With all of the fad diets out there, it can be seductive to try eating only kale, or merely soup for a week in order to shed some pounds. But, the research has been pretty clear on this issue. Shortcut diets only lead to eventual weight gain, which is why the best way to lose weight is to not diet at all.

So, what should you do instead of dieting? Here are 8 tips to help you lighten-up and trim down.

Eat Plenty Of Protein

Protein is the substance in our foods that keep us feeling full after a meal. When we eat foods that don’t have enough protein, we tend to overeat because we aren’t getting the energy that we need. Here’s a list of fantastic, high protein snacks to help you stick to your goals.

Watch Your Sugars

Sugar is harmful to almost every organ in your body, and it causes inflammation, which derails weight-loss. Eating too much sugar can also lead to addiction, which makes it even harder to cut those calories out of your day. Stay away from refined sugars, and go for fresh fruits instead.

Work It Out

Exercise is an important part of any weight-loss plan. Don’t feel comfortable in the gym? Check out this list of gym-free exercises for some great alternatives. The key to success with working-out requires that you actually enjoy what you are doing. Try different techniques until you find the one that is right for you.

Get Enough Sleep

 

Believe it or not, research shows that sleeping can help you burn fat and lose weight. Not only does staying up longer provide an opportunity to consume more calories, but, it also deprives the body of needed rest, which, interestingly, is essential for weight-loss.

Eat Your Colors

Instead of following some crazy, strict rules about what to put on your plate, try this one instead: eat as many colors as you can. This will ensure that you have plenty of fresh vegetables, and it will make eating more enjoyable. If you are having trouble figuring out proper portions, try buying kids plates with dividers for yourself. The bright colors will make eating fun again!

Keep A Journal

Half of the battle, when it comes to healthy eating, is knowing whether you are eating out of physical or emotional hunger. If the hunger is physical, then it is a good time to eat, but if it is emotional, then journaling can help you figure out what is really on your mind. Once you have identified the real need that is not being met, you can meet that need in a more appropriate way than trying to repress it with food.

Improve Your Body Image

Having a negative body image can lead to weight-gain because when we are not happy with ourselves, we tend to treat ourselves poorly, and one way to do that is to fill up on junk food. Developing a positive body image is one way to take care of ourselves, and it is likely to lead to other healthy habits as well.

Practice Yoga

While the practice of yoga has been around for centuries, there is now plenty of research which shows a correlation between doing asanas and losing weight. After all, yogis have been doing plank pose long before fitness gurus started working the abdominal exercise into their routines. Try specific weight-reduction poses, like these, for a great place to start.

Whatever you do, remember that focusing on your health is something that you do for life, and if you approach it that way, you are bound to achieve your weight-loss goals.

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