Thinking about losing weight can become a bit overwhelming. Sometimes we have the tendency to start starving ourselves or shoving off the impulse with a chocolate cake. Unfortunately, neither method will help you to get back to that healthy weight and start to have a healthy lifestyle. Becoming healthy is actually a slow, methodical process that doesn’t have a lot of sexy secret diets or exercises to make it easier.
However, if losing a few pounds really is important to you, here are ten things you can do to start getting in shape.
1. Halve Portion Sizes
Sometimes, its not the type of food we are eating but the portion size that is keeping us from losing weight. Try preparing your meal as you normally would and then cutting the portion size in half, saving the rest for later. You may be surprised at how much food you really need to eat to stay full. If you do get hungry, then pull the other half out. If this happens, it is still beneficial because you are spacing out the carbohydrates, which give you energy, as your body actually needs them.
2. Cut Back on High-Calorie Options
Certain foods tend to come with a lot of calories. Red meats, fried foods and sugar are all high in caloric content, so replace them with a lower-calorie option that will still fill you up. Instead of a steak, go for the chicken or fish. Instead of french fries, try a baked sweet potato. Instead of a slice of cake for dessert, go for fresh fruit or frozen yogurt. The great thing about doing this is that your food will still taste great, but will be much healthier for you.
3. Prepare Your Own Meals
Packaged foods are unhealthy. They are generally packed with extra sugar, salt and fats to make them taste better, but these things are not good for you. Instead, prepare your own meals with fresh ingredients. Grab some quick and easy recipes, and you’ll be surprised how much better you feel.
4. Move More
We all know exercise is important, but the best thing for being healthy isn’t those 30 minutes on the treadmill. Instead, seek to live an active lifestyle. Take walks during breaks at work. Work standing up. Do house chores. Go shopping. Step away from the TV. Staying active throughout the day will burn much more calories than being sedentary for all but 30 minutes in a day.
5. Get Enough Sleep
Researchers have found that getting enough sleep can help you lose weight. When we are tired we tend to eat more to keep our energy up. Think of all of those calories in that giant cup of coffee or your afternoon coke run. Commit yourself to getting 8-9 hours of sleep every night, and you’ll be one step closer to being healthy.
6. Get Support
Sometimes it is hard to commit to something on your own. If you need some extra support, ask a spouse, friend or roommate to help you stick to your commitments. Maybe you can even work on getting healthy together.
7. Eat More Veggies
One easy trick to try is to divide your plate in half before you start eating. Then fill up one half with vegetables and low calorie fruits. Next fill up the other half with whatever you have prepared. You will be plenty full, get tons of healthy nutrients and probably eat less calories in the end.
8. Limit Impulse Buys
It’s easy to buy a candy bar at a grocery store or eat too much at a restaurant because it is so easy and convenient to do. Find a way that works for you to limit impulse buys. Perhaps you only carry cash, so you don’t have the money for that extra food. At the restaurant, have half of the plate boxed up before it is brought to you, so it is easier not to stuff yourself.
9. Quit Soda
Depending on how much soda or juice you typically drink, you may lose 10 pounds just by replacing it with water. Soda has tons of sugar and can easily double the amount of calories in a single meal, if not triple it. Start drinking water with your meals instead, and if you must drink soda occasionally, limit it to a small, measured amount.
10. Find an Active Hobby
If you can find something you enjoy that happens to require exercise, then losing weight won’t even feel like a chore. Instead, you will be enjoying hiking, biking, dancing or whatever it may be, and the weight loss will just sort of happen.
Hopefully, these ideas will help you to recommit to living a healthy lifestyle. You may also want to look into getting health insurance should any physical ailments come your way.
Author Bio: Paisley Hansen is a freelance writer and expert in health and fitness. When she isn’t writing she can usually be found reading a good book or hitting the gym.