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Top 5 Easy Ways to Lose Weight: Everything You Ever Wanted To Know About Weight Loss

Updated on August 13, 2015
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“The best diet is the one you don't know you're on.”
― Brian Wansink, Mindless Eating: Why We Eat More Than We Think [Tweet This]

Weight loss information is flooding the internet, your television, books and magazines. HubPages alone features more than 3600 Hubs about Diet and Weight Loss. You can barely go a day without hearing something about how to lose weight. If you're trying to sift through all of the information, it can get overwhelming very quickly!

There's a new fad, hot new 'tips and tricks', celebrity 'body makeovers' popping up left and right. But here's some relief amidst the chaos- weight loss is A LOT simpler than it seems. Everything (reputable) that you hear about weight loss is just yet another way to look at some very basic weight loss truths.

I've boiled it all down to these Top 5 weight loss basics that experts stand by generation after generation.

#5- Have clear and realistic goals

Source

SMART Goal Checklist

Is your goal..

  • S pecific?
  • M easurable?
  • A ttainable?
  • R elevant?
  • T ime-bound?

Read more...

Setting a Weight Loss Goal

Setting a goal is critical to weight loss success. The more clearly that you can visualize your destination, and your path to get there, the more likely you are to arrive at your goal.

Setting SMART Goals is a great way to fully envision what your path and destination will look like. Answer the 5 W's- Who? What? When? Where? Why? And answer, How?

Take a small bite, not more than you can swallow. It's best not to aim for more than 10% of your current weight at a time. Then, keep track of your progress and adjust to what does or doesn't work as you go.

What should you actually weigh? Find out here

Do you drink a lot of soda? If not, then don't focus on avoiding soda. That's a great tip if it applies to you, but it might not. Find the answers to why you're overweight to begin with.

Hold yourself accountable by setting a date. Give yourself 2 months to lose 15 lbs., for example.

#4- Drink Enough Water

Source

You are adequately hydrated when your urine is light to clear

This is the information that I was given by my doctor, and I've found plenty of other experts that back this up.

At different times, your body needs more or less water. There is no exact amount of water that your body needs every day, and everyone's body is a little different. If your urine is bright yellow, drink more water. If your urine is clear, you don't need to drink any water right now.

There are guidelines out there that are intended to be a starting point. Many people say to drink 64 ounces, or eight 8 ounce glasses daily. Other recommendations say that you should drink 8 ounces for every 15 minutes of exercise. The bottom line, neither of those is exactly right for anyone. They are just guidelines. But, your urine is like an instant test to show your level of hydration over about the past 5 hours, or since you last emptied your bladder.

#3- Eat more!

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Remember the food pyramid?

click photo to enlarge
click photo to enlarge | Source

... Lower Calorie Foods

Ideally, a healthy diet is actually made up of MORE food than the average American eats. That's because the foods most Americans skip are not calorie dense. They are very nutrient dense, however.

Six ounces of whole grains, 2 ½ cups of fresh vegetables, and 2 cups of fresh fruits should make up the bulk of your diet.

Have some whole grain rice with dinner. Or, snack on a bowl of popcorn. (Yes, corn is a grain!)

Eat a side salad with your lunch. Mix some frozen vegetables into your noodles, or just about anything. Snack on carrots and celery.

Eat an apple with breakfast. (It keeps the doctor away, after all.) Cut up a banana, or strawberries, or both, and put them on your cereal.

If you work more of these foods into every meal, you won't be so tempted to over do it on meat, dairy, fat and sugar. Plus, they have fiber, which other foods do not. Fiber fills you up, aids in digestion, and can also lower your cholesterol.

#2- Be More Active

Source

Easy ways to a more active lifestyle, better relationships, and a happier life

Being more active is fundamental for healthy living. It doesn't have to mean exercising on purpose. Here's 5 easy lifestyle changes to be more active, while supporting emotional and social well-being.

  • Get Unplugged (turn off the devices)
  • Stop taking shortcuts on everyday tasks
  • Get friends and family in on it
  • Volunteer
  • Don't sit when you can stand
  • Take up an active hobby

Read more...

Break the Sedentary Habit

The more you move, the more calories your body burns. That doesn't have to mean going to the gym. It can just mean changing your habits.

Do you check the weather from your smartphone? Get up and go outside!

Do you camp out in front of a screen (television, computer, tablet, phone, etc.) for hours on end? The light from the screen actually disrupts your sense of time and energy levels. You can find new energy by just turning the devices off.

