By Linda Gabriel
Diets don’t work; the research is clear.
But small lifestyle changes do add up over time and lead to surprising results.
Yes, I’m suggesting it is possible to lose weight effortlessly.
You won’t lose all the weight overnight; you didn’t gain it all overnight either. But you will lose 1 to 2 pounds a week automatically, if you make small, simple changes in the way you think, the way you move, and the way you eat.
The following suggestions have been scientifically proven to help you lose weight, and live a happier, healthier life – without dieting or deprivation.
They’re easy. They’re all free. And you can start right away. Today!
1. Begin your day with a high-protein breakfast.
Studies show that people who don’t eat breakfast are at greater risk for obesity than those who do. People who eat a breakfast high in fiber and protein tend to eat fewer calories during the day, stave off hunger longer, and keep good blood sugar levels.
Menu ideas? Try cottage cheese with fresh berries, or scramble 2 egg whites together with one whole egg and serve with a slice of whole grain toast and an orange. For some extra protein and calming calcium, stir a few spoonfuls of non-fat cottage cheese or yogurt into your morning oatmeal.
2. Take a 30 minute walk – and make it a daily habit.
A new study from the University of Pittsburgh found that just 26 minutes per day is the magic number to burn calories, generate those “feel-good” endorphins oxygenate your blood. Moderate exercise also helps balance the hormones that control appetite.
3. Ask a friend to be your weight loss ‘buddy’ or join a group focused on fitness.
Research indicates that people who join a weight loss group lose weight at twice the rate as people who go it alone. And they keep the weight off longer. Even an email group or an online buddy helps. If you exercise with friends, you’re more likely to go to the gym or take your daily 30 minute walk because it’s also a social commitment. You might even have a few good laughs! (See #4 below.)
4. Laugh out loud every day.
According to a British study, laughing raises your metabolism up to 20%. Rent your favorite comedy. Prowl YouTube for funny clips and share them with your weight loss buddies. Play charades and get silly – the sillier the better. If all else fails, ask your sweetie to tickle you.
5. Get at least 7.5 hours sleep.
Recent studies reveal a definite connection between lack of sleep and obesity as well as other health problems. When we don’t feel rested, we seek to boost our energy with caffeine and/or sweets. To make matters worse, not getting enough sleep stimulates the production of appetite-boosting hormone ghrelin. On the other hand, when you regularly get adequate sleep, your body produce hormones that suppress appetite, combat stress, and help stabilize metabolism. Most American adults, teens, and even young children are chronically sleep deprived. Why not go to bed an hour earlier tonight and reap the benefits of a good night’s sleep?