Half of Americans want to lose weight going into 2020. However, losing weight fast is never as healthy as losing weight naturally. Here, Utopia shows you how to lose weight naturally – the healthy way.
When it comes to 2019 New Year’s resolutions, every second American has promised his/herself to “exercise more” or “lose weight” or “get in shape”, according to Statista. Do any of these resolutions sound familiar?
However optimistic many of these well-intended aspirations for self-improvement may sound, in actuality only 20% follow through on their New Year’s resolutions for longer than six weeks. Sheer optimism and perseverance are valuable factors when it comes to sticking to any self-imposed regime – whether that be weight loss, kicking a bad habit or adopting a better one.
We have a suggestion for you: Why not just skip the whole New Year’s weight loss stunt and take a more natural approach to losing weight? We’ll show you why shedding pounds in a short time doesn’t work and what you can do instead to lose weight naturally.
If you want to know how to lose weight naturally, it may help to ask yourself first if you’re really motivated to go through with it. Who says we actually need to lose weight in the first place? Surely not everybody out there has a burning desire to look just like the skinny models and well-defined gym junkies we constantly see on TV.
It’s true: many Americans are overweight. Diets are marketed as simple, healthy, and hassle-free methods to losing weight. But is this the whole truth? We think not.
Losing Weight Naturally: Why Losing Weight Makes You Unhappy
This year’s New Year’s resolution weight loss regime boils down to this: Diets are bound to make you unhappy.
Diets almost always involve relinquishing much of what you enjoy eating or doing – and this is something that most of us don’t look forward to, no matter the payoff. Food is simply one of the best and important things in the world. When we bar ourselves from consuming our favorite treats, the effects of this well-intended sacrifice are mirrored in our overall mood.
Losing Weight Fast is Not Healthy
Those intent on finding a way to lose weight in a minimum amount of time rather than losing weigh naturally should keep looking for a diet. Many health diet and meal plan blogs’ “quick-and-easy” weight loss regimes promise to help you lose weight within weeks. These do a great job at capturing our attention – and not much more.
Unfortunately, they usually fizzle out pretty quickly and end due to what is widely known as the yoyo effect. First, we try to lose weight semi-naturally by giving up our favorite foods, adhering to a strict meal plan and often going hungry. Then, the second we’ve reached our goal and rid ourselves of those extra pounds, we gain it right on back twice as quickly as it was lost.
2. How to Lose Weight Naturally: Take Your Time
Take your time when eating. Instead of wolfing down your waffles in the morning or slamming a sandwich on the way to the train, shoot for mindfully consumed meals you eat at your own pace – your body will thank you: Eat slower and you’ll become full sooner.
We often eat more than we need solely due to the fact that the feeling of being “full” hasn’t had time to set in yet. This feeling doesn’t come from our stomach, rather our heads. Give your body some time to react and you’ll notice that a pivotal part to losing weight naturally involves nothing but a bit of time.
Food also simply tastes better when you take the time to enjoy it. If you like to cook for yourself, carve a bit of extra time out of your evening for that, too. Preparing meals for yourself is rewarding and leaves you with something to be proud of. It also makes you happy and lets you appreciate every single meal – with added control over exactly what ingredients go in.
Utopia’s tip: Take a Break: 6 Healthy Lunch Ideas
3. You Are What You Eat
Mindfully consuming food and taking your time when eating instead of scarfing down a meal-to-go aren’t the only ways to lose weight naturally. It’s also incredibly easy to incorporate mindful, healthy grocery shopping into your natural (and sustainable) weight loss routine.
Keeping tabs on what you eat through healthy and sustainable grocery shopping isn’t just important for personal health and weight loss – it’s also important for the environment. Organic quality foods, regionally and seasonally produced fruit and vegetables not only leave with you a clean conscience, but also a clean planet.
Remember to check grocery store tags for origin and quality markers and try to practice plastic-free shopping whenever you can.
4. Don’t Eat What Grandma Wouldn’t Make
The novel movement known as “clean eating” is actually nothing other than an all-natural, nutritionally balanced lifestyle. Popular slogans on the topic of clean eating often include take home messages such as “don’t eat what your grandmother wouldn’t make”. Microwave lasagna, frozen pizza or instant noodles aren’t normally found in grandma’s traditional recipe book.
