(NaturalNews) As challenging as it might sometimes seem, shedding those excess pounds and keeping them off is not an impossible task. For many overweight and obese people, simply making a few basic dietary changes is enough to achieve dramatic weight loss results that will actually last for the long haul. Here are six simple steps you can take right now to achieve your weight loss goals without having to go crazy taking diet pills, eating packaged meals, and spending endless hours on the treadmill.
1) Consume only good quality oils and fats. This one is huge, as there is quite a bit of misinformation out there about the role and importance of fats as part of a healthy diet. Contrary to popular belief, oils and fats are actually beneficial to health, and they do not necessarily cause people to become fat. But the kicker here is that only certain kinds of oils and fats are healthy -- and they may not be the ones you think.
Vegetable oils like canola, corn, and soy are often touted by so-called health experts as preferable to fats like butter, coconut oil, and even animal fat. But as it turns out, vegetable oils are among the worst types of oils you can consume, as they contain high levels of omega-6 fatty acids that trigger inflammation and spur weight gain. Sticking solely with truly healthy fats like extra virgin olive oil, organic and/or raw butter, ghee, avocado oil, coconut oil, hemp oil, grass-fed animal fat, and lard can help you achieve and maintain the healthy weight you have always desired.
2) Stop eating processed foods. At the same time, you will also need to cut out all trans fats, hydrogenated oils, and processed foods in order for this to work, as each of these unhealthy foods directly contributes to weight gain. Included in the processed food category are things like fried chicken, cookies, crackers, chips, cereals, and bread products, all of which tend to negatively alter the body's hormone response to food, and switch it into a mode where it stores food as fat rather than burns it as energy.
3) Eat organic fruits and vegetables with every meal. Rather than continue gorging on all those starchy, carbohydrate-rich, processed foods, work on training your mind to choose things like organic spring salads, sliced cucumbers, or Granny Smith apples instead. Eating whole fruits and vegetables with every meal, preferably before eating meat and other protein-dense foods, will not only help boost your metabolism and speed up weight loss, but also help you maintain a healthy and regular intestinal flow, which is crucial for proper weight regulation.
4) Avoid all forms of refined sugar. Because of its high glycemic index and quick metabolism, refined sugar is another major no-no when it comes to weight loss. This even includes things like sweetened yogurt, bottled juices, smoothies, and other foods commonly misconstrued as being healthy. If you are serious about losing weight and keeping it off, it is absolutely vital that you cut out as much refined sugar as possible, in all of its forms -- barley malt syrup, brown rice syrup, high-fructose corn syrup (HFCS), molasses, and even some forms of natural cane juice are all included in the category of refined sugars.
5) Substitute one meal a day with a superfood smoothie. The idea that consuming fewer calories will automatically cause a person to lose weight is not only greatly oversimplified, but also false, as calorie type, body composition, and time of calorie consumption all play a combined role in determining a person's weight. At the same time, many people are still consuming way too much food, particularly in the form of simple carbohydrates and sugars, which are quickly digested and turned into fat.
If overeating typifies your lifestyle, why not try substituting one meal a day with a protein-rich superfood smoothie instead? Since eating breakfast regularly has been shown to help promote healthy weight levels, whipping up a shake every morning with some fresh fruit, almond butter, and eggs, for instance, will give your body a solid macronutrient boost, which in turn will help you stay "fuller" longer, and cut those constant cravings for cheap calories.
6) Cut out the wheat and excess carbohydrates. Another common cause of obesity for many people is wheat consumption, as most modern wheat varieties possess high-glycemic carbohydrates that tend to encourage the development of visceral fat, or fat that accumulates around body cavity organs such as the stomach, intestines, and liver. It is this visceral fat that confuses the body's normal hormone production cycle, and leads to the production of even more fat. Cutting out wheat and other gluten-containing products, as well as excess carbohydrates, from your diet can make all the difference in helping you achieve your weight loss goals.