Drink supplements, pills and surgeries are quite commonplace for those who are trying to drop the pounds. But when if you want to naturally lose weight? Can it be done safely and in a short amount of time? It depends on your own motivation and determination.
6 Steps to Naturally Lose Weight
Not everyone has the money to invest in “get slim quick” schemes. I know I don’t. Others may have an aversion to manufacturers playing “scientist” and making some concoction difficult to pronounce because of the chemical composition.
So, what can someone do to drop the weight quickly without expensive products or lab experiments? If you’re ready, I can explain my own experiences and how I am able to naturally lose weight.
Here is how I dropped 60 pounds so far for free. In fact, I actually spend less money overall.
Step 1: Mentally Prepare Yourself
Many people will fail diets and exercise regimens because of one important factor: motivation. They don’t approach the experience with the right mindset.
If you don’t think a diet plan is going to work, you’re already sabotaging it.
You need to realize that losing weight is going to take changes in your daily life. Even after you drop the weight, you’ll still need to work on not gaining it back. This means discarding unhealthy habits, like snacking on Walmart cupcakes all day at your desk.
How you approach getting fit and healthy will dictate how successful you are. As a result, you need to keep your head in the game.
Be ready to make those changes that will benefit your life. In reality, health and fitness has a large number of practical benefits outside of looking good in a swimsuit.
Step 2: Choose Realistic Goals
Before you dive into losing weight, establish realistic goals. Don’t expect to naturally lose weight at a pace of 10 pounds per week. That’s unrealistic and will lead to a variety of physical and mental issues.
At the height of my weight loss, I burned away between three and five pounds per week. This greatly depended on the foods I ate and how active I was. However, pushing too hard to lose more can result in a myriad of complications.
In reality, I probably burned more fat than just three or five pounds worth. Since I put effort into strengthening my body, the muscle mass is replacing the fat.
Depending on how out of shape you are, losing weight is kind of like rebuilding your body. For me, it got to the point of where my heart stopped. It wasn’t just fat that was hurting me, but also my overall physique.
My goals now consist of eating less food and strengthening all aspects of my body…not necessarily losing the last 50 pounds. For me, weight loss is a bonus from being healthier.
Step 3: Get a Free MyFitnessPal Account
One of the first things you should do is use a free fitness tracking app. Personally, I prefer MyFitnessPal. You can use it on most mobile devices or simply log into the system from your computer.
MyFitnessPal will let you track food intake and exercise. It will supply a rough estimate on the calories you burn after most physical activities. The more active you are, the more you can safely eat without putting on the pounds.
During the peak of my weight loss, I power-walked three miles just so I could eat an extra two slices of pizza.
The tool I use most throughout the day is the bar code scanner to record my foods. Sure, there are some times when I need to manually search for something because the calories are different from the package. But it’s still a very useful tool.
One aspect you want to familiarize yourself with in MyFitnessPal is calorie goals. This is helpful as it will adjust your “green” calorie total according to what you want to accomplish. This is how I run my Net 600 Calorie diet.
Step 4: Prepare to Record Everything
The reason you want an app like MyFitnessPal is to record everything you’re going to do. This will help you stay motivated and show you areas of where you need to improve.
I remember recording my first visit to Taco Bell after installing the app. I was blown away by how bad I was eating. It wasn’t just the calories, but the sodium, fats, sugars and lack of nutrition that opened my eyes.
Every morsel of food and glass of water needs to be recorded if you want to properly track yourself. It takes a bit of dedication, but the information is well worth the effort.
If you don’t want to record something because it will make you look bad and flash red numbers at you, it’s only cheating yourself. I record everything regardless of how bad it looks just so I know what to fix for tomorrow.
Another reason you should record everything is because it gives you data for personal case studies. Suffering from heartburn? Perhaps it was something you ate. MyFitnessPal can help you determine if you have issues being caused by food.
Now, I use a Fitbit Charge 2. Thanks to saving money at the grocery store, it wasn’t an overall expensive purchase. The Fitbit sends my physical data to MyFitnessPal, which then records the calorie burn accurately. You don’t need to drop $130 on wearable technology, but it is extremely beneficial. In fact, I used MyFitnessPal for more than a year before getting the Fitbit.
Step 5: Choose the Right Foods and Portion Sizes
I still eat most of the stuff I ate when I weighed 290 lbs. The biggest difference is that I eat far less of it. I also eat healthier alternatives throughout the day.
You need to understand how proper portion sizes work. For instance, a serving of ice cream is about 1/2 cup and not filling your bowl. This is one of my weaknesses.
A lot of us are grossly overfed, especially when making a trip to a restaurant. Whether you’re sitting down or driving through, restaurant meals usually consist of far more food than you actually need.
Create a good plan for the day in terms of what you eat. Here is an example of my typical preparation for today:
- Breakfast: 2 eggs and 2 turkey sausage links – 227 calories
- Lunch: Can of Progresso Soup – usually around 300 calories
- Dinner: Lean Cuisine – Today it will be Sweet and Sour Chicken and Rice at 300 calories
- Snacks: Depends on how many calories I burn thanks to physical activity
Sometimes I’ll mix it up and have Cream of Wheat or oatmeal with 1/2 serving of mixed berries.
Although a good diet can help you naturally lose weight, you still need to watch how much of it you’re eating. You can still put on weight even if you binge on Weight Watcher meals.
Step 6: Increase Your Activity
A very important step to naturally lose weight, at least for me, is increasing physical activity. This not only helps burn away fat, but it also strengthens the cardiovascular system.
I’ve had far less problems with my heart since increasing my walks every day.
Physical activity doesn’t have to be purely exercise routines, either. In fact, my first 20 pounds are attributed to playing the Xbox Kinect. I also burn a lot of calories doing chores around the house.
Even adding a walk around the neighborhood is going to beneficial for losing weight and strengthening your body. Anything above your normal everyday lifestyle is going to help.
The longer you can sustain a higher heart rate, the better. But don’t forget to keep track of the activity. Keeping a tally of everything you do gives a base to build fitness strategies and determine what works and what doesn’t.
Step 7: Don’t Fret the Scale
Don’t focus too much on what the scale is going to say. Your weight will fluctuate quite a bit throughout the week for various reasons. Instead, include other methods of measuring weight loss.
For example, I:
- periodically take body measurements. A measuring tape shows when inches are being lost around the body.
- have to re-tie my pajama bottoms and adjust my belt. When clothes become baggy, it’s a result of the body losing mass.
- take regular pictures of myself in the mirror. Over time, it’s easy to see physical changes when comparing pictures.
- keep track of personal fitness records. Obviously doing 20 push-ups as opposed to eight demonstrates greater strength and stamina.
Don’t get me wrong, I step on the scale a few times throughout the week just to see if I am on the right track. But keep in mind that muscle weighs more than fat. You might be building muscle at a faster rate.
Customize the Experience
Everyone will have varying levels of success to naturally lose weight. All I can tell you is what works for me. To get the greatest benefit from any diet or exercise, you need to customize it to fit your needs, not mine. But what ever you do, always keep a positive frame of mind. Being negative about health and fitness will be your downfall.