I’m not overweight now, but according to the BMI (body mass index) charts, I’ve been obese. At one point I knew I needed to lose some weight, and I chose to do it naturally. Here are some of the things I learned along the way.
Ways To Lose Weight Naturally
1. Move more
I’ll admit I’m out of shape, but since getting a job at a local college, I swear everything is uphill! It’s actually kind of nice because I know I’m moving more. Going to the grocery store? Don’t park close to the door. Park as far out in the parking lot as you safely can. Walking even a few more steps like this a day can really help. Take the stairs, or walk on the escalator.
2. Eat healthful fats
Don’t cut all fats out of your diet. Your body needs fats to function well. Did you know your brain consists mainly of fats? If you cut most of the fat out of your diet, your body will start to hoard it and you’ll gain weight instead of losing it. Eating healthful fats will also signal to your brain that you feel full, thus curbing your appetite. A good rule of thumb is to consume 20 grams of healthful fats per day. And that doesn’t mean all in one cheeseburger! Remember, fat doesn’t turn to fat. You can choose good fats like olive oil, coconut oil, and real butter from pastured cows (like this brand).
3. Stay away from fad diets
Most fad diets don’t work. They’re designed to get you to lose a lot of weight at first so they seem enticing. The sad truth is that most of the first weight you lose is water. There are a few things that may help though. The “Cabbage Soup Diet” does seem to work. It’s believed that the sulfur and fiber helps you to shed pounds. And all that water can’t hurt either! And forget the low/no carb diets. Your body needs carbohydrates. Just choose wisely here too, like sprouted whole grain bread (sprouted is easier to digest), not Twinkies.
4. Choose water over sugary drinks
Just drinking water can help you to feel full so that you eat less. Ice water can help some as it takes more energy for your body to bring cold water down to the temperature that your body can use it. Water also helps your body to function properly. It acts as a transportation system for vitamins and minerals. A word of caution though: don’t drink too much water at one time. Your brain and blood need salts to be kept in balance or they can cause problems, some serious. Some people have died from drinking too much water. A good rule of thumb is 8 – 8oz glasses spread throughout the day. And remember that foods such as celery and apples can contain as much as half a cup of water, so factor this into your equation.
This is hard for most people. Our portion sizes in this country have grown so much that most of us no longer recognize a reasonable portion. A true portion size of meat is about the size of a deck of cards. When you’re used to ½ pound burgers or 12 ounce steaks, cutting down is hard at first. I was raised on a dairy farm and drink only whole milk and eat only real butter. It’s organic and I know the source, unlike margarine and other things you may find in the stores. I’ve lost weight just but cutting back and not depriving myself. Sure, I have pizza once in a while, but in small amounts. Try eating vegetables before a meal so you fill up on the good stuff…just like our mamas used to tell us.
6. Less sugar
This is one of the hardest things I had to deal with – cutting out sugar. I’m talking about refined sugar, white sugar and high fructose corn syrup. Closely scrutinize your foods to be sure of what you’re getting – many breads and store-bought food contain high fructose corn syrup. Why avoid it? The commercial on TV says corn sugar is the same as cane sugar. True, but high fructose corn syrup isn’t corn sugar. They’re two separate things. Sugar in your body will turn to fat if not used to make energy. Natural sweeteners are ok, again, in moderation. Raw honey, pure maple syrup and even monk fruit are some natural sweeteners. Artificial sweeteners fool your body into thinking they’re sugars, so they could cause a rise in blood sugar, which could cause your body to hold more fat.
It was once thought that skim milk, because it has no fat, will help you lose weight. This thinking is flawed. Milk contains calcium, which can help you lose weight, but-surprise!-it doesn’t matter if it’s skim or whole milk. All milk contains the same amount of lactic acid, or milk sugar. This is what turns to fat if not used by the body. So don’t worry about what the fat content of your milk is – worry more about the source. (Find fresh, whole, unprocessed dairy near you here.) Read more about the lies behind skim milk here.
This is the outer shell of shellfish such as lobster or crayfish. If you are allergic to shellfish, this is NOT a good idea for you! You need to take it half an hour before you eat and with a full glass of water. It floats on the surface of the water in your stomach, absorbs the fat and forms balls that sink and travel through your intestines. When you first take it you’ll want to stay near a restroom, so you might want to do it at home. It can have some unpleasant side effects! But soon your body will adjust and it should work well. I have lost over 30 pounds this way.
There are some schools of thought that this mineral helps you to lose weight. I’ve used it with some results.
Tulsi, or Holy or Sacred Basil has been used for centuries in India and other regions nearby. It is a women’s herb, helping to regulate hormones. Men can take it too and not have to worry about the hormonal issue. By drinking a cup of Tulsi tea once daily, you could lose 4-5 pounds a year. Now that’s not a lot, but good results for doing nothing at all. It has a cinnamon or clove type flavor and blends well with other teas.
DIY Natural Disclaimer: While we don’t agree with the way our culture places such emphasis on being thin (and we encourage readers to focus more on developing a positive body image instead of focusing on weight), we also understand there are many reasons individuals may have a desire to lose some weight – including serious health issues.
So if you’re trying to lose some weight, there are many natural options. Have you tried anything else naturally and lost weight? Let us know!