It’s almost beach season, which means shorts, tank tops and bathing suits. With summer just around the corner, weight loss is on everyone’s mind these days. Here are seven easy weight loss tips that will help you get in shape and be ready for some fun in the sun.
1. Drink Up
One natural way to lose weight is to drink water throughout the day. It may sound too simple, but there are a few reasons why drinking water helps you lose weight. First, it fills you up so you eat less, especially if you drink a cup before eating a meal. It also helps support your workouts by enabling you to work out longer. Drinking water can boost metabolism by 24 to 30 percent for up to 90 minutes after drinking it.
2. Walk Everywhere
You’ve probably heard that walking is an easy way to help you reach your weight loss goals. Take every opportunity to walk. If you are driving to the store or work, park at the far end of the lot. Take a break during your workday to walk around your building or around the block. Take the stairs instead of the elevator. Walking 10 to 15 minutes during your day adds up to 70 to 85 minutes of activity each week.
3. Activity, Not Exercise
Choose an activity you love and it will never feel like exercise. Riding bikes, hiking or playing with your children are some fun ways you can burn extra calories and get your muscles working. Make some time each week to engage in the activities you most enjoy, and you will reap the benefits of both mental and physical health.
4. Healthy Snacks are Key
Keep a stash of easy-to-eat snacks such as nuts or whole fruits with you to keep you on track when hunger hits. The fiber in fruit and the protein in nuts and hard-boiled eggs should keep you satisfied until your next meal.
5. Prepare Your Meals
Prepare your snacks and meals at the beginning of each week. If you plan ahead, the chances of eating badly decrease considerably. Write out your menu for the week and prep as much as you can. Cut up vegetables for snacking and place them in individual bags for easy grab-and-go treats. Plan your dinners for each night, so you avoid the late-afternoon panic of what to make for dinner. By taking the extra time to prep your food, you’ll stay on track throughout the week and avoid fast food drive-throughs.
6. Portion Control
Be mindful of your portion sizes. Try chewing your food slowly to avoid overeating. When you chew more slowly and savor your food, you allow time for your brain to send signals to your stomach letting it know you are full. Avoid skipping meals as a way to cut calories. Skipping meals will leave you feeling ravenous, which can lead to unhealthy food choices and overeating.
7. Get Your Z’s
Sleep is important when trying to lose or maintain weight. If you are sleep-deprived, your chances of overeating increase as it alters the hormones that control appetite and satiety. And, not surprisingly, if you are tired, your motivation to exercise decreases.
These are just a few tips you can implement to stay on track with your weight loss journey. By achieving your weight loss goal and maintaining a healthy weight, you can prevent disease and complications from certain diseases or conditions. Although diet and exercise are common ways to help with natural weight loss efforts, consult with your doctor to determine the best course of action for you. For patients with greater weight loss needs, medical assistance may be appropriate.
Dr. Tara Kersey-Barrett completed her residency in the department of family medicine at South Pointe Hospital, a Cleveland Clinic Health System hospital. She received her doctor of osteopathy from Lake Erie College of Osteopathic Medicine in Erie, Pa. As a family practitioner, Dr. Kersey-Barrett specializes in women’s health issues including nutrition counseling and weight loss.