then maybe try butternut squash or a cucumber. Every little bit helps. You may be surprised that many people on a weight loss journey have not tried certain vegetables. You may find that certain veggies like asparagus, Swiss chard, or even Brussels sprouts become your new go-to vegetable at dinnertime.
- Movement: Movement is huge, but it is often the downfall of many people with a sedentary lifestyle. Regular physical activity is key for weight loss; however, that doesn’t need to mean time spent in a gym. Some people simply walk every day, and others spend more time outdoors in a park or swimming in the community pool. You can also take breaks from your desk and do squats or jumping jacks just to get some movement. You’d be surprised at how much weight you can lose with simple exercises.
- Cook More Meals: Many people don’t make time to cook, and this is often a problem for those trying to lose weight. Instead, you may resort to takeout or restaurant foods. This makes it hard to control what you are eating, and the ingredients may not be best for your diet. Cooking can be a difficult habit to master, and so start slow with the intention that you will learn two new recipes each week. This way you are increasing your healthy menu with lots of options on a weekly basis.
- Snack Smarter: It is not necessary for people to stop snacking; however, snacking smarter can go a long way to achieving a healthier lifestyle. You can stop your sugar or potato chip cravings by simply making a better decision during snack time. For instance, an apple with almond butter or hummus and veggies are good snack choices.
- Eliminate Liquid Calories: Soda and alcohol both add extra calories without any nutritional value. Alcohol in particular contains grains, which get converted to sugar and eventually fat in the body. Alcohol dependence can also lead to nutritional deficiencies, psychiatric disorders, heart disease, hypertension, hypoglycemia, osteoporosis, and various skin issues. By cutting alcohol, people have found that they can drop 10 pounds in just two months. Your taste buds change once you stop eating all that added sugar.
- Avoid Refined Flours and Processed and Junk Food: Refined flours and processed and junk food all contain empty calories. Pasta, white rice, and white bread in particular are lacking in nutrients. Basically, you are eating a plate of calories that increases your blood sugar and insulin levels and causes weight gain. Processed food and junk food contain highly addictive toxins and artificial flavors, colors, and preservatives that offer you very little of substance. Giving up these foods can be most difficult for junk food addicts. A good transition can involve switching to healthier snack foods without preservatives and additives like three-ingredient corn tortillas with flaxseed.
Final Thoughts on Weight Loss
It is important to remember that life and health are a journey, not a destination. The implementation of small healthy habits will not only help give you energy, but also lead to sustainable weight loss. The change can be as simple as beginning the day with a glass of filtered water with lemon instead of your morning coffee. Next thing you know, your diet is full of whole foods and you are seeing positive and dramatic results.
Astorino, D., “7 Things People Who Lose Weight Do Every Day,” PopSugar web site, January 11, 2017; http://www.popsugar.com/fitness/Healthy-Weight-Loss-Tips-42973541.
Balch, J., et al., Prescription for Natural Cures: A Self-Care Guide for Treating Health Problems with Natural Remedies Including Diet, Nutrition, Supplements, and Other Holistic Methods (Hoboken: John Wiley Sons, Inc., 2004), 489-497.