Nowadays you can find hundreds of different fad diets and diet programs on the market, along with equal numbers of supplements and diet “aids” that claim to help with weight loss. From diet shakes to cookies, candy bars, patches and pills – the diet and weight loss industry has evolved to include many different types of products.
While diets and diet aids may indeed help you shed excess pounds, they truly aren’t necessary for the vast majority of people. Instead, most people would do well to simply make some common-sense lifestyle changes and they would safely lose weight.
Below are a few of these simple yet common-sense changes:
Weight Loss Goal-Setting
When trying to lose weight, one of the best things you can do is to set realistic goals. Your goals should be aggressive enough to motivate you, but not so aggressive that you get discouraged. If you set unrealistic goals, you will quickly become frustrated and give up. A good challenge that you feel sure you can achieve, however, has the ability to inspire you and keep you striving to do better and better. Weight loss goal-setting can be even more effective if you pair up with a partner and cheer each other on; maybe even engage in some good old-fashioned competition. Each of you trying to best the other can be fun and motivating, leading you both to achieve much more than you would have on your own.
Feed Your Body
Unlike the advice of most diet plans, a common-sense approach encourages you to eat more, not less. However, the quality and calorie content of the foods are what count. High fiber, low calorie foods like vegetables help fill you up and keep your metabolism running strong, while contributing few calories to your daily intake. Most fruit is low in calories but very satisfying, especially when you’re craving something sweet. If you make fruit and vegetables a large part of your daily diet, you’ll find that you can feel satisfied eating far less of other, higher-calorie foods.
Keep It Moving
While simply stating that you should get up and move might seem a little TOO simple for some people, the truth is, getting up and finding ways to move your body is one of the best ways you can burn additional calories. You have to burn more calories than you take in if you want to successfully lose weight – but you don’t need fancy workouts to accomplish this. If you simply engage in physical activities you enjoy, you will be more likely to keep moving and burning off plenty of calories each day, which makes the excess pounds melt away.
Some fun activities that can help you burn additional calories include golf, gardening, volleyball, walking, dancing, playing, jumping rope, playing tennis or even playing hopscotch with your kids. These activities are fun and you can easily use them to trick yourself into thinking that they are not really exercise, but you are still burning extra calories. Even activities such as cleaning the house will require additional energy to burn calories and if you put on some music and dance around at the same time, you can burn even more. Simple, fun, and effective – everything you need in a workout plan.
Drink More Water
When it comes to achieving your weight loss goals, there is really no move as powerful as drinking plenty of water. First and foremost, water is necessary in order to hydrate the body, but it is also an excellent way to help trick your body into thinking that it is full, so you eat less (sometimes a LOT less!). Other beverages are not as effective in this respect. For example, fruit juice, soda, and sweetened tea all contain calories that provide no nutritional value – and will probably make you feel hungry rather than minimizing hunger like water does.
Drinking plenty of water has another advantage for weight loss: it can actually help retain elasticity in your skin. This is important if you want to avoid loose and sagging skin, especially after a dramatic weight loss. Drinking plenty of water has the added bonus of keeping your skin looking as beautiful and radiant as possible.
The above steps may not be fancy or overly exciting, and they are definitely not the only necessary components of a healthy lifestyle, but they are definitely easier and more effective for long-term weight loss than fad diets and weight loss gimmicks.