Weight loss is on almost everyone’s mind.
Not only do we want to look and feel our best, but research shows that issues with being overweight contribute to health problems later in life including high blood pressure, stroke, high cholesterol, high blood sugar and heart disease.
Even though weight loss and maintaining the proper weight is essential to longer-term health, what’s equally as important is the way we go about the weight loss journey as well.
Here are many ways to lose weight naturally.
A Natural Diet
Let’s first look at food. The proper foods for your body is going to be different for everyone, especially when it comes to natural weight loss. A certain diet that works for one person might not work at all for another person looking to lose weight.
So it’s important to know that there’s trial-and-error when it comes to uncovering your perfect combination of foods for natural weight lose. Here are a few food tweaks to consider:
Everyone already knows that eating a diet rich in fruits and vegetables is great, yet only 27 percent of adults in the U.S. are consuming three or more servings of produces (which is the daily recommended amount).
Not only is a high produce diet vital for natural weight loss, where it eliminates excess sugar and processed foods, but fruits and vegetables also help prevent cancer, heart disease and slows the aging process as well.
-Sugars and Processed Foods
Natural weight loss is accelerated when you cut down or eliminate added sugars and processed foods.
The rule of thumb is to try reducing packaged foods including canned foods, chips, cookies, and almost every other pre-made food. Pre-made foods often have added sugar, synthetic ingredients and added salt.
Try to eat as naturally as possible (fruits and vegetables in particular). An age-old trick is to avoid the center aisles of a grocery store where most packaged food lives.
We love carbs, and carbs is essential for bodily function.
But we tend to over-consume on carbs.
This is an issue because most grains in general have a high glycemic index. Foods that are high glycemic make your blood sugar rise and increases inflammation in the body. This inflammation contributes to weight gain. Try to limit breads and pasta servings and replace with vegetables instead.
Getting more exercise
The next component to natural weight loss is exercise. Exercising is the easiest way to burn calories, build muscle (which in turn burns more calories), and keeps our flexibility in the long run.
Regular workouts is a mental challenge more so than a physical one, so getting into a regular exercise routine is essential to building this habit. Try exercising at the same days and times, or signing up for a class, to get in regular movement.
Food and diet alone won’t push you over the edge when it comes to natural weight loss. Here are some easy-to-incorporate exercises to try.
-High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT)
HIIT workouts are gaining popularity because it’s meant to be an intense workout in a short amount of time (sometimes as short as 8 minutes).
It relies on intense intervals that increases the body’s fat-burning capabilities and increases the hormone that allows fat to be used as fuel (which in turn burns the fat). If you want to lose weight fast, incorporating HIIT workouts is key because it forces the muscles to burn more fuel through harder, intense work.
Try downloading a HIIT workout app on your smartphone for easy in-home exercising.
It’s a common misunderstanding that strength training and doing weights bulks your body. Strength training actually increases metabolism permanently and helps us lose weight. A secret to weight loss is actually in muscle building because muscle burns more calories.
Even though it may be simple, walking is actually the easiest weight loss exercise. 30 minutes of brisk walking can burn around 150 calories. This is a low intensity exercise that’s perfect if you need to start slow with your exercise. Try to walk a few times a week for 20 minutes, and then increase your walks to 60 minutes for six times per week. This is a great way to multi-task by making a phone call, listening to a podcast or getting a friend to walk with you and turn it into a social hour.
A Healthy Lifestyle
Natural weight loss and maintenance after you shed the pounds should be a lifestyle. This means a change to your regular habits and to make them stick for life. Any lifestyle change requires a mindset shift as well.
Here are some lifestyle changes you can try to incorporate into your daily routine for natural weight loss.
-Cooking and Eating at Home
We know that eating out at restaurants can dramatically increase our weight because of the larger than normal portions, and the fact that we can’t control the ingredients that are put into the dishes. Learning how to cook and eat at home, and making it enjoyable, is a great way to lose weight naturally.
Limiting eating out to once a week (or once a month) will save you money and contribute to weight loss.
Sleep is crucial for weight loss. Studies show that those who don’t get proper amounts of sleep have altered appetite and insulin which increases ghrelin (the hormone that triggers hunger) and decreases leptin (the hormone that signals your brain that you’re full).
Leptin is especially important to weight loss because it increases resting metabolism and increases fat breakdown.
Moderation is key for anything we do. Having a very strict diet and exercise routine is simply not sustainable.
Some health experts encourage the 80-20 rule of moderation, where you are adhering to your weight loss routine 80 percent of the time, and the remaining 20 percent can be times to indulge and have fun. We must aim for progress, not perfection.
Natural Fat Burners
There are truly natural ways to burn fat that doesn’t involve weight loss dietary supplements. A “fat burner” by definition is a thermogenic supplement that helps burn the fat that’s stored in the body and turning that fat into energy.
Here are some natural fat burners to try supplementing your healthy weight loss.
-Conjugated Linoleic Acid (CLA)
CLA is found in linoleic acid (a fatty acid) and is a natural fat burner. You can get CLA from foods such as whole milk or cheese, yogurt, turkey, wild-caught seafood, grass-fed lamb and beef.
CLA has been found to increase body strength and reduce appetite, especially when taken with a protein supplement such as whey.
-Grapefruit Essential Oil
Some essential oils don’t just smell good, but they can also aid in natural weight loss. Grapefruit essential oil’s active ingredients have been found to help boost metabolism, reduce cravings, naturally suppresses appetite and gives an uplifting energy boost.
Enzymes found in grapefruit also helps the body break down sugar.
When applied to the skin, grapefruit essential oil can be a lymphatic stimulator. You can also use grapefruit essential oil in a diffuser, add it to a bath, or massage onto the skin when mixed with a carrier oil.
-Green Tea/Herbal Teas
Caffeine isn’t all bad. Drinking some caffeine from herbal teas can help reduce inflammation, increase metabolism and give a boost in energy. Matcha green tea is a great way to reap these benefits.
Matcha is a concentrated Japanese green tea that can aid in fat-burning. Matcha also contains an antioxidant called catechins which helps to reduce body weight, increase recovery time between workouts and decreases free radical damage.
Yerba mate and rooibos tea are other options that have similar benefits.
Probiotics are known as the “good bacteria” in fermented foods and beverages. These bacteria are already present in our microbiome or gastrointestinal tract.
Research suggests that probiotics help regulate appetite and increase weight loss overall. Probiotic-rich foods include yogurt, cultured vegetables, kefir or a probiotic supplement.
-High Fiber Foods
Consuming high fiber foods is another great natural fat burning strategy. High fiber foods such as chia seeds, vegetables and flax seeds helps to slow the digestion of sugar, decreases cravings and keeps you feeling full for longer.
Cherries are a surprising natural fat burner.
They are rich in antioxidants that help reduce free radical damage, and research also shows that cherries may decrease excess body fat and increase the natural production of melatonin to support a regular sleep cycle.
Natural weight loss is possible without extreme dieting, fatigue or even slow results.
A healthy lifestyle that supports clean eating habits and regular exercise, in addition to sleep and other natural supplementation, creates a holistic approach to natural weight loss.