Is it possible to lose weight without dieting? Yes! If you’ve been asking “how can I get skinny without starving myself,” check out these tips for how to lose weight naturally and permanently.
Want to know the problem with diets? They’re temporary.
Diets are usually so different from how you’d normally eat that they’re completely unsustainable. That little ‘excursion’ from your regular life is not a long-term solution to maintaining a healthy weight.
Plus they seem like a punishment, which also makes us feel bad about ourselves. And that makes it pretty darn difficult to feel inspired and proactive.
The cycle of dieting and gaining weight back is not only harmful to your body, but it hurts your psyche too.
Who wants to live through all that only to gain it back anyway?
In favor of not feeling like a failure, let’s look at how to lose weight without suffering!
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How to Lose Weight Naturally and Permanently
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1. Drink non-caloric beverages
Most people don’t register that they’re drinking calories. Your morning latte and evening cocktail actually have a lot of empty calories that add to your bottom line (no pun intended).
By switching to zero-calorie beverages, you will save hundreds or thousands of calories per day.
There are so many drink options available these days. Try some calorie-free ones and see what will work for you.
That one simple change can actually make a huge impact on your weight.
2. Don’t buy junk food
If your pantry is full of cookies and chips, it will be pretty difficult to drop pounds. The trick is to just not bring them into your home. That way you won’t be tempted.
Instead look for some snacks that are both nourishing to your body and taste good.
3. Eat more fresh produce
Speaking of nourishing our bodies, start adding more fresh ingredients to your grocery list.
Prep them in a way that they’re ready to grab and eat without much effort. Setting yourself up for success in a healthy lifestyle will help ensure that you start making some different choices.
4. Up your fiber intake
Fiber fills you up and flushes food through your digestive system faster. That means that calories have less time to be absorbed.
Both of those things can help you lose weight without thinking about it.
Some of the best fiber-rich foods are:
- Whole grains
- Sunflower seeds
5. Eat more protein
Protein really should be a part of every meal and snack you eat. It is more satisfying than carbohydrate-rich foods, which keeps you fuller and longer and makes you feel like you actually ate something substantial.
Your body actually uses more energy (calories!) to digest protein. It also helps curb sugar cravings, fuels fat burning, and encourages muscle mass.
Some protein snack ideas include:
- Hard-boiled eggs
- String cheese
- Beef jerky
- Trail mix
- Greek yogurt
- Hummus (with veggies)
- Cottage cheese
6. Eat every few hours
It might seem counterintuitive to eat more if you want to lose weight. But there are several important benefits to eating often throughout the day.
Eating revs up your metabolism, and you want to keep that puppy humming like a well-oiled machine. Your metabolism will slow and not burn calories efficiently if you starve it.
Another bonus to eating several small meals is that you’ll never get to that starving state when you want to naw off your arm. That only ever leads to bad decisions.
Keeping your blood sugar steady is key to staving off cravings.
Plus you’ll never stuff yourself, since you know you can eat again in a few hours.
Of course, if you start eating 6 heavy meals a day instead of 3, you won’t lose weight. But if you can keep the frequent meals to more like hefty snacks, you can spread the calories out optimally throughout your day.
7. Drink a LOT of water
The benefits of drinking water are abundant when it comes to losing weight naturally.
Drinking water actually helps your body burn more calories. Cold water is especially beneficial in that regard.
It can also help curb your appetite by filling your stomach. And often when you think you’re hungry, you’re actually just thirsty. By the time you feel thirsty, you’re already dehydrated.
Since water has no calories, if you switch some of your beverages to water, you’ll cut calories that way too.
Here’s a cute and eco-friendly way to make sure you’re drinking water all day! A water bottle with time markers. Genius!
You can lose weight without dieting, just exercising. Weight loss happens when you burn more calories than you ingest.
So if you start burning more calories through exercising, you will lose weight.
Cardio can be best for burning calories, while weight lifting builds muscle. And muscle burns more calories than fat does automatically.
Ideally, your exercise regimen would include both cardio and weight training.
Your cardio should be something that elevates your heart rate considerably. Aim for at least 20 minutes a day.
9. Don’t eat after dinner
Or at least not after 8pm. Even though you will ideally be eating several small meals a day, it’s best to have a cutoff time for your eating if you want to lose weight.
While you sleep, your liver will use up all your body’s glycogen stores and move on to body fat.
