Losing Weight

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There’s no doubt about it: dieting sucks. Not only because you feel hungry all the time and deprive yourself of your favorite foods—dieting’s also unsustainable in the long-term. No matter how much weight you want to lose, a better approach is to make healthy eating part of your overall lifestyle, rather than a temporary punishment. Do this, and watch as the weight drops off naturally, without ever going on a diet.

Here are five tips to lose weight without trying:

1/ Fill up on veggies at every meal.
It’s all in your head. Either that, or you’ve just never had them cooked right. Canned, over-sauced veggies aren’t on anyone’s list of delicious foods. But fresh, just ripened, seasonal veggies are a great choice. Once you find a few you like, start incorporating them at every meal (or at least two out of three). Toss them in a salad, steam them, or bake them, then aim to make vegetables fill up about two thirds of your plate. When you fill up on veggies, you’re less likely to eat unhealthy foods.

2/ Eat 30 grams of protein for breakfast.
Protein is what keeps you full, fuels your muscles, and helps you lose weight or maintain weight loss. Plus, since protein is harder for your body to break down than carbohydrates, you’ll actually increase your metabolism when you eat a meal high in protein versus one full of mostly carbs. Consuming 30 grams of protein within 30 minutes of waking up can not only speed up fat loss, it can also make you feel full and satisfied for longer.

3/ Make your own food as often as possible.
When you eat at home rather than grabbing something from a fast food joint or eating out at a restaurant, it helps if you know exactly what’s going into your food without having to guess. That means you can decide how much butter, oil, cheese, and other high calorie additions go into your meals, making it easier to eat healthier without having to work too hard.

4/ Skip the Non-fat.
If you’re like most people, you still reach for nonfat whenever possible. When most people think of eating fat, they think it will make them fat. But surprisingly, it’s really just the opposite. Because not only will eating fat make your skin softer, hair and nails healthier and cushion your joints, it will also make you feel full during a meal, give you long-term energy and prevent you from craving unhealthy snacks after your meal.

Include more healthy fats like avocados, nuts, olive oil, and coconut into your diet, and you’ll soon find your cravings decreasing, your appetite normalising and weight loss becoming more effortless than ever.

5/ Allow yourself treats on a regular basis.
One of the worst things about dieting is that more often than not, you’re forced to stop eating all your favorite foods. And not only does this make you feel deprived, it can often lead to binge eating.

But if you’re exercising regularly and maintaining a healthy diet the majority of the time, allowing yourself a few small treats here and there will not only make you happier, it will also make you more likely to stick with healthy eating habit in the long-term.

Because life is supposed to be enjoyed, right? And if you start incorporating these tips into your daily life, it will not only become more enjoyable—you’ll begin to see how easy it is to lose weight without really trying.

Krista Stryker
http://www.12minuteathlete.com

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Photo by Azeem Darul

This article was published in the Jan-Mar 2014 issue of Inspire Magazine. Download it here!