Do you do things the easiest way possible, and then spend the rest of your time relaxing? What did people do before modern technology made everything so easy? Try doing things the hard way, on purpose. You'll also save money and reduce stress!

Have fun! Take up an active hobby. Do you like going to dance clubs? Do you like gardening? Do you enjoy swimming? Try something new!

#1- Balance Macronutrients

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30-30-40... ish

  • 20-50% calories from fat
  • 15-30% calories from protein
  • 30-60% calories from carbs
  • fat provides 9 calories per gram
  • protein provides 4 calories per gram
  • carbs provide 4 calories per gram

Which macronutrient is your weakness?

See results

About Macronutrients

This is what most diets are about. Remember earlier how I said that your goal should be relevant? Cutting sugar or cutting fat might not be what's important to you. You need to understand what you're already doing that's keeping you overweight, and then change those habits. Most diet plans describe how one type of diet can be better for you. They don't know you! They're making assumptions about what you're already doing, and what you'll want when the diet is over. Forget dieting! Just change the habits that make a difference for you.

So, what are macronutrients? There are three macronutrients- fat, carbohydrates (or sugars), and protein. All three of these nutrients are needed for you to live. They are the three forms that food energy takes. (The measurement of food energy is a calorie. In fact, in other countries, nutrition labels say Energy, not Calories.)

Balancing these three nutrients is what is important. 30-30-40 is a good guideline to start from, but it's not exact. Just look for where you're really lacking something or overindulging in something, and don't get hung up on the numbers.

Eat more lean protein

Quality proteins are important. Since you need about 50 grams of protein daily, they shouldn't all come from fatty meats. Fish, poultry, and many cuts of pork are great sources of lean protein. Some of your protein should also come from nuts, beans, dairy, and some red meat. Having a variety of protein sources ensures that you're also getting all of the vitamins and minerals from each.

Protein is an important component in weight management, because it keeps you full for longer between meals. Protein is also important for the health of your hair, nails, skin, muscle, bones, blood and brain. Protein is one of the basic building blocks of every cell in your body.

Source

Controlling Sugar Overindulgence

Most of all, don't drink your calories. Soda and sugary drinks are basically liquid candy. Imagine melting down ALL of your Halloween candy and drinking it. Eww! Water is always the best choice. Or, drink milk. Juice is good too, but in moderation. It would be better to eat an apple than drink a big glass of apple juice, but apple juice is better than soda.

Zero Calorie Sweetners

Artificial sweeteners are bad news. That's a fact that we're learning more and more with each new study. They actually make you crave more calories, and keep your taste buds tuned to serious sweetness. Don't opt for anything "Lite" or "Diet" because it has less calories, because it will backfire on you.

Table Sugar vs Honey or Agave

Both honey and agave are sweeter than table sugar, which means you can use less for the same sweetness. They also cause less of a blood sugar spike in the body. They are better than sugar, where needed. Definitely dial down your sweet tooth first and see if your food really needs sweetening to begin with.

Dial down your sweet tooth

Nearly everything your body does is in response to it's environment. Your taste buds and cravings are no different. The less sweet things your taste buds taste, the sweeter that everything tastes. Constantly bombarding your taste buds with sweetness actually dulls their ability to sense things that are sweet. Try it. Don't eat sweet things for a week and then pop a Jolly Rancher. It will be almost unbearably sweet to you.

One interesting example of this, is that if you ask just about anyone, from just about anywhere else, they will tell you that American bread tastes like cake. I also hear so many people respond with, "But I need foods with flavor," when you talk about eating healthy. It's not the foods don't have flavor, it's that you're incapable of tasting it right now.

So just dial down the sweetness of everything that you eat, and your taste buds will adjust. You'll actually taste your food more, and you'll enjoy things you never thought you would! You'll also stop craving that sweetness.

Source

Choose good fats

Fat plays an important role in your body by forming the outer membrane of every cell. Not least of the cells it protects are your nerve cells. Your brain is very fatty, and it needs to be. The fatty material, myelin, that protects your nerve cells makes it possible to see, think, speak, and move, among many other basic human functions. Fat is also an important part of many hormones that control the function of various organs in your body. Much of the fat you take in is also used as a long-term source of energy in your body, where carbohydrates provide more short-term energy. (Your body actually uses much less energy from the protein you consume.)

Generally, the more solid a fat is, the worse it is for you. The reason it is solid, is because it is saturated. Unsaturated fats are more liquid.

