Have you ever seen yourself in a photo and immediately felt embarrassed? Then you look back at older pictures of yourself and think, “Wow, I used to look so much better, and these weren’t even taken that long ago. What happened?”
“I’m definitely gaining weight!”
Fortunately for you, the shock of this realization eventually brings with it some newfound power.
“Time to start a program at my local gym, choose a diet plan, start taking supplements, and get back to a healthy weight!”
So you give 110% to working out, portion control, healthy snacks—the works!
But in a few months, you’ve relaxed into your old routines. After all, you lead a busy life and the time for exercise and preparing meals just isn’t always there.
If you’ve felt like this, you’re not alone!
Weight-gain is a serious issue and with nearly 70% of Americans overweight, it’s a very real struggle. Thankfully, it doesn’t have to be. You just need a plan that works and is easy to integrate into your existing lifestyle.
So before you think about surgery, diet pills or some other extreme weight loss measures, let me offer some help.
Here are five low-commitment tips that will have you toning up in no time!
1 Throw Out the Gym Membership!
Statistics have shown that less than 20 percent of people who buy gym memberships use them consistently!
Traditional fitness centers have their place, but it’s also no secret that they can be intimidating, crowded, and very expensive.
If you’re going to stick to exercise, it’s best to keep it basic and convenient.
For example, Eva and I have two rebounders (mini trampolines) in the house. These accompany our most frequented areas, the office and living room.
When we’re working, jumping on the rebounder makes for a good activity while taking a break or brainstorming. Even when we’re watching TV it provides something easy and constructive to do during commercials.
You could use a treadmill, resistance bands, or even old-fashioned calisthenics (pushups, sit-ups, squats, etc.) in this same way. Get creative… It can be fun!
What are the benefits?
Well, short routines performed more than once a day have a lot of them. Most notably, this kind of activity results in several different metabolism boosts, which in turn burns more calories than the usual one-hour workout.
It also feels a lot less demanding and is more congruent with our evolution. Although human beings possess incredible endurance, we have also evolved to expend short bursts of energy (i.e. sprinting, jumping, and climbing) throughout the day.
If exercise is simple and accessible, you won’t need nearly as much discipline to stay on course. You can do this. I promise!
2 Start Eating Fat. Yes, I Said it… FAT!
First of all, avoid food products that are targeted at people trying to lose weight. If a product says “low fat” it will likely work against you and actually contribute to weight gain!
The food industry, as you probably already know, has some sneaky tactics to make you buy and keep you as a customer.
As for “low-fat” labeled products, nine times out of ten, these companies will substantially increase the salt or sugar percentage. This is to compensate for the loss of flavor that comes along with reduced fat products.
[Related Post: 4 Natural, Nutrient-Rich Sugar Substitutes.]
Unfortunately, increased amounts of refined sugar will stack weight on you quicker than anything! And excess salt will leave you looking and feeling bloated.
If you want to reach your ideal weight and maintain it, healthy foods containing natural dietary fats are key.
Avocados, olive oil, full-fat dairy, nuts and nut butters, full-fat salad dressings and real dark chocolate—are your greatest weight-loss allies.
-Dr. David Ludwig, Endocrinologist & Professor
of Nutrition (Harvard School of Public Health)
Stick to “whole foods” and avoid refined carbs, including chips, cookies, crackers, breads, and other processed snacks.
[Related Post: Warning: “Healthy” Is Not Healthy.]
It won’t take long to notice an increase in energy and alertness once you start eating more natural food. This will make exercise easier and you will just feel great!
3 Wake Up and Eat Like Royalty!
Your existing routine may render you without an appetite shortly after waking up, but this is something you need to work on.
Even if you’re too busy to make breakfast, have grab-and-go food ready ahead of time. Skipping your first meal is synonymous with weight gain and obesity.
Breakfast isn’t a meal to skip when trying to keep metabolism healthy and if you’re trying to lose or maintain weight.
-Keren Gilbert, MS, RD
It’s not always just “what” you eat that matters, the time of day is also vital. Your body needs energy first thing in the morning to initiate several important functions including your metabolism.
During sleep our metabolic rate runs slowly, but once we wake, our bodies need to speed up and end the fasting metabolic process.
Eventually, you want breakfast to be one of your most complete meals of the day.
It’s not often I can advocate pigging-out for weight loss, but there’s a time and a place for everything. The morning just happens to be that time, so enjoy it!
4 Build Your Diet Around Natural Fat Burners
I’m sure you want to know how to reduce weight while still satisfying your hunger.
In a world where a motto like “eat less exercise more” is tossed around daily, people often feel they have to starve just to see any progress. Some people even load up on unnatural products like weight loss shakes in an effort to curb hunger.
The fact is, a whole foods diet works, and you can even eat larger portions!
According to The New England Journal of Medicine, vegetables, fruits, nuts, seeds and unprocessed meats are the components of a weight loss promoting diet.
All these foods work to help you lose weight and keep it off, but certain items like Hard-Boiled Eggs, Avocados, Salmon, Navy beans, Grapefruits, and Almonds yield the fastest results.
[Related Post: What Does “Wild-Caught” Mean?]
The best advice I can offer you on this is to start adding loads of vegetables to everything you cook. If you’re going to make a roast, smother it with vegetables—even unconventional ones. Also, eat big salads containing many diverse ingredients, including nuts and seeds.
You know, weight gain can haunt you every day or you can make some small changes and choose another path. I know you want to be the healthiest version of yourself. I also know you want to live your life without having to count every calorie and worry about every single meal.
I’m here to tell you that if you make a few small commitments to what we covered above, you can get on that other path and stay there.
You can do this!
What are some tips or tricks you have
used to help shed the pounds?
The New England Journal of Medicine
Annals of Internal Medicine
American Medical Association
*DISCLAIMER: Always consult a medical professional before applying the advice given throughout this website. While the articles on HMM are thoroughly researched, it is important to speak with your medical provider before starting a new exercise routine or introducing something new to your diet. We ourselves are NOT doctors, so the information we feature should not be used to replace any of your medications or lifestyle choices that have been recommended by your doctor. Read at your own risk and read our full disclaimer here.*