Easiest Way to Lose Weight Quickly and Healthily
Do diets really work?
First of all, I can definitely say that I've tried a variety of diets. What everyone doesn't say is that almost all popular diets work in a sense. They will make you lose weight, but odds are they are complicated or hard to follow. It's just plain difficult to find one that's healthy and easy to stick with. I mean, seriously. Who wants to sit and eat only grapefruits or drink straight lemonade for four weeks? And who wants to pop pills if you have no idea what you're taking?? It's about more than a diet. It's a lifestyle change.
First off, when I'm hungry, I crave carbs (shells and cheese and spaghetti are fantastic right?) and meats (who can resist a cheeseburger or a nice juicy steak?) - basically all the things I shouldn't be eating to lose weight.
Everyone is different, but if you want to lose weight, maintain the loss, and make it as simple as possible this is what you need to do.
This is All There is To It
The ONLY thing you need to create a calorie deficit. That's it!
It sounds fantastic right? Or too good to be true? That's what I thought. I tried everything. I tried diet pills, excersizing like a fanatic, eating weird foods, colon cleansing, and just plain not eating. I would lose a few pounds here and there, but nothing stuck and when I got off the diet I went right back to where I was before. I think what people don't realize is that it's all about the math (and I promise it's not difficult math).
Okay. Now that we've established what must be done, I have to share with you how easily it can be done. =)
First things first, you want to start with a fairly healthy diet. So let's start with fruits and veggies.
The Famous Negative Calorie Foods:
Chile peppers (hot)
If you've never heard about negative calorie foods, the way it works is just as it sounds. After eating the food, you burn more calories metabolizing it than you ingested. So, if you eat a small apple that has 80 calories, you're burning MORE than 80 calories by processing that apple. Sweet right? Well, I'm sure that alone will make you reconsider starving if you'd thought of it as an option before. Eating > Starving.
If you're one of those lucky folks who can eat only fruits and feel full, then that's awesome although I highly suggest buying some multivitamins to ensure you get the nutrients you need. However if you're like me and you need more substantial food then this next part is for you. =)
It is true that if you eat more times a day, you do speed up your metabolism, but as long as you're eating fewer calories than you're burning, you'll lose weight. Plus if you eat more times, you must eat less each time. This may be your favorite option. It definitely is the healthiest.
Okay. So other healthy foods:
Although not every fruit or veggie makes the negative calorie list, as long at it's fresh (uncooked and unpackaged), it is still very, very healthy! Unfortunately, cooking or packaging fruits and veggies deteriorates much of the nutritional value found in them naturally and a lot of the time, adds a lot of extra, unneeded sugar.
The only real downside to eating fruit is that you ingest a large amount of sugar. This could be good or bad depending on the person, but generally if eating mostly fruits, you may feel especially tired after going without eating for a while or experience a sugar crash.
Besides looking at fruits as veggies, the body needs protein to build muscle and function properly. Now I'm not saying go out and buy the fattest burger or steak and chow down every day (although that would be kind of awesome). But I am saying that proteins not only keep your immune system kicking so you don't get sick, they also keep your skin, hair and nails healthy.
Now what kind of proteins are healthy?
- Tuna – 6 oz. can - 40 grams of protein (The fresh, grilled fish is even better)
- Salmon – 3.5 oz. - 27 grams of protein
- Chicken Breast – 3.5 oz. - 30 grams of protein (Grilled is always the best choice)
- Turkey – 1 oz. - 7 grams of protein
- Eggs – 1 large - 7 grams of protein (Egg whites are always better than yolks)
- Tofu - 120 grams - 8 grams of protein
- Milk – 1 cup - 8 grams of protein (1% or skim for the least fat content)
- Cottage Cheese – 1 cup - 30 grams of protein
- Almonds, Peanuts, Cashews – 1/4 cup - 8grams, 9 grams, 5 grams of protein
- Peanut Butter – 2 Tablespoons, 8 grams of protein (although it can be slightly high in fat)
- Yogurt – 8-12 grams of protein per cup
There are definitely others not listed above, but these are some of the best, common options.
Carbohydrates: My favorite!
This may surprise you, but not eating carbohydrates is actually EXTREMELY unhealthy. Most people know that carbohydrates are turned to fat if not used, and that carbs give you energy. But cutting down on carbs isn't necessarily the best option. There are many healthy carbs you can eat.
Healthy Carbohydrate Sources
- whole wheat bread
- brown rice
- bran cereal
The Scary Part
Low Carb/ High Protein Diets can leave you tired, nauseous and overall, very weak and even cause kidney stones or gout (painful swelling of the joints).
A Quick Note on Diet Pills
I am not a fan of diet pills. I don't think anyone truly wants to put foreign substances into their systems without need. Who knows what scientists will discover about these drugs later in our lifetime. PLUS, almost all of these drugs around are not approved by the United States Food and Drug Administration.
What use is it to risk one's health or possibly even life for a drug that will more than likely prove itself completely useless?
The most important thing to realize before you buy diet pills is that the company selling them wants to make money. Unfortunately, in this world, money reigns more important than other things to some people. Adds will say anything to reel you in. I know I've been bought by adds. It's always important to know who is trying to sell you something and who is not.
