The Best Easy Ways To Lose Weight
Burn More Calories Than You Consume
To lose weight you need to burn more calories than you consume. You can consume fewer calories, burn more or do both. It is a very simple concept. To gain weight you need to consume more calories than you burn. You can consume more calories, burn fewer calories or do both. If you burn as many calories as you consume than your weight stays the same.
Calories are consumed when you eat or drink. You are always burning calories but most of the calories are burned during exercise. Your body stores fat when it has more calories than it needs and burns it when it needs more energy. Muscle can also be converted into energy.
One of the easiest ways to lose weight is to drink water instead of drinks that contain a lot of calories. Water contains 0 calories. By switching to drinking mostly water I cut out around 400 calories from my diet per day. That is more calories than I could burn by biking for an hour. Drinking lots of water also helps to reduce food cravings, makes you stronger and provides you more energy. So for weight loss drinking water is as good or almost as good as working out for an hour. I don't recommend trying to drink extra water to feel full. Just drink enough to stay hydrated.
Before you take a drink of something check to see how many calories it has and what nutrients it contains. If it is high in calories and low in nutrients then you would be better off drinking water. By adding the calories up you can figure out how many calories you drink in per day. Then you can figure out how long you would need to workout to burn them off. Drinking water instead of other drinks does require some will power. I was able to switch to drinking water by focusing on what I wanted. I wanted a flat stomach. Keep thinking about what you want to accomplish.
Stop and Enjoy the Scenery
Spend time in nature enjoying the scenery and animals or at least look outside. Looking at plants, animals and water is a good way to relax. That is why so many people have bird feeders, fish ponds and flower gardens. It is also the reason people like to go to parks and sit down for a while. Leaving the house and spending time being surrounded by nature is more relaxing than just looking outside.
The relaxing healing power of nature can help you lose weight. You are not going to burn more calories looking at relaxing scenery and animals than you would sitting in front of the TV but it can improve your eating and exercise habits. Stress is bad. People get stressed and gain weight. They develop bad habits. Relaxation is good. People that become more relaxed can lose weight more easily.
Practicing deep slow belly breathing can make dieting much easier. It is relaxing and gives you more control over your emotions. Emotional eating is when people eat to try to make themselves feel better. When you have more control over how you feel you have more control over your cravings. It can also provide you with more energy. Having more energy makes it easier to stay away from high calorie drinks and it makes it easier to get lots of exercise.
Deep breathing can even speed up your metabolism a little. Imagine that your belly is filling up with air when you breath in and that is emptied when you breath out. It is easier to do if you close your eyes. When you place a hand on your belly you should feel your belling expanding and contracting.
Focus on your breathing for a few minutes and you should feel very relaxed. If you practice you can replace the shallow chest breathing people normally do with deep slow belly breathing. Deep slow belly breathing is used while practicing meditation,yoga, tai chi and qigong. It is also good for firming up the ab muscles.
Use Portion Control
Reducing the portions or serving size is a very easy way to consume fewer calories. First it can stop you from overeating. Take small portions and eat slowly. If you are still hungry take some more food. I eat slowly and often take seconds or thirds. Since I don't take too much food I don't overeat. It does make it seem like I eat more than I do but I don't waste food or eat just to clean my plate. Eating slowly gives your body time to tell you that it is getting full and allows you to enjoy the taste of the food you are eating.
A small piece of cake obviously contains fewer calories than a large portion. In practice you might really want the large piece. Eat slowly. If I slowly eat a small piece of cake and savor it then I enjoy it just as much as a large piece. You don't need a large portion to enjoy the taste of something. Food generally tastes better when you have small portions and do not eat it very often. Exercise, relaxation and filling up on healthy food can reduce your cravings for junk food so you don't feel like you must have a large portion to feel satisfied.
Consume fewer calories and burn more by eating more often. An easy way to improve your eating habits is to eat when you get hungry. If I get hungry and don't eat then I start to get strong cravings for junk food. Having a healthy snack stops me from getting the junk food cravings. When I am really hungry before a meal I just want to eat and eat. So I end up overeating. People that switch from three meals a day to two usually gain weight. It is not just the overeating and the extra junk food. They also burn fewer calories.
When I am hungry I don't feel like exercising and if I try to exercise anyway I can't do very much. The lack of exercise and food slows down my metabolism a little. Overeating also stops me from exercising. Hungry people and people that ate too much don't burn as many calories as people that feel satisfied. Eating four or five meals a day is better for weigh loss than eating two or three times a day. Another option is to have three main meals a day but snack if you get hungry. That is what I do.
Sometimes you can eat more food and lose weight. There is a reason why people that eat a lot are often slimmer than people that eat very little. I eat more food than people that weigh a lot more than I do. By a lot I mean over 50 pounds. Food provides me with energy. Not eating very much leads to not exercising very much or vice versa. It leads to a lack of muscle, boredom and stress. That causes the person to gain weight. Often people that are very overweight don't eat very much. Overweight people keep telling me I eat too much but I don't agree with them.
Play Motion Games
Exercise does not feel like hard work when you are playing and having fun. Playing reduces stress, boredom and junk food cravings. The exercise you get burns calories. I burn calories when I play sports outside and when I am inside playing motion controlled video games. It is not the fastest way to burn calories but it does not feel like work and time seems to go by quickly. I lost weight playing Wii games.
Exercise While You Watch TV
Watching TV is associated with eating junk food an being bored. Exercising while you watch TV burns calories, reduces boredom and reduces junk food cravings. The best part is that you only need to give up sitting on a couch or chair. You don't need to set aside time to exercise if you already spend time watching TV.
While watching TV you can do exercises that don't require a lot of concentration like running on the spot, jumping rope, biking on an exercise bike or lifting weights. The hardest part for me was to make it a habit. I left myself notes to remind me to start exercising when I turned on the TV. It did not take long for it to become a habit. Try to make a TV workout routine.
It is harder to focus on the exercise while I am distracted by the TV. I could burn calories faster if I was not watching TV. Another drawback is that I now have a hard time watching TV without exercising. I don't feel like sitting still unless I already worked out. However it is a lot easier to get myself to workout if I can watch a movie or one of my favorite TV shows while I am doing it.
Travel Under Your Own Power
Going somewhere you want to go to under your own power is an easy way to lose weight. Bike, run, canoe, kayak, rollerblade, walk or ski. Pick a destination you want to get to and a mode of transportation you will enjoy. It is easy because you want to do it. The hardest part of working out is often getting myself to actually do it. Like a lot of other people I like to bike to and around provincial parks. So it is very easy to get myself to go for a bike ride. I look forward to it.
Traveling under my own power is the easiest way for me to burn a lot of calories. It is also relaxing so it helps me consume less junk food. However biking long distances did increase my appetite. I slimmed down but I gained some weight because my muscle weight increased. If you burn a lot of calories by exercising you may need to eat more food and you may put on some muscle weight. The extra muscle did make it easier to keep the fat off.
© 2013 Michael H