I’m not one to put a lot of stock in fad diets. I’m sure people out there have lost weight and live healthy while eating nothing except for what paleolithic man had 2.6 million years ago. However, I’d rather enjoy my food. So, let’s look at some vital steps to lose weight without jumping into commercialized and fad diet plans.
Weight Loss without Fad Diets
You’ve probably seen all kinds of commercials and advertisements of diet plans where you spend quite a bit of money to lose weight. In reality, slimming down the waste line should actually save you money.
For instance, my grocery budget has been cut in half every month because I’ve reduced my intake.
Here are the steps I use to help me lose weight.
1. Mentally Prepare
Perhaps the hardest part about losing weight is mentally preparing yourself. This is probably why so many people are convinced by advertisements made by fad diets. Many of these “health companies” make people believe all they need to do to be healthy is follow the plan or buy the product.
In reality, no diet plan or exercise equipment will help you lose weight if you’re not willing to do the work. You could spend money on the “greatest” machines but still live as an obese person simply because you don’t want to use them.
Another aspect of being mentally prepared is changing your habits and realize some adjustments are necessary. For people like myself, this is the worst part of trying to be healthy. Even fad diets will fail if you still plan on finishing off that box of donuts before going to bed.
One other thing I want to mention is keeping focus for a healthier you. I was doing great until recently. Again, my birthday was a bit of a set back and I have had problems staying focused on anything. I know what needs to be done; I just need the follow through to get there.
2. Understand Portion Control
I talk about portion control a lot on this website. That’s because it plays such a critical role in health and fitness. Many of us are grossly overfed and don’t realize it. For example, going out to dinner at your favorite restaurant will probably result in you eating enough food for four meals.
A lot of experts suggest keeping your meat portion sizes to about three ounces in any one sitting. In fact, one Harvard correspondent, William Kormos, MD, states that eating large quantities of red meat can lead to diseases including colon cancer.
The point I am trying to make here is that keeping your intake to logical serving sizes will vastly affect your weight. Instead of half of a medium pizza, stick to two slices. Instead of an entire bowl of chocolate ice cream, cut it down to one cup.
Simply rolling back the amount of food you eat will quickly reduce your weight. I lost 20 pounds in the first month simply by using MyFitnessPal and tracking every morsel of food I ate. It was quite beneficial for me, especially when I saw how many carbs and calories I was consuming with daily trips to Taco bell.
3. Add “Healthy” Foods to Your Routine
I am living proof that you don’t need to cut out pizza and ice cream to lose weight. However, you do need to add in some healthier alternatives for some foods. The human body needs a certain level of nutrition to function properly. Sugar, although needed by the body, is not a primary vitamin or mineral.
At the moment, I am enjoying fresh peaches as a daily snack after lunch. Sometimes I like to toss raw spinach into my salads along with some fresh onions. You have access to many foods that will help you achieve better health and weight loss. Find something you like and add it to your daily routine.
Doesn’t buying more healthy foods increase the food budget? Not necessarily. The money I save in snacks alone allows me to add some of the extras and frills like fresh mixed fruits and other goodies. Even though I buy a few healthier items than normal, I still save at the register.
Most fad diets focus on “healthier” alternatives. The thing is most of them try to sell you products you can buy cheaper at the store. It’s like the pre-packaged foods you get from various suppliers. You would save so much money simply buying the foods yourself and reading a cook book.
4. Cook More Meals at Home
Speaking of cook books, do more cooking at home. Not only does it give you control over what is put into your meals, but you’ll burn a few calories by doing the activity itself. Depending on the size of the meal, you could get quite a workout while slaving over the stove.
A lot of people don’t put into consideration the physical health aspect of cooking. Not only are you on your feet moving above a hot stove, but you’ll burn calories cleaning the mess up afterward. If you cook for several people, you could get as much of an aerobic workout in the kitchen as you could in the gym.
Eating at home also reduces the amount of “junk” you put into your body. I used to eat more than 1000 calories of food from Taco Bell. It’s not that difficult to do at a fast food window. Now, I consume nearly a quarter of that while eating something I made myself…which is often better than fast food places anyway.
Cooking, at least for me, is quite therapeutic. I don’t think about anything except perfecting my recipe. It’s relaxing and often leads to one hell of a tasty reward afterwards. Well, that is if you have a few culinary skills. Regardless, it’s better for you in a myriad of ways to cook your own foods.
5. Use the Buddy System
The Buddy system helps you stay on track for weight loss in a variety of ways. Much like Alcoholics Anonymous, you can lean on each other when you get the urge to pound down half of a cake from Walmart. Friends and family make for a great support structure, as long as they are supportive of your choice to live longer.
In many ways, I’ve found complete strangers to be a better motivator. Not only are many of them more engaging when I accomplish a goal, but it also helps to know that I’m not alone in my quest for weight loss. While I’m not as active as I’d like to be on social media, I do enjoy posting new things on Twitter and Instagram.
A lot of fad diets out there really don’t promote the same support structure. I know you can probably find Facebook groups and online forums for the social element, but this is true no matter what you’re trying to accomplish. For a while, I had quite an engaging group in the social part of MyFitnessPal.
Even if you choose to go on one of those fad diet plans, it will still benefit you to surround yourself with other like-minded individuals. Strength in numbers works in almost any situation.
6. Increase Your Physical Activity
Lastly, you need to increase your physical activity. Not only does this help you burn fat, but it strengthens your body. And a strong body is more resilient against illnesses and injuries.
Since I have worked on muscle development, a lot of mundane chores around the house have been that much easier. Especially if I lift something or have to bend over a lot while picking up toys and clothes my daughters leave all around my house.
Physical activity boosts everything you do in life. It makes jobs easier and reduces the likelihood of feeling tired during prolonged activities. It’s more than just looking like an underwear model. It’s about improving your prowess whether you’re vacuuming the house or in the bedroom with a significant other.
Good Health Shouldn’t Cost Extra
You don’t have to spend a lot of money each month on fad diets if you want to lose weight. For the most part, it takes dedication and a willingness to alter your habits slightly. Weigh your options before you get sucked into commercials and advertisements for health. You may discover a better way to live.