My biggest advice is to be careful, and at least do your homework on the pill before deciding to buy in, and if you can avoid them. However when it comes to this topic, I think the good, old-fashioned way is the best option. It's proven to work!
Okay. So now you know how to ingest the right kind of calories. The important part now is to figure out how to subtract those calories.
The best way to burn off fat is to do cardio (cardiovascular exercise). Running, jogging, jumping jacks, biking even walking. I have a friend who walks 10 miles every couple days. It's crazy, I know, but he prefers that to running. He also eats whatever kind of food he wants in moderation. That's the nice thing about counting calories. You don't HAVE to eat healthily per se. You can choose to just eat less unhealthy foods (lower caloric intake).
Also in order to tone your muscles, you want to do excersizes with lower weights but more repetition. Higher weights with fewer repetition may bulk your muscle up, but it won't do much to burn fat. Although it should be noted that the more you work your muscles, the more fat you can burn, the faster your metabolism works. Push-ups, sit-ups, and all their variations are great options. As long as you're not lifting humongous amounts of weight, the bulking effect won't really happen.
If you don't have time to go an work out, there are a lot of quick tricks to learn for help.
- Take the stairs instead of the elevator (it's better for the environment, too - that always helps me)
- Walk to the store or bike if you can (also better for the environment)
- Get more sleep (I know it's hard, but sleep helps your body metabolize and rest. It also allows your mind to rest)
- Get outside for a walk down the street if you can't make it to the gym
- Drink lots of water (ice water is even better - it takes more calories to metabolize it since it needs to be heated to body temperature)
- Eat slowly (this is particularly hard for me, but when you eat more slowly, your body recognizes it is full faster and therefore you eat less)
- Don't mindlessly eat (if you're eating something, be careful not to sit and watch T.V. or not pay attention. It's very easy to overeat this way.)
- Fresh cooking is almost always healthier than fast food or boxed meals (Yet another + for the environment =))
*Note: Changing the pace or weight level frequently while working out (switching between running and walking briskly) is actually shown to increase the burning of calories since you don't give your body time to adjust.
Quick Fun Facts and Non-Myths for Funzies
1. Low Fat or Nonfat does NOT mean no calories. Although this may lower the calories by taking out the calories from fat, there more than likely are still calories in the food.
2. Coffee is quite the topic of debate. It contains caffeine which is a stimulant. In a way, this is good because it can raise your metabolism. But this can also be very dangerous. Caffeine is addictive and once your body is adjusted to it, it may be very, very difficult to get away from, leaving you a very tired, dependent person. It also raises your blood pressure and makes your heart beat faster.
3. Water weight can show a fluctuation of around 2 +/- pounds a day.
4. Fad diets do NOT help you sustain the weight loss. If taken too seriously, they can even be fatal (too few calories or improper nutrition).
5. Fast food can be included if dealt with properly! For instance, if you go to McDonald's and get a Chicken salad or even get a grilled chicken wrap and then sip on some fat free milk or even some water, then you're fine. =) So grabbing a quick bite in your busy schedule doesn't have to be so terrible. One key point is to avoid using excess amounts of the really fattening additions such as
- salad dressings
- regular mayonnaise
6. Bananas are NOT unhealthy! They get a bad rep thanks to a lot of misunderstanding. They are full of nutrients and they actually have ZERO grams of fat despite what you hear from some about them being the most fattening fruit. The reason this came into focus is because bananas have a slightly higher calorie count than other fruits, but if you think about it, it makes sense. Most fruits are made up of a very high percentage of water. Grapes, tomatoes, and oranges all are extremely juicy right? Well bananas have less water content making them basically a more condensed fruit which means more fruit per cm3 you eat. The good thing about that is more nutrients as well. =)
7. Eating breakfast is a good way to get your metabolism going early on!
8. Eating later at night is NOT a bad thing. Just think about what you ate early on. (This still goes back to the fact that the AMOUNT of calories ingested is most important as well as what was done to burn calories).
9. If you have a smart phone, use it to find an app that will count your calories for you! You'll be amazed by the options given by different apps! If you do not own a smart phone, you can always record the calories in a book or even use a website or computer program.
10. Research foods online. Almost all foods you eat are listed online with approximate calorie content and other nutrition facts. Most restaurants have listings for all their foods online as well.
A Moral Message - You CAN do this!
A lot of times you'll hear people say they've been on the "diet roller coaster" - losing weight, gaining it back, losing weight, gaining it back. It is possible to lose a lot of weight quickly, but the best way to go about it is with patience. I know the feeling where you look in the mirror and just feel sickened. You just want immediate results because you hate the way you feel about yourself. It's terrible, and society doesn't make it any easier.
And it doesn't only happen to women. It happens to men, too. All those adds in the paper or signs with "beautiful people," listening to the opposite sex talk about what's attractive. It's a real self esteem killer. There's no doubt about it. Then all the stress you feel only affects your hormones and makes you gain more weight.
Everybody preaches, "Everyone is beautiful in their own way" and it is true, but sometimes society makes it really difficult to see it. And I think we all have certain things we'd like to change about ourselves. The good news is that no matter how many times you've tried and failed, there is always another beginning!
Just think of it this way. The past is in the past. Here is your chance to make something happen! Don't lose weight for society. Lose weight for yourself, so that you're healthier, so that you FEEL better. That's the important thing. This is possible, and with the proper motivation, you can do it!