I’ll be the first to admit – losing weight is tough – especially finding a weight loss strategy that works. After many years of searching for the ‘best’ and ‘quickest’ ways to lose weight, I have come to the conclusion that no fad diet nor any trendy workout will help you keep your weight down for good.
The best way to lose weight as I have realized is to make small lifestyle changes that have a big impact on my overall health. Here are 5 simple but effective changes you can make today to start losing weight immediately – and they can be utilized for people of all lifestyles.
1. Drink more water.
This might seem like a no-brainer, but many people overlook this simple change in habit. Drinking eight glasses of water daily helps keep you away from snack foods. When you drink a glass of water before each meal, you’ll feel fuller more quickly. When your stomach feels full, you’re less inclined to reach for an extra plate of food.
2. Follow the 80/20 rule.
This rule is fairly simple – 80 percent of the time you focus on eating clean, good-for-you foods, and 20 percent of the time you have the freedom to indulge as you please. Don’t be concerned about the math, because it’s that simple: if you eat three square meals a day, three of those meals every week are your 20 percent cheat meals; if you eat five small meals a day, then seven of those small meals are up for grabs.
I especially like this rule as it has taught me about balance and moderation – a concept that never exists in any fad diet. When you practice 80/20, you have the ‘freedom’ to go out socially and enjoy a meal and a cocktail! More importantly, it makes the whole clean-living thing feel doable for the long run.
3. Eat the same types of food.
When you eat the same kinds of food daily, you’ll be less inclined to overeat. This is because when confronted with a wide variety of foods (for example, high-fat foods at restaurants), you’re more likely to overeat – which results in you gaining weight. Stick to specific types of meals when you’re trying to shed pounds. When you want to mix things up, try adding variety to your diet with new fruits and veggies.
4. Make exercise fun.
Working out has always been a chore for me – I find getting up and going to the gym to be very tedious. If you’re like me, then find something physical that you enjoy and you’ll likely to stick to it. It can be walking, bike riding, taking your dog for a run, joining a salsa class or even hot sweaty sex. When you enjoy a physical activity, you shed pounds without feeling like you’re being forced to work out.
5. Don’t get stressed.
Obsessing over losing weight is counterproductive! Making yourself stressful does crazy things to your body and you will ultimately have a harder time losing weight. So, don’t think too much and overcomplicate things—with weight loss, more often than not, simplicity is best.
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