Bad fats include beef, chicken skin, cheese, butter, coconut oil, and candy bars.

Good fats include olive oil, olives, avocado, nuts and seeds, fish, and peanut butter.

You do need a small amount of saturated fat in your diet, but it should be less than 10% of your calorie intake. The "bad" fats actually trigger the signal from your stomach to your brain that you're full. So, including a very small amount with each meal can help curb overeating.

Good Sources of Macronutrients

Healthy Sugars
Lean Protein Sources
Healthy Fats
Fruits
Fish, poultry, and some pork
Olive Oil
Grains
Nuts and beans
Peanut Butter
Honey or Agave
Dairy
Avocado

Summary

Nearly everything else you read about diet and exercise builds on these 5 basics:

  • Balance macronutrients
  • Be more active
  • Eat more (lower calorie foods)
  • Drink enough water
  • Have clear and realistic goals

Hopefully, this Hub is a unified resource of all of the information that's out there, and you find it useful and easy to understand.

Thanks for Reading!

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    • Matthew Ryczko profile image
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      Matthew Ryczko 3 years ago from Ohio

      Thank you, Teaches! I always appreciate your feedback :)

    • teaches12345 profile image

      Dianna Mendez 3 years ago

      You really did an excellent job on covering natural ways to lose weight. I find making healthy food choices and exercise goes a long way in helping me to maintain my weight. Drinking lots of water is so important. Voted up++

    • Matthew Ryczko profile image
      Author

      Matthew Ryczko 3 years ago from Ohio

      Thank you for the comment, Maramerce!

      Coconut oil is 12g of saturated fat per tablespoon, but like I mention- you do need saturated fat also. It's just not good in excess. A lot of other sources of saturated fat, are also high in cholesterol. So, coconut oil is a "good" source of saturated fat, because it has no cholesterol.

      I know, it is enough to drive anyone crazy and want to throw their hands up and quit. For every single "do this" there's a "don't do that" study, and vice versa. There is so much more to learn about nutrition, and so many heated debates. I wholeheartedly support ignoring them all!! Just do the food pyramid thing and balance your diet. Don't get hung up on the details.

      Also- stop looking to packaged and processed foods. First of all, the sodium in them isn't always from sodium chloride (table salt), but from other sodium compounds used as preservatives. Those compounds react differently in your body and may raise your blood sodium more than real salt would. Packaged foods are truly frankenstein lab experiments and not real food. Shop the perimeter of your grocery store- produce, meat, and dairy. And check out my blog on making your own frozen meals:

      https://hubpages.com/health/Loss-Weight-Save-Time-...

      Pay attention to what's tried and true. Packaged foods haven't been available for very long in the billions of years of human history. Whole foods are what we've always eaten, except for this one bizarre glitch right now (which by the way, is mostly a carry-over from WWII, but that's another topic entirely).

      I also recently had some sodium issues. You might be interested in this hub too:

      https://hubpages.com/health/My-Experience-with-Sod...

    • maramerce profile image

      maramerce 3 years ago from United States

      That was a great article. I always heard that coconut oil was a "good" fat though. It's really so hard to find the magic combination of nutritional behaviors that works. There is so much conflicting information out there as well. There are times I almost feel afraid to eat anything when I'm hungry because it's all somehow bad for you if it isn't a fruit or veggie, especially if you have to eat on the go. I thought I was doing well with the frozen Lean Cuisine meals until I realized something that was holding me back personally was a higher sodium intake. So I've had to watch my sodium more so than anything.

    • Matthew Ryczko profile image
      Author

      Matthew Ryczko 3 years ago from Ohio

      Thank you, My Cook Book. And you have some really great Hubs about nutrition! I know what I'll be reading next!

    • My Cook Book profile image

      Dil Vil 3 years ago from India

      Cool tips, thank you for sharing.

    • Matthew Ryczko profile image
      Author

      Matthew Ryczko 3 years ago from Ohio

      Thanks, ShyeAnne! This Hub was probably one of the hardest to write for me. There's probably more written about dieting than could be read in ten lifetimes, and I was trying to cover it all in 5 easy basics. I definitely chose a challenging goal for myself! Hopefully I did it well. Thanks for the feedback!

    • ShyeAnne profile image

      ShyeAnne 3 years ago from Deep Bay, British Columbia, Canada

      Very engaging hub. I think the formatting is very pleasing to the eye and bolded key points form a continuity that kept me reading. Excellent information presented in an easy to understand way.