Many who struggle with their weight today are looking for a quick, effortless way to lose weight. There are a number of quick-fix plans available, however, their promises all tend to be short lived. Those who follow them will often complain that the weight comes right back when returning to a normal diet. If you are seeking a permanent, healthy solution to weight loss, try a natural method. The best way to burn calories naturally is the old-fashioned way, with proper diet and regular exercise.
In order to ensure you are getting all the nutrients you need for your body systems to function properly, it is crucial to have a balanced diet. According to the United States Department of Agriculture, adults require 2 cups of fruit, 2.5 to 3 cups of vegetables, 6 to 8 ounces of grains, 5.5 to 6.5 ounces of protein, 3 cups of dairy products and no more than 7 teaspoons of healthy oils each day. Healthy oils include vegetable oil, olive oil and fish oils. Try to consume mostly whole grains, lean proteins and fresh fruits and vegetables when possible.
Watch Your Calories
This list of required foods may sound like a lot to eat, however, if you add all of those categories together you will find that it amounts to less than 1,400 calories. The USDA recommends adults consume an average of 2,000 calories per day to maintain a healthy weight. Of course, if your goal is to lose weight, you should try to consume less. The USDA Food Tracker allows you to enter all the food you eat during the day, and it calculates the calories for you. There are also a number of apps available for Android and iPhones which do the same. A 1,400 calorie-per-day diet will allow you to lose an average of 1 to 1.5 pounds per week.
Exercise has almost become a dirty word in our society. It conjures up images of crowded gyms, sweat-soaked clothes and a painful morning after. However, exercise is just a generic term for any movement that can be used to sustain or improve health. Exercise can, and should, be fun. Find an activity that you enjoy, and that will help you burn excess calories. Adults should get at least two-and-a-half hours of moderate exercise each week -- more if you want to lose weight. Some examples of regular activities that count as exercise include walking, biking, swimming, hiking and playing tennis or other sports. For best results, try working out a minimum of 30 minutes per day, with a one- or two-day break on the weekends.
Another, often overlooked but important aspect of weight loss is relaxation. Stress activates our adrenal glands, which produces cortisol. Excess cortisol in the body leads to fat accumulation. If you want to lose weight naturally, and keep the weight off, you must learn how to relax. There is no right or wrong way to relax. There are numerous relaxation techniques available. Some popular methods to de-stress include yoga, tai chi, zen meditation and simple deep breathing exercises. Avoid drinking caffeine late in the day and make sure you are getting adequate rest each night.