Losing weight, being trim, lean, and fit. These are common goals in a day and age where weight has become a real problem on a global scale. And, for the most part we all agree: eating healthy and exercising are a sure way to meet those goals. Yet, in our busy lives, some of the proven solutions available to us are less than practical. In fact, many of them are far from realistic.
Here are five practical ways of losing weight, losing it fast, and keeping it off!
5 Practical Ways of Losing Weight FAST
1. Be satisfied with less. Portions, my friends. Portions are huge deal. Have you ever looked up the difference in portion size of donuts, coffee, and burgers from 20, 30, 40, or even 50 years ago? What you’ll find is that donuts these days are in the 5-6 inch range while donuts years back were only 3-4 inches. Coffee used to be served in 6 ounce cups. Now, they are 16 ounces. And quite honestly, do we even have to talk about burgers?! How many super-mondo-oversized-ginormous burger challenges have we heard of in just the last few years alone?
Portions are the first key to losing weight fast. When we take a look at portion sizes in the rest of the world, we see that the rest of the world keeps their figure by the fact they eat less and are satisfied with it. This, is the first step. Portions mean an effortless way of controlling your caloric intake. And, in the big scheme of things, if calories in are less than calories out, people lose weight.
2. Intentionally eat healthy. Generally accepted healthy foods have several things in common. They are high in fiber, high in protein, and tend to be low in fat. Such food stuffs includes lentils, vegetables, seeds, nuts, fish, etc. Following our first method above, using controlled portions, we won’t get out of control with healthy foods and gorge ourselves with far too many calories than our body needs. Yet, what is nice about intentionally eating healthy is that such food stuffs tend to be quite filling without overwhelming our body with excess calories. A serving of lentils is likely to make someone feel just as full as a hot dog would. Yet, lentils bring to the table plenty of protein, lots of nutrients, and a good amount of fiber which will not only keep you full, but will offer you long term health benefits as well.
3. Take the Stairs. Making that active choice to take the stairs rather than the elevator or escalator will help you burn a several hundred calories per week with no perceivable extra effort per se. I remember a nutrition project in my undergraduate work where we chose two lifestyle changes, one through diet and one through physical activity. If memory serves, by cutting out an unnecessary snack in the day combined with taking one flight of stairs for work each day, a person will lose 10 pounds over a year with no additional diet or exercise at all. So, be sure to make active choices. If you are shopping, choose to walk from store to store rather than driving across the massive parking lot. If you can, ride your bike to work, rather than drive. In the same vein, take public transportation so that you are forced to be physically locomotive throughout the process of travel.
4. Count your calories. For someone in their 30s, male, moderately active, and say 170 pounds; this person can lose 1-2 pounds a week by limiting his caloric to approximately 1600-1700 calories per day. That means this person only needs to cut out 2 cans of soda, 2 bags of chips, eat a salad rather than a burger, or have smaller portions and healthy snacks throughout the day to lose a several pounds a month. What is important about this is that this becomes habit until the body reaches a new normal. The body becomes satisfied with less food, is used to eating healthy, and is familiar with being physically active. Healthy foods becomes more desirable. Less healthy foods actually may cause discomfort. And, by counting calories, you reinforce the body’s habit of being satisfied with less. The conscious approach, while a little effortful, can be easily assisted by apps on your phone. It keeps you accountable. And, it keeps you motivated as your app does the math for you. Once you start lose 10 pounds, in as short a time as 6 weeks, you’re going to see such a visible difference in your figure you’re going to want to keep counting the healthy calories you eat and exercise away!
5. Watch Actively. When we relax, we tend to spend a good amount of that time being a spectator. We watch TV, listen to podcasts, stream videos, etc. This is a lot of wasted time we spend sedentary. Instead, be an active watcher of entertainment. By watching actively, you could be doing burpees, core exercises, stretches, or even interval training with a kettlebell when commercials are on, or, even throughout the duration of a show. Active watching is a great way of taking out two birds with one stone. You are both entertained and exercised. And, you’ll be surprised how very many calories you can burn in a one hour TV segment. The answer, several hundred! Which means, if you splurged on some comfort food, there’s a good chance much of that is already paid for as you watch actively.