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By Alan Moore

Let’s face it – losing weight has not historically been a fun-packed activity. There have been an abundance of fad diets, where we have all ended up suffering with terrible headaches, diarrhea, bad tummy cramps, and lethargy. There have been the cutting-out-calorie diets where we have ended up feeling like we wanted to gnaw on anything we came into contact with. Liberally sprinkled in-between were the cabbage soup diet, the healthy cookie diet, and the perfectly planned meal diet. And where has all the agony got us? The statistics say probably nowhere; most of us lifelong dieters are still overweight.

The only healthy way to lose weight and keep it off is to eat nutritionally balanced meals and exercise moderately and often. If you are at the end of your rope with yo-yo dieting, here are some doable and healthy solutions:

Eat More Often

Yes, you read this correctly! One of the main reasons people fail to lose weight on diets is that their metabolisms are always in a tailspin. If your body functions without food for large periods of time, it goes into a kind of starvation mode. This means that any food you later consume will be stored around your midsection in case of future famine. This feast/famine cycle can add pounds to your scale reading, even though you might not think you are eating a substantial amount. Divide the traditional three meals in half, and space the six meals 2-3 hours apart. Your metabolism will be working at a constant rate, and you will see those pounds evaporate.

Reduce Your Stress

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When your body is under stress, it produces a hormone called cortisol. Cortisol accelerates fat build up and propagates the storage of fat deeper into the cells and around the organs. Of course, less fat around your belly, thighs, and hips might be preferable to you, but the type of fat cortisol creates is infinitely harder to shift. Try to journal, make daily plans, and resolve issues that are causing you to panic and worry.

Exercise Regularly

Exercise has been known to be the Waterloo for many people who are trying to diet. It can be hard to find time in the day to hit the gym, but what is good to remember is that any exercise is better than no exercise. That means walking instead of taking the elevator, parking a little further from the mall, or changing the television channels manually instead of using the remote. All of these little calorie expenditures can add up to a serious decrease in bodyweight.

Set Your Goals

Most weight loss experts believe that it is safe to lose between 1-3lbs in any given week. Therefore, when you set your goals, you should strongly consider this. If you wanted to lose 60lbs for example, you might set short, medium, and long term goals using an average weight loss of 2lbs per week. You will reach your target in a healthy time and look and feel fantastic. Unrealistic goal setting is the downfall of many dieters, so make sure you do your research!

Eat Whole Foods

Whole foods are natural foods which generally come from the ground. Whole foods contain no nasty additives, no man-made trans fats, and no preservatives. Whole food is synonymous with healthy food. Whole foods are generally lower in cholesterol, lower in sugar, and don’t impact your waistline in the same way as processed alternatives. If you are able to find an organic option, this is better still, as it means that your food is officially free from pesticides, steroids, and hormones.

Weight loss can be an enjoyable and exciting journey. Remember to take before and after pictures to give you some added motivation when faced with that extra slice of dessert!

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