Losing extra pounds is not a walk in the park. It requires patience, determination and focus. Fortunately, the best way to lose weight won’t cost the earth. Even simple things, such as drinking two glasses of water before a meal, can make a great difference. There are many ways to lose weight; changing your diet, changing the volumes of food consumed, exercise, slimming pills and surgery.  The latter two should only be considered in extreme cases, for there are serious side effects. More natural methods require planning, patience and discipline. For those who are suffering from obesity or a higher than recommended Body Mass Index (BMI), losing weight is the healthy option. Obesity has been linked to a number of diseases, including cancer, heart disease, strokes and other conditions.

Losing weight the right way
Everyone wants to achieve that toned and fabulous body — that is why there are so many diet books and regimes on the market! While all diets have their proponents and supporting scientific studies, bear in the mind that the only way to lose weight is to burn less calories than you eat. Sounds simple, but this takes planning, discipline and motivation. Don’t expect change overnight. The real secret to weight loss is to make small, lasting changes.

Weight loss benefits
Healthier bodies – Obesity has been linked to higher incidence of heart disease, strokes, diabetes, and others. For optimum health, body fat should be no more than 20% of total body weight for men, and 30% for women.

More energy – Lethargy is a common problem for those who are seriously obese. Carrying all that extra weight requires additional energy. And it puts a lot of strain on your heart. According to the Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism, a random sampling of 16,500 people showed 8.7 percent had excessive daytime sleepiness and their fatigue was more strongly associated with obesity.

Boost your self-confidence – If you feel good about your body, it will spill over into other aspects of your life. And if you know that you’re on the right path, at least in weight loss terms, it can be create more general mental well being. By making time for yourself and taking pride in your body, you may gain more self-confidence.

Healthier diet – Cutting out unhealthy foods, such as sugary, starchy and fatty foods is the first step of any healthy weight loss program. And eating foods that are good for you – grains, fruits and vegetables and fiber — are a crucial part of any healthy weight loss diet.

Methods to lose weight

Important tips to guide you towards your ideal body.
Eating healthy foods
– Focus on eating natural foods such as fruits, vegetables and nuts, and foods that are rich in fiber and protein such as fish and lean meat. Avoid starchy, sugary, and fatty foods, particularly saturated fats.

Drink lots of water – When you start to lose weight, your body will shed any excess water first. You need to replenish this. Scientists have found that drinking plenty of water helps weight loss too. Drinking two cups of water before meals will fill your stomach, making you feel full earlier and helping you to lose weight.

Exercise – exercise is key to increasing your metabolism and burning off that extra weight. For weight loss, you’ll need to get about 5 cardio workouts each week at a medium-high intensity for at least 30 minutes. If you’re a beginner, it’s best to start slow, then gradually increase your exercise as you progress. But remember, intense workouts that challenge you are the best way to burn calories. Although they can be expensive, a personal trainer may help you find the right exercise program for you and help with maintaining your motivation.

Dietary Plans – A good dietary plan will work with your needs. It will have the right balance of carbohydrates, proteins, fruits and vegetables, carefully timed throughout the day. What speed do you want to lose weight? What is best for your body size, dietary habits and motivation? These are important questions because whether you chose a 1,200 calorie per day diet or a 2,200 calorie per day diet will ultimately determine whether you are able to achieve your weight loss success.