Losing Weight Naturally – Why and How You Need to Ditch the Diets

It is a well known fact that most people end up gaining back any weight they lose during a “diet” and often more besides. Research has shown that only approximately 20 per cent of overweight people successfully manage to sustain their weight loss over a period of time. So it makes good sense to try losing weight naturally rather than going for the latest “quick fix” diet trend if you want to keep off the weight in the long-term.

A good approach to losing weight naturally is to think of weight loss as a by-product of making important health choices rather than it being your primary goal, as you are then on your way to addressing the underlying causes of weight gain and not just the symptoms.

There are three things that you need to do to modify your lifestyle to make it more healthy and enable you to lose weight naturally – you need to eat healthy food, reduce stress and do more exercise.

How to eat healthily.

Choose whole fresh foods as much as possible, rather than processed food products. Keep this thought in mind: “If your great grandmother would not recognise it – it is perhaps better not to eat it!” The greater the amount of whole and unmodified food you eat, the more healthy and satisfying your diet will be.

You also need to cut down your portion sizes. Most of us eat far more than we really need, so try substituting quality for quantity. You will find that by choosing whole foods, you will need to eat less to feel satisfied. Vegetables should make up the largest part of your diet. Vegetables are low in carbohydrates and also full of antioxidants which can have a powerful effect on the free radicals in our bodies. Try and include as many different colours and varieties of fruit and vegetables in your diet as possible.

Make sure you stay hydrated by drinking enough water. This will help with digestion, absorption, circulation and waste excretion, so it is very important for optimum weight loss. It will also stop you from getting fatigued, so you will have more energy to stick with your exercise routine.

Why you need to cut the stress.

Stress and weight gain are very closely related. Stress can cause your adrenal glands to release cortisol and adrenaline into your bloodstream, which in turn can cause the body to store fat. Also if you are feeling stressed you are more likely to comfort eat.

To help reduce stress levels, you could try walking, meditation, yoga, tai chi, music, relaxing in the bath or breathing exercises.

Increase Your fitness levels.

In order to burn off calories you need to do more exercise. You also need to exercise to keep your heart and other organs healthy as well as toning up your muscles and generally keeping your body in good working order. For many overweight people, starting an exercise program can be pretty daunting, but by starting off slowly, you can gradually build it up. Start off by walking, 15 minutes a day could improve your healthy significantly. Gradually increase the time and the pace you walk at or use a pedometer and slowly build up so that eventually you are walking up to 10,000 steps a day. Swimming is also a good beginner exercise as your weight is supported by the water so it takes the strain off your joints. Try and incorporate some sort of physical activity into your daily life, either on your own or with a friend and try to find something that you enjoy doing so that it does not become a chore.

By losing weight naturally and introducing long-term and lasting changes to your lifestyle instead of just unsustainable ones, you may lose weight more slowly, but the more gradual the weight loss the more likely that the weight will stay off for good.