When you’re busy and on a tight budget, finding the time and resources to achieve your weight loss goals can seem like a Herculean task. But it doesn’t have to be. Whether you just want to drop the extra weight you gained over the holidays or want to trim your “middle-age spread”, there are simple, natural, low-impact things you can do to lose weight and keep it off. Here are some things you can do that won’t cramp your style or your pocketbook:
Increase your fiber intake. Fiber is one of your best weapons against “the bulge.” Why? Two reasons: First, when it enters the gut, it absorbs liquid and expands. This sends the message to your brain that you are satisfied. Second, it blocks glucose absorption, resulting in a slow, steady, more manageable release of glucose into your bloodstream. High fiber foods include fruits with the skins on, leafy-green vegetables and grains like oats, bran and barley.
Forget about “working out.” The fitness center industry would like you to believe that you’ll never lose weight unless you join a gym and spend 8 hours a week on a treadmill. This is not only asking a lot, it’s not true! If “working out” makes you want to head for the couch, consider doing something physical that you like or need to do anyway, like taking a walk, washing the car, mowing the lawn or dancing around your living room. Exercise is exercise, and even 10 minutes a day that you CAN do is better than 8 hours a week that you CAN’T.
Eat “lighter” versions of the foods you already like. Rather than depriving yourself of your favorite foods, try making lower-calorie substitutions. For example, if you can’t live without ice cream, try a reduced-calorie version of one of your favorite flavors. Many of the popular brands have “light” offerings, and they do them so well you won’t even know you’re cutting calories. Another tip? Try substituting whole-wheat pizza crust for the usual “regular” crust. You’ll get more fiber that way!