How to Lose Weight Naturally and Happily
How long will this take?
I will never be an advocate of “diets” because I am an advocate of people making a lifestyle change for the better! Losing weight does take some time and perseverance, for it’s not a simple task to accomplish. We all want quick fixes and it’s time the instant self-gratification stops now. Time is your friend and if you give it time the goals you set can be obtain. It took you a few years or so to get to the weight you are at, so surely, it will take some time to get back to the weight you felt most comfortable at. You really have to want the change to happen so it can really work.
Can you help us understand calories and weight gain?
Yes, Calories are energy (fuel) the body needs to have in order to operate efficiently, just like gas in a lawn mower. When it gets low on gas, it sputters and conks out and when it’s overfilled with fuel, it can damage the other parts of the motor and floods out plus drips. The lawn mower needs the right amount of fuel in order for it to work. Notice, too much or too little of fuel will not have your lawn mower working in an optimum way and the same exact theory with the body. The fully-grown body requires at least a minimum of 1000-1500 calories so it can provide adequate energy to fuel your vital organs like the heart, brain, and lungs. It takes an extra of 3500 calories to gain just 1 pound of fat. So if in a week you add additional foods to your daily calorie intake that equals 3500, you will gain a pound a week. Let me help you understand this. Hypothetically, pretend you are eating a large bowl of pistachio ice cream topped with chocolate syrup that equals 500 calories every night in the whole week in addition to your daily food intake. Well by the end of the week it is 3500 calories and there you go a pound a week will occur. Now if you eat an additional 1750 in calories a week, you will gain a half pound a week! It happens that fast!
Can you help us understand calories and weight loss?
The average person consumes around 2000 calories daily and maintains their current weight. However, if they want to lose some weight the best way to do this is to drop something from the diet that has around 250 calories a day plus exercise to burn 250 calories a day. Let me explain, if you drop all bread out of your diet daily which equals 250 calories and then go hiking for an hour every day that burns 250 calories, you will see that equals 500 calories less a day in your body, which is 3500 calories a week, and that’s 1 pound a week that went bye bye! Remember what we discussed above, 3500 calories equals 1 pound. You can incorporate this theory any way you see fit, but you must spend the calories in a healthy way by doing both, exercise and diet, not just calorie restrict! I can’t express this enough, it’s a combo of both that helps you keep the weight off and have a healthy body!
Have you ever tried a "fad" diet and it worked at first but then the weight came back?
10 easy additional suggestions to help the weight drop off
- Drink water to hydrate. Let this be your drink of choice and skip the bottled juices. Aim for 8-10 cups a day at least. Be creative; add lemon in a glass, then some cucumber in the next, then a handful of blueberries and strawberries in a glass besides drinking your plain water as well. This is healthy for the body and it helps those who find water just so flavorless and gets them to get their intake daily. Water curbs the appetite and hydrates the cells in your body and assists it to transport nutrients to it.
- Keep plenty of raw fruits and vegetables in your kitchen. When you want to snack, grab an apple, some celery, strawberries, a kiwi or banana etc. verses a cupcake, cookie or junk food. Visualizing the brightly colored produce in your fridge and having it on hand helps you to make the right choices when it comes to snacking. A better way to do this is to keep the junk food out of your home period!
- When serving your meal platter, make sure your plate has half of it filled with produce no matter what the meal is. Also always start off a meal with a nice green salad with a variety of veggies. An example of a typical American dinner would be, cooking chicken, brown rice a salad and roasted Brussel sprouts for dinner, so make sure you eat the salad first. Then fill your plate halfway with roasted Brussel sprouts, then ¼ way with the chicken and ¼ way with the brown rice. Make this assembly a habit and you will see the weight drop plus you will feel satiated. I highly suggest you try to incorporate plant based foods into your meals as much as possible. Try to consume less animal products in the diet plus try to keep them to a minimum. Concentrate on whole foods and produce. Remember, always start with a salad and be creative!