If you have a difficult time getting rid of your night snack, try:
- Brushing your teeth after dinner
- Drinking a cup of hot tea or some water instead
- Going to bed earlier (you probably need the sleep anyway!)
10. Reduce your portion sizes
To easily reduce your portion sizes, just start using smaller plates at home. Our eyes tend to want to see a plate filled up, so you’ll just naturally serve yourself less with small plates.
If you’re at a restaurant, take half of your meal home. You don’t have to worry as much about what you’re eating if you just eat less of it.
11. Eat mindfully
It’s so easy to rush through a meal without paying any attention to it. Be sure to sit down to eat, and try not to watch tv while doing so.
Be mindful about really tasting what you’re eating. Chew it thoroughly and eat slowly.
The slower you eat, the sooner you’ll feel full. That means less food and fewer calories eaten.
12. Get more sleep
Believe it or not, one of the major contributing factors to weight gain is sleep deprivation. Your metabolism will not function properly when you’re behind on your sleep hours.
Not to get too science-y, but when you’re sleep deprived, the hormone ghrelin (which tells you to eat) is increased. And your hormone leptin (which tells you to stop eating) is decreased.
When you’re tired, you tend to eat more, thinking that will give you energy. Plus you’re attracted to junk food for the quick-fix spike it gives you that you’re mistaking for energy.
13. Get more steps
I got a Fitbit last year for Christmas, and it’s been so fun keeping an eye on my steps. Try getting a fitness tracker, and set a daily goal of how many steps to walk each day.
10,000 steps seems to be a common goal, but set whatever will be a challenge for you. Try to sneak in more steps by parking farther away at work or stores, or taking the stairs when available.
14. Adopt an active hobby
Whether it’s a group fitness class like Spinning or Zumba, riding your bike everywhere like you did as a kid, or joining a rockwall-climbing gym, try something fun and active.
It won’t feel like a chore if it’s something you enjoy!
15. Write down what you eat
There’s just something about documenting your habits that makes them seem more real. The simple act of writing down what you eat will hold you accountable.
You won’t want to have to fill your daily journal with chips and cookies.
There are really cool apps like My Fitness Pal that will even keep track of your calories for you!
16. Reduce your stress level
Just like sleep-deprivation, stress can be a major contributing factor to why you’re not losing weight.
When you’re stressed, your cortisol level increases, which upps your appetite and lowers your blood sugar. Especially for surgery, fatty foods.
Try to create a more sustainable, less-stressed lifestyle for yourself.
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17. Start meal planning
If you don’t decide ahead of time what you’re going to eat, you’re probably going to make some bad choices.
Meal planning doesn’t have to complicated whatsoever. You will feel so much less rushed and clueless come dinnertime.
If you can learn how to cook some simple meals for yourself, you will save calories (and money!) compared to restaurants and takeout.
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18. Take a probiotic
If you want an easy tip for losing weight naturally and permanently, start taking a daily probiotic.
Studies have shown that taking probiotics can help you lose weight by promoting fat burning.
They actually increase the good bacteria in your gut which can help get rid of body fat. And may also lessen the absorption of fat in your diet.
Probiotics also help with constipation, which can make you feel fat.
You can easily take a probiotic supplement, or start eating more of these:
19. Only eat when you’re physically hungry
One of the easiest ways to lose weight without dieting is to only eat when you’re actually physically hungry.
Our bodies tell us what they need if we know how to pay attention. Hunger feels a little different to everyone. Often it’s a growling sound or an empty almost-painful sensation in the stomach.
Listening to your body cues will go a long way to more intentional eating. Knowing the difference between hunger and food cravings caused by boredom or stress is very important.
- Intuitive Eating: A Revolutionary Program That Works
- The Intuitive Eating Workbook: 10 Principles for Nourishing a Healthy Relationship with Food
- Eat With Intention
As you can see, there are quite a few things you can do to lose weight naturally and permanently. There is enough variety here that you can choose to implement a few that work best with your personality.
The idea is to stop punishing yourself with a formal, unsustainable ‘diet,’ but rather implement some positive habit changes.
We humans don’t tend to like it when something is taken away from us without something else in its place.
Adding healthy foods or moving your body more (instead of slashing complete food groups from your diet) will make you feel proactive instead of penalized.
No you may not lose 10 pounds in 7 days like some diets falsely promise, but when you do lose weight naturally, it will stay off permanently.
Think long-term solutions instead of quick fixes, and you will enjoy feeling happier about your body!
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