The best things in life are free and that is truly the case when it comes to planning your weight loss program.
Whatever you do, don't waste your money on diet patches, pills and potions - they may harm you and they will certainly harm your wallet. Stand well clear of anything which is supposed to help you lose weight that hasn't been prescribed by your doctor.
After all you already own everything you need to lose weight. You don't need the latest diet program. You don't need more fitness equipment gathering dust in a corner. You don't need a gym membership. You don't need diet foods. How much have you paid in the past for all the diet books and paraphernalia that were meant to help you but had no lasting effect on your weight?
To start a successful natural weight loss program you just need the following basic plan:-
1. Eat good healthy home cooked food
Healthy in this case means low in fat, sugar and salt and with plenty of fruit and vegetables, natural whole grains and lean proteins. There are a ton of fantastic healthy and delicious recipes out there that you can use. You'll find them on the internet, in your own cookbooks or you can borrow recipe books from the library. Select the best meals you can and create a weekly meal plan. Enjoy your food more on your weight loss program than ever before! Plan your meals on a weekly basis and keep to it. Your shopping list becomes your best ally in your weight loss plan.
Eating out is often the downfall in any weight loss program. If you can't avoid it, and especially if you eat out a lot, choose your restaurants with care and select the healthiest dishes from the menu. You could also ask them to prepare something healthy - most good restaurants would be able to provide plain fish or chicken for you with a salad (dressing on the side!)
2. Don't eat unless you are physically hungry and stop eating as soon as you are satisfied.
If you are overweight, you can be sure that you have eaten more food than your body needs in terms of calories. Chances are you've done that both through your choices of food - high in fat and sugar - which bulks up your body without filling you up and also through eating larger portion sizes than you really need of everything.
If you've forgotten what a normal portion is, it's best to think of a meal as being about the size of your two clenched fists. Put that much on your plate to start with and see how it feels to eat that much. About right? Stop there. Too little? Have a spoonful more or fill up on salad or vegetables - you can't do much harm with them!
3. Add as much movement into your day as you can.
Most weight loss programs have an exercise element. Great though this is in theory, it's where many people give up. It's just too demoralizing when you go red in the face, sweating and heart pounding after a couple of minutes when you're supposed to do twenty! Twenty minutes! You're lucky if you can do five. Why put yourself through this when you're clearly not ready?
The best way to add more movement into your day is by walking. Walk everywhere! It's free! If you can afford it, get a pedometer and measure how much you're doing each day. Aim for 10,000 steps every day when you're trying to lose weight - it's also great to stay at that level once you reach your target - it will help you stay slim.
If you're not fit, check with your doctor and start with a few hundred steps, adding to your total every day. If you don't have a pedometer, keep a note of your progress by counting the number of minutes you walk and get a rough idea of the distance you've covered (for example, one block and two lamp-posts), gradually increasing both as you get fitter.
You can walk whatever the weather if you have the right clothes and footwear or you can just walk around your home or the shops - it really doesn't matter as long as you move!
Of course there are more things you can do to lose weight, but these three offer the best start to any weight loss plan. There would be far fewer overweight people in the world if everyone followed these simple and natural steps. Weight loss programs make things complicated because they need to differentiate themselves from each other. They are not just going to tell you the obvious - they have to wrap it up in ratios and percentages, points and calories, rules and regulations until you can't live a normal life and follow them.
Free yourself from the latest diet fad and just start by following these steps. Weight loss, though still not as easy as falling off the proverbial log - we know that is just a fantasy - will happen more easily than ever before and in a completely natural way which gives lasting results.
Copyright 2005, Janice Elizabeth Small