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For the past few years I have heard on numerous accounts from friends that I know losing crazy amounts of weight on products that claim to be a way to lose weight in a healthy way. Seriously, you name it and I’m sure I have had someone I know try it— anywhere from those wraps you put around your waist to the HCG diet. I’ve preached it over and over again to every single one and decided it was finally time to write an article on it.

How does one expect to maintain the weight loss if they haven’t changed their lifestyle to fit that size frame? Their eating habits are the same, their exercise routines are still the same. They never learned how to change what was the problem in the first place, which is why a high percentage of people who lose weight on these sort of “diets” gain the weight right back. Weight loss is about being healthy and completely changing the way you live. It’s a lifestyle change and one that takes time and dedication. You can’t expect to lose weight faster than you put it on. Losing weight shouldn’t be about skinny, it should be about being healthy— there is a difference.

Now I don’t want to completely knock on some of the weight loss products on the market because I do understand that there are a small fraction that have benefited from these quick fixes, but in order to be healthy you really need to change the way you eat and your daily routine. There are so many great ways to incorporate small changes that will eventually create a big impact on your weight and your health.

Many people, myself included, indulge far more than they should. One major way to start living a healthier lifestyle and lose some weight in the process is by controlling your portion sizes. Eventually your body will adjust and get full off the smaller portions. Like anything, it’ll take some time, but a lot faster than you think. In the meantime, if you get a craving, snack on some foods like: almonds, fruit, carrots, cheese, a mint or drink a big glass of iced water. I’ve noticed when I get cravings it’s usually when I am sitting down doing nothing. So for me, getting up and being active takes my mind off wanting to snack.

If you don’t fully trust yourself to stick with or remember to minimize your portions, there are great places that sell dishware that actually help you exercise your portion sizing. I found a great set by LIFE-Style at Brookstone. Proper portion control can lower your blood pressure, raise your metabolism and leave you feeling energized – without forgetting the foods you love.

Along with eating healthy and maintaining proper portion control, you need to start living a more active lifestyle. I am not asking you to go out and run a marathon overnight. I am not even asking you to workout so hard on one of those P90X DVDs, but I am asking you to add a little exercise into your daily routine. MAKE IT A HABIT!

Earlier this year we wrote a fabulous article about how The Whole World’s a Gym. In this article we talked about lunging your way to the laundry room instead of walking and standing calf raises while doing the dishes, little things that will make a difference over time. If you are impatient and want results quicker, add at least 20 minutes of cardio in addition to those. Anything to get your heart pumping is an excellent way to shed some pounds. Here are some other great ways to burn those calories without leaving your house:

  • Jump rope. While watching TV, jump rope. If you don’t have a jump rope use your imaginary one.
  • Jumping Jacks. Make it a routine to do at least 30 jumping jacks every morning while your coffee is still brewing.
  • Lunges. Instead of walking to the laundry room or bathroom, lunge your way there.
  • Crunches. While your still laying in bed, maybe first thing in the morning or before bed, do at least 50 crunches.
  • Squats. While holding your baby or pinning things on Pinterest, start doing squats. Don’t count them, just do them.
  • Speed walk. If you go on evening walks with your family, try speeding up the pace.
  • Dance. One of the most fun way to lose those pounds is to dance it off. Crank up the music and dance your way to a clean house.
  • Sex. Did you know you can burn over 144 calories within 30 minutes of sex? Be on top and spice it up a little, maybe even suggest new positions. Not only will you be enjoying your time with your spouse, but you will be getting into shape as well. Double bonus!

And remember:

“Start where you are. Use what you have. Do what you can.” – Arthur Ashe


Disclaimer: This should never replace one of a health or fitness professional. I am not a professional, just stating my thoughts and what I have experienced.