Natural weight loss for most people is not easy because to be successful you need willpower, determined effort and, above all, patience.
It's very easy to feel intimidated when you first begin your natural weight loss diet. There is so much conflicting advice available on the internet these days that it's difficult to know where to start. Especially when new diet plans, weight loss pills and diet meals are continually thrust in front of you on your television and computer screens.
The truth is, there are some very basic dieting rules that when followed will give you the natural weight loss results you are looking for. There is no greater motivator than seeing positive results.
Natural weight loss is best done gradually. Ideally weight reduction should be planned on a gradual, steady basis resulting in permanent loss and a stabilized weight. Unfortunately most overweight people think in terms of taking off x number of pounds for a special event or purpose in the shortest amount of time. This approach can seriously harm your health and lead to yo-yo dieting.
The first thing you should do for natural weight loss, especially if you're new to dieting, is start a food journal. Write down all of the foods that you eat each day, what times you eat them and how many calories, carbohydrates, protein and fat grams are contained in them. This will help you to see exactly what you're eating each day and what changes you need to make to maximize the effects of your natural weight loss.
The next thing your should do is analyze how active you are. Do you have a sit down job? Or are you on your feet all day? Do you do strenuous activities or are you sitting or standing still most of the time?
An analogy is to see your body as a machine and the food you eat as fuel. If you consistently add 10 litres of fuel daily and your machine only burns 8 litres a day then your tank is going to overflow unless you find somewhere else to store the excess fuel. This is exactly what your body does.
When it comes to natural weight loss the option is not always to cut down on the amount of food you eat especially if you are already consuming fewer calories than you should be. This is where many people become confused.
Certainly you should cut out all empty calories such as sugar and all refined carbohydrates like white flour, white bread, pastries, biscuits, cakes etc. In fact anything that is manmade. But remember - your body requires vitamins, minerals and nutrients to keep it healthy.
Your body is very similar to a complex machine and achieving controlled natural weight loss whilst still delivering all of the required nutrients is a fine balancing act you will need to master.
So let's say you've cut out all the bad calories and upped your activity levels. Now you should see some natural weight loss. Right? Wrong!
Look again at the analogy. Now you are consistently adding 8 litres of fuel a day and your machine is burning 9 litres a day. There is going to be a point where your machine will run out of fuel and have to 'borrow' it from elsewhere. But, and it's a big but, if you're not eating the right foods then you're going to come unstuck.
Your body needs a good supply of slow release complex carbohydrates to keep energy levels up; if you do not give your body enough good quality carbohydrates then it will substitute by "borrowing" from your muscles, blood, skin, hair, nails and internal organs.
Instead of natural weight loss this will result in muscle wastage, anemia, dull skin, dry brittle hair, cracked or split flaky nails and general health problems. Muscle wastage is also the reason why some consistent dieters end up being skinny fat. The fat deposits stay but the weight you do lose will be from your muscles and muscle tone.
For natural weight loss you need to eat plenty of slow release complex carbohydrates for your body to burn for energy. You also need good quality protein to maintain and build muscles as well as keeping your blood, skin, hair, nails and internal organs healthy.
Your body needs 0.36 grams of protein per pound of body weight. To calculate the exact amount you need, multiply your weight in pounds by 0.36 (if using kilo grams, multiply your weight in kilo grams by 0.8). This will give you your optimum daily protein requirement in grams. Infants, children, pregnant and nursing women require more protein.
So how do you make natural weight loss easy?
Quite simply, you have to balance 'energy in' (food) with 'energy out' (activity level). 'Energy in' must consist of high quality carbohydrates that are natural such as Fruits, Vegetables, Oatmeal, Whole Grain Cereal, Whole Wheat Bread and Brown Rice.
Good quality protein comes from fish especially oily fish like salmon and sardines. Other good sources of protein are Mackerel, Haddock and Cod, Tuna steak, Lobster, Sea bass and Snapper. Fish gives you high quality protein with no fat content. Turkey breast meat is also a low fat source of protein.
The next step is to encourage natural weight loss by becoming generally more active; walking, cycling and swimming are all good forms of exercise that most people can do. If you do full body toning exercises as well such as squats and star jumps you will help your body to burn fat and build muscle at the same time.
Natural weight loss happens slowly as the process of burning fat and building muscle begins to change your body shape. Realistically, it will take approximately three weeks for you to look and feel slimmer and more toned but only a few days for you to notice a positive difference in your energy levels and how you feel.
Be aware that muscle weighs heavier than fat so you will look slimmer before your scales register any significant natural weight loss. But be assured that your body is ridding itself of fat deposits as it builds muscle.
Remember; eat everything in moderation and nothing in excess. The secret to making natural weight loss easy and keeping it off is to eat nutritiously and make permanent lifestyle changes that allow you to burn more calories than you take in.