Clean eating is all about choosing healthy whole foods over unhealthy processed foods and forming your own personal approach to healthy eating from there. Making conscious nutrition choices for your own health and well-being is essential to losing weight naturally – and keeping the pounds off down the road.
Believe it or not, this is a lot easier than you think.
5. Lose Weight and Limit Stress
So your best friend has tried out all the newest sugar substitutes and natural sweeteners and your brother has flawlessly adopted a comprehensive clean-eating approach to his weekly meal plan? And you’re still trying to keep your 5-portions-a-day streak going (5 portions of fruits and vegetables) and you’ve only made it two days so far.
Slow your roll. Amidst an already hectic daily work or school routine, this weight loss push does little to reduce stress if not more to create it. Don’t let losing weight get to you – however you choose to do it. Try to avoid letting your friends’ approach to weight loss or your own ideal notions of how to lose weight the best interfere with your efforts.
Even if all the fruit and vegetables you’ve eaten today are one carrot and an apple, that’s still better than nothing.
6. Stay Active
Another essential part of a healthy and effective approach to losing weight naturally is staying active. It may seem trivial, but every step counts: Take the stairs instead of the elevator or escalator and walk or bike to your closer destinations instead of taking the car or bus. Whatever alternative you choose, it’s probably also the more sustainable one.
Take full advantage of the weather and get outside for a brief jog, toss the disc around a bit or just take a walk – just get moving!
Utopia’s tip: How to be More Sustainable: 4 Steps for Beginners
7. Natural Weight Loss: Taste the Rainbow
No, not that rainbow from that vending machine staple. Eating healthy is key to losing weight naturally. Here’s a good rule of thumb to buy food by: The more color, the better.
Pay attention to the mix of colors of the foods you buy. Do things look a bit dreary or monotone? Mix it up! Have a look over at the seasonal produce section at your local grocery store and add a bit of life to your home assortment of ingredients.
Take your healthy natural weight-loss pick from anywhere along the rainbow: tasty green salad, golden ginger root for your healthy ginger tea or golden milk, fiery red apples for a homemade applesauce, or any number of orange and yellow favorites to mix down in an easy vegan spread. The choice is yours!
Easily combine these tasty picks and lose weight naturally with the 5-a-day rule: 5 portions of fruits and vegetables a day. That’s 3 handfuls of vegetables and two of fruit.
Utopia’s tip: How to Freeze Bananas: Tips and Recipe Ideas
8. Splurge! It’s Fine.
Avoiding the foods you love the most with a strict weight-loss dietary meal plan is no natural recipe for success nor will it leave you happy in the long run. Take a break from your healthy eating routine once in a while and enjoy whatever you’ve been craving. Maybe an entire bar of chocolate after dinner isn’t the healthiest choice, but a small snack here and there is fine.
Leaving everything “on the table” will keep your spirits up and lets you appreciate special treats – such as the piece of (dark) chocolate – a little bit more. Taking a break with tasty treats less often while not completely eliminating these from our diet also promotes conscious eating – and here we often eat less.
9. Just Relax
Stressful days at work or school often leave us with little time to decompress. However, short and concentrated periods of rest and relaxation throughout our day help to reduce stress and ease our minds.
Try to incorporate at least ten to twenty minutes of de-stress time into your day: In the morning right after you get out of bed, at your afternoon lunch break, after work or shortly before going to bed. Do your best to use this time to reflect, relax your mind and slow your thoughts. This will recharge your batteries and improve your concentration for whatever else the day has in store.
10. Stay Hydrated
You’ve probably heard this one before, but we really can’t say it enough: Stay hydrated! Water is essential for our bodies to function properly. Plus, drinking enough water also makes us feel full. Always keep a glass or (reusable!) bottle of water nearby to remind yourself to drink enough.
Take a step towards living a life without plastic and rid single-use plastic water bottles from your everyday routine. Virtually everywhere in the US, you can drink water for free right out of the tap. When you’re out and about, carry a refillable water bottle and you’ll never need to buy water in a plastic bottle again.
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This article was translated from German to English by Evan Binford. You can view the original here: „Abnehmen“ ist der falsche Vorsatz für 2020: gesund abnehmen geht anders.affiliate links: If you buy here, you actively support Utopia.org because we get a small portion of the proceeds.
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