- Drop the processed foods out of your diet and keep sugar at a minimum. The food industry has loaded the processed foods you consume with sugar and too much sugar causes obesity plus disease. If you make homemade meals you are in control of what goes into your food. No more box foods if you can help it. Here’s an article I wrote about sugar and it’s danger plus natural alternatives you can use. http://organicsusana.hubpages.com/hub/Ways-to-cut-sugar-out-of-your-diet
- Stop your sedentary lifestyle and move! The famous Jack La Lanne use to say “A sedentary lifestyle will kill you.” Your body was made to move, not stay dormant and still unless it’s a time of rest. Back in the olden days people didn’t have a weight problem for the most part because they made and grew their own food and had to move their bodies for survival. They walked, they gardened, they farmed, they washed clothes by hand, they swept, and they had daily chores that required them not be lazy! Did you know if you rake leaves for one hour, you burn about 384 calories or if you shovel snow for one hour you burn 545 calories? Or how about you go swimming for 15 minutes, you will burn about 147 calories and if you take your active dog jogging with you which they will love, you can burn 148 calories in just 17 minutes! The point is, if I never ride my bike and it just sits outsides the chain will obviously rust and when I do decide to ride it the pedals won’t be as easy to move because I haven’t used it! Again, the same theory with the body, use it or lose it.
- Stop using the word “diet” in terms of restricting and use the term “lifestyle change.” Motivate yourself by thinking about the health problems that could occur if you keep eating unhealthy foods. Yes, get scared straight! Ever walk on a hospital floor to visit someone and as you walk down the corridor you see each room in passing with all those sick people laid up? You can hear moans and groans and the smell is of sickness in the air, suffering is a horrible thing to see and hear! Most diseases are preventable just by taking good care of your whole body and treating it right. Inevitably that usually means you must incorporate a lifestyle change. When you feel good, you look good and when you look good you feel good! Don’t put stuff in your body that won’t help it, its’ senseless, tell yourself that each time you are about to consume an unhealthy choice.
- Try to cope with your emotional eating and recognize it. Each and every time you catch yourself eating out of sadness, boredom, anger or any emotion, ask yourself if you are really hungry and drink yourself a tall glass of water while you contemplate on this thought. Try to divert yourself by taking a walk, turn on the radio or take a hot bath if food calls you to be its pacifier.
- Practice mindful eating. This is a two-fold suggestion. First, just don’t eat absent mindedly, eat with gratitude. Look at your food, chew slowly, savor the taste and be grateful that you have food on your plate. Use all your senses during a meal thoroughly enjoy it. Just don’t “technically” eat your meals anymore, just eat consciously. The second part of this equation is to keep a food journal just so you can see what you are actually consuming daily. A lot of times you forget the small stuff you eat and you need to see just for a while what your intake of daily food looks like. Is it primarily healthy? Is it full of processed boxed food? Are you consuming enough fruits and vegetables? Are your meals well-balanced? This also helps you recognize patterns of your eating and times you are most hungry.
- Hide your scale. I feel too many people get obsessed with the numbers instead of being concerned with healthy eating habits. The weight will drop once you start to eat right and move your body. You know, there are a lot of unhealthy skinny people too! Remember this is a lifestyle change first and foremost. For now, don’t weigh yourself, give it a few months as you incorporate a healthy lifestyle. You will notice your clothes will start to fit better, your skin will look much healthier, your energy level will increase even though the numbers didn’t drop in drastic amounts, the fact is they will drop and you will know it. Set yourself a time period of when you’d like to weigh yourself again so you can see your progress.
- Laugh your way healthy and make it fun. Making a healthy lifestyle change shouldn’t be something to dread. Make it fun by doing some activities with others like going on a hike, taking a cooking class, going to boxing classes or even belly dancing classes. You can also walk around the local Farmer’s Market, grow your own garden, landscape your yard, take your dog for a walk, and play kick ball or whiffle ball with the kids. Get a coworker at your job to join you on this journey of a healthy lifestyle change and take turns one day a week making each other a healthy lunch you can both share plus a power walk after your eat. After you eat meals at home on weekends, tell yourself you won’t sit down until you complete a few chores, put the music on and groove while you move. Smile because you will be the example to others around you to make positive changes in their life once they see the total effect it has had on you. You may actually save them, this should make you happy! How good will it feel to be such a worthy influence on others?
Please note that I am not a medical doctor so I cannot offer medical advice nor diagnose or cure, please always consult your physician when in question. However I’m happy to offer you suggestions for possible enhancements to your health per my research and what I have learned as a Health Coach. I want to educate you the best possible way so you can be equipped with superlative information and make healthy decisions for yourself as you see fit, for this is my sole purpose.