Eat Great, Lose Weight — No Gym Required!

If you are anything like millions of other men and women, you are always looking for a reason to postpone or outright avoid starting a weight loss program. Perhaps you do not want to pay the gym membership fees until the New Year, or maybe you just cannot stomach the thought of donning grubby workout gear in view of others. Fortunately, there are many things you can do to kick-start your weight loss efforts — none of which require even a single visit to the gym.

First and foremost, consuming water is the easiest and cheapest way to get on the right track. Think of all the money you’ll save by ditching sodas and canned drinks from the vending machines at work and school, not to mention the cash you’ll hang onto by avoiding your local coffee bar. If you find the taste of tap water more repulsive than the idea of being fat, invest a few dollars in a filter. You can purchase one that fits onto your kitchen sink, or you might opt for a water pitcher with a built-in filter. Another option is to buy a water bottle with a filter. Altogether, most of these alternatives will set you back less than $50.

Who can resist the temptation of Taco Bell and other greasy fast food denizens of the night? Simple: healthy people. It’s not just the usual suspects, either; any food, if eaten late in the evening or at night, has the potential to cause you to pack on the pounds and experience setbacks in your pursuit of a healthier lifestyle. If you are experiencing uncontrollable hunger so late in the day, it is time to reassess your eating habits in the morning, afternoon and early evening. Does your diet include enough fiber? (Fiber helps you to feel fuller throughout the day). Are you loading up on empty calories and sugary snacks that lack any nutritional value whatsoever? Once you identify potentially problematic eating habits, you can address these unwarranted feelings of extreme hunger. In doing so, you are promoting healthier behaviors and will find it easier to drop those last few pounds.

If you regularly dine out in restaurants or visit the drive-thru at your local fast food joint, you are doing your body and your wallet serious injustice! Not only are these meals expensive (especially over the course of a few months), but they are often served with blatant disregard for the recommended portion size. It is estimated that the average sit-down restaurant serves two to three times the appropriate amount of food; the exception, of course, is when steamed or similarly prepared vegetable sides are concerned, in which case portions tend to be undersized. Go figure!

If you think these guidelines seem overly simplistic, you are probably right. The truth is, however, that the simplest and most obvious solutions are often the most effective and sustainable options. Adopting healthier eating habits is certainly no exception. So before you invest in so-called “miracle” supplements and fitness equipment, why not first consider what has been proven to work time and time again? Use the recommendations from this article and save your money (and your sanity) as you shed excess weight and burn through those calories.