9 Proven Ways to Lose Weight for Busy People
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Wish you could shed a few pounds? You're not the only one. According to a recent report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, nearly half of all American adults surveyed said that they were trying to lose weight. (Emphasis on "trying" rather than "succeeding.")
It seems so simple to just eat less and exercise more, right? But as all too many of us know, it ain't that easy. We get busy, we're exhausted, so we shove bad things in our mouths to save time, to get a quick energy boost, or, let's face it, because a lot of bad things taste great! The planning and willpower it takes to radically change our lives in order to fit into last year's jeans usually last as long as that Häagen-Dazs bar in our hands.
But here's the thing: you don't actually have to do anything radical to lose weight, says Jonathan Dugas, Ph.D., health and research consultant at Vitality Group and an endurance coach. Dugas says that we all can reap huge health benefits by making a couple of small changes in our lifestyles. Here are nine tips he offers to help you lose weight without being miserable.
1. You can’t outrun a poor diet.
2. Pick a diet. Any diet.
"The key to diets is that, by design, they all create an energy deficit, and to lose weight a deficit is required. So, if one adopts a diet and follows it, then they are almost certain to lose weight, although the amount of weight they lose, and whether they lose more fat than muscle mass, will vary widely. Do not be afraid to abandon a diet and try a new one if it is not working for you. Expect to do some trial and error before you find one that you feel like is a good fit for your lifestyle."
3. Skip working out for now -- and skip those smoothies!
4. Eat what you make and take what you make.
"We are surrounded by very convenient and affordable, yet calorie-dense, food options. In some situations, these make sense, for example having to catch an early flight and eating breakfast at the airport. However, preparing your own food, even if you do not choose the healthiest ingredients 100 percent of the time, will almost always result in lower intake. Therefore, opting to prepare your own meals when you can is a big win. The key is understanding that few of us can do this all the time -- and that’s okay. Instead, set some weekly goals like bringing your lunch to work on Tuesdays and Thursdays. Your bank account will thank you, too."
5. Be social.
6. Limit, but don’t eliminate, alcohol.
"Enjoying a drink isn’t a crime, and it won’t wreck your health. Drinking in excess, however, can derail your weight loss efforts in a hurry because alcoholic beverages can be extremely high in calories. Limiting alcohol in any way will help. For some that means not drinking on certain days of the week, for others, it means simply stopping at one drink, or maybe giving up beer for wine. Find an approach that is comfortable for you."
7. Don’t drink your calories when you can eat them.
8. Get professional help.
"Consider accessing a pro. Dieticians train specifically to help people manage their weight. If you are overweight or obese, dietician services might even be covered by your health plan, but you’ll have to investigate to be sure. But even if you aren’t, consider the professional insights, support, and accountability an investment in your health and future. A typical approach is between 3-6 months, so while being healthy is a lifelong commitment, getting help from a dietician isn’t."