Everywhere we look, there are advertisements for weight loss gimmicks. There are pills, exercise videos that promise weight loss with minimal effort, diet centers hoping to sell food, injections, surgeries, clubs, iPhone apps, websites and support groups. They all have one thing in common- they all require the same thing- a change in eating habits and good, old fashioned hard work. The good news is that you can lose weight without the gimmicks. You can lose weight for free, simply by eating well and exercising.
Eating well isn’t as easy as one might think. Many foods are bad for our health and can make us fat. If you don’t know the difference between healthy and unhealthy foods, it can be easy to mistakenly eat something you think is harmless, or assume something is unhealthy when it’s good for your body. Research shows that the following foods are damaging to weight loss efforts- processed foods, trans fats, most fast foods, and foods made with sugar, high fructose corn syrup, white flour, artificial sweeteners, or artificial colors. Foods that are healthy are lean proteins, fresh fruits and vegetables, whole grains and foods containing monounsaturated fats and polyunsaturated fats.
Obviously, there is more to eating well than I can fit into this article, but if you are serious about losing weight it’s important to learn about nutrition. Learn as much as you can and read labels so that you know what is going into your body. Only then will you have control over the way foods affect your health. Don’t rely on some counselor at Jenny Craig or Weight Watchers to do this for you. Empower yourself so that you really know what is going into your body with every bite you take.
In addition to knowing what to eat, you also need to know how much to eat. It’s easy to make a mistake and double or even triple portion sizes without realizing it. Learn what appropriate portion sizes look like and stick to it.
Get up and do something, anything, to get your body moving. If you are obese you may need to start with a 5 minute walk and work your way up. The more you move, the more calories you burn and the quicker weight will come off. It doesn’t have to be complicated. Just move. Exercise is crucial not only for weight loss but for overall health. According to an article by the British Journal of Cancer, active people are 24 percent less likely to develop colon cancer than sedentary people.
Drinking water is crucial to weight loss. A body just can’t work properly without proper hydration. Drinking enough water will ensure that your body can metabolize fat and stay energized. The common recommendation is to drink 8 glasses of water a day. Does that mean you need to remember how many glasses of water you’ve had today? Not really. You can also gauge your hydration level by looking at the color of your urine. If it’s clear you are drinking enough water. If not, then you’ll need to drink more.