Losing weight can be tough. Yes, there are a plethora of diets, workout routines, and pills out there that seem like a roadmap to the weight-loss promised land. But at the end of the day, keeping pounds off involves tweaking your lifestyle. Natural weight loss, which involves adopting healthy habits that you can incorporate long-term, can help that number on the scale go down in a safe, effective way.
All meals are important, but breakfast is what helps you start your day on the right track. The best, heartiest breakfasts are ones that will fill you up, keep you satisfied, and stave off cravings later in the day. Aim to eat anywhere between 400 and 500 calories for your morning meal, and make sure you're including a source of lean protein plus filling fat (e.g., eggs, unsweetened Greek yogurt, nuts, or nut butters) and fiber (veggies, fruit, or 100% whole grains). Starting your day with a blood sugar-stabilizing blend of nutrients will help you slim down without sacrifice.
Very low levels of thyroid hormone usually indicate an autoimmune reaction to the thyroid gland itself. This means you’ll have to take thyroid hormone supplements orally, usually the stable form T4 (Levaxin), which your doctor can prescribe for you. Your body will transform this into the active T3 hormone when necessary. The supplement dose should be adjusted so that you reach normal hormone levels (TSH, T3, T4) and sufficiently alleviate symptoms – though a few people feel best when keeping TSH slightly below normal.
Ordering a diet soda or eating a cookie sweetened with Splenda may seem like a good nutrition compromise, but artificial sweeteners aren’t doing you any favors in the weight department. In fact, they can even cause weight gain, according to research published in Applied Physiology, Nutrition, and Metabolism. The artificial chemicals interfere with important enzymes and hormones in your body, leading to increased waist size, they report.
Another way to trim carbs and calories and lose weight fast is by making your sandwich open-faced. Opting for one slice of bread instead of two will save you 70-90 calories, and leaves you more room to pile it high with healthy toppings like lettuce, tomato, sprouts, and avocado. Still hungry? Pair your sandwich with a side of baby carrots or bell pepper strips. The water and fiber in the veggies will fill you up and help with your weight-loss efforts.
If you want to lose weight you should start by avoiding sugar and starch (like bread, pasta and potatoes). This is an old idea: For 150 years or more there have been a huge number of weight-loss diets based on eating fewer carbs. What’s new is that dozens of modern scientific studies have proven that, yes, low carb is the most effective way to lose weight.
What you eat is only half the equation. “Regardless of which diet you choose, when you eat is important too,” Dr. Sowemimo says. Starving all day is a recipe for bingeing later, she adds. Instead, eat small, healthy meals and snacks at regular times throughout the day to curb cravings. Also, make sure you know the 15 worst weight-loss tips doctors need you to stop following.
In what is perhaps the biggest buzzkill of all time, sex doesn’t quite count as cardio or burn a significant amount of calories: Women burn about 3.6 per minute. "It’s still a good idea," Dr. Seltzer says, citing the activity’s other benefits, like increasing the output of the neurotransmitters serotonin and dopamine, which naturally reduce food cravings.
Conversely, the more food in front of you, the more you’ll eat—regardless of how hungry you are. So instead of using regular dinner plates that range these days from 10 to 14 inches (making them look empty if they’re not heaped with food), serve your main course on salad plates (about 7 to 9 inches wide). Instead of 16-ounce glasses and oversized coffee mugs, return to the old days of 8-ounce glasses and 6-ounce coffee cups.
Rise and shine—literally! Researchers from Northwestern University found that people who were exposed to bright daylight earlier in the day tended to weigh less than those who didn’t get sunlight until later. So right after you wake up, open the blinds and let the sunshine in. Or better yet, step outside and enjoy your morning cup of coffee on the front porch
Think you can’t do yoga because you’re not a 20-year-old limber blonde who looks good in a bodysuit? Forget the stereotypes; yoga is for every body, Lehman says. “Relaxation exercises can help curb emotional eating,” she explains. “Yoga, mediation, and relaxation practices reduce stress, lower blood pressure, and reduce the amount of the stress hormone cortisol released into the body, which can be helpful for losing weight, especially abdominal fat.” These are the 10 signs your body (and mind) are craving yoga.
Diets that involve removing – or severely limiting – specific foods or food groups that are nutritionally important are not going to be a long-term solution. The more extreme high-protein, low-carbohydrate diets limit fruit, vegetables and fibre, particularly in the early stages, while faddy diets based on single foods (cabbage soup, anyone?) involve eating a lot of one type of food and not much of others. Some diets also drastically limit calorie intake so you get results fast. However, a very low-calorie intake can leave you tired and hungry, so you give up, regaining the weight as quickly as it came off.
Deprivation never works. It is a painful struggle that will almost always result in failure. Instead of starving your body of the nutrients it needs to stay healthy, eat “more” good stuff. Break your meals down to 5 or 6 small ones a day to reduce snacking (which is when a good chunk of weight gain takes place for a lot of people) and to prevent your body from storing more fat-which is does when it feels “starved.” Also ask yourself why you’re eating in the first place-we so often eat out of boredom or nerves or stress. Wait until you feel a rumble and let your stomach tell you when it needs to eat.
It is important to adopt healthy lifestyle changes to combat this problem. It might be reassuring to know that if you are determined to lose at least 5% of your weight, you will be rewarded with decreased risk of heart disease, blood pressure, diabetes, and cancer as per the findings of a recent study published in 2016 (1). In addition, you can use some easy yet effective natural remedies to help with your weight loss efforts.