Top 10 Ways to Lose That Last 10 Pounds

April 30, 2013 2:45 am Last Updated: April 30, 2013 2:45 am

It is easy to lose weight if you fast or go on a super strict diet and exercise routine. But what if it doesn’t have to be that hard?

What if it doesn’t take a full-on cleanse, detox, or diet, but rather just a few small changes and commitments to taking care of your health and well-being?

Listed below are the top 10 things you can do to start to naturally detox your body, shed your weight, and feel great. 

1. Start your day right—with water and lemon.
To have a healthy metabolism, you need good digestion, and to have a great digestion, you need to have an acidic stomach (contrary to popular belief). Adding lemon to your water, preferably at room temperature, will help prepare your digestion for breakfast, plus it is thirst quenching, high in vitamin C, and often helps ward off cravings. 

Be sure to continue drinking water throughout your day. I like to follow a regular drinking protocol: one cup of water with each meal, and one cup between meals and snacks.

2. End your day right: dine before 8 p.m.
It is important to keep your body in sync with its natural body clock. According to traditional Chinese medicine, the best time of day to eat dinner is between 5 p.m. and 7 p.m. After that, it is healthy to allow the body’s digestion to rest and not have to work while sleeping. 

When you are sleeping, your body will be working on replenishing and healing all of your organ systems, allowing you to wake up feeling refreshed and balanced.

3. Slow down and chew
It takes about six minutes for food to travel from the mouth to the stomach. If you rush to swallow your food and do not chew well, it will be very easy for you to overeat before you realize you have. 
So a great way to eat less without having to weigh, measure, and count your caloric intake is by simply slowing down, chewing more, and paying better attention.

Plus, eating too quickly is often a reflection of what is going on internally. Are you an anxious person? Are you feeling stressed out? Taking control of our stress levels, even if they are low, will inevitably speed up our metabolism and help you lose weight.

4. Try a meatless day 
I am not a huge advocate of vegetarian eating, but as the weather gets warmer, it is so nice to go vegan every now and then. When you create a vegan meal, you need to focus on whole grains such as quinoa or millet; vegetables, such as carrots, kale, and broccoli; legumes, such as black beans or lentils; and good-quality fats, such as nuts, seeds, and avocados.

Get creative around desserts as well, often fruit-based ones. Think baked apples, or almond berry coconut crunch (yum). 

It is important to note that it is easy to become a “junkitarian.” This kind of diet is made up of pasta, bread, processed meatless substitutes, and lacks fresh food. This will not make anyone feel better. Taking a break from meat feels good if you have been eating too much of it and not enough fresh, light produce-based foods. 

5. Turn off the tube … or at least change the channel
According to ancient Chinese wisdom, the hours leading up to bedtime (specifically 7 p.m. to 9 p.m.) are best for you to put your thoughts and concerns to rest. Calming your mind, easing your thinking, and relaxing during this time will help you stay in balance, and have a deep restful sleep.

Television programs, news, and involved novels often over-stimulate our minds, creating sleep disorders, fatigue, and imbalance. Without a restful evening, it is easy to become susceptible to overeating, sugar cravings, and increased stress—all problems that lead to excess weight. 
Instead, consider winding down at night with a warm bath, herbal tea, and meditation.

6. Enjoy real food 
It’s no fun to go hungry or deprive yourself of delicious foods. If you can replace your food substitutes, low-fat foods, and artificially flavored foods with real—even rich—foods and savor each bite without the guilt, what you’ll find is that you no longer need to eat as much and will feel so much more satisfied, and as a result end up losing weight naturally.

7. Eat greens and sweet vegetables
Greens, greens, and more greens—I cannot emphasize this enough! Include at least two cups of dark leafy greens (such as kale, bok choy, or collard greens) and you will be sure to feel amazing. Feel free to add extra virgin olive oil to your greens since they have some fat-soluble vitamins that the oil will help you absorb.

Incorporating sweet vegetables such as sweet potato, butternut squash, or carrots into your meals will help cut sugar cravings by adding in a sweet component to your diet.

8. Move more, but not too much
Being active is essential to your health. It helps jumpstart your metabolism, balances your blood sugar levels, and improves your digestion. 

That said, if you exercise too much, you might end up feeling fatigued, hungry, and burned out. So be sure to find that happy balance. 

9. Get sunshine
So many people are deficient in vitamin D due to a lack of sunshine. This has been linked to depression (among other serious conditions such as diabetes and heart disease). 

Any vitamin deficiency can cause food cravings, and depression can cause weight gain and lack of motivation to do anything about it. Be sure to get the naturally happy pill and go for a walk, ideally exposing your face and arms to the sun.

10. Love yourself
You heard it! Clearly many of us do not love ourselves enough (just check out the recent Dove soap commercial about how we view ourselves—you’ll likely relate as it went viral). It is so tough to make a change when it comes from a place of self-hating or a lack of confidence. 

Think about all the successful people in the world who have to work really hard to get to the top. Do you think they did that from self-hatred, an overly judgmental mindset, or a lack of confidence? No, they did what they needed to do in honor of themselves and the belief that they could do it. 

So take a deep breath, love yourself, and find it in you to believe you deserve to succeed. 

Tysan Lerner is a certified health coach and personal trainer. She helps women attain their body and beauty goals without starving themselves or spending hours at the gym. Her website is www.lavendermamas.com