There's a reason you've been hearing so much about cutting meat out of your diet lately. It's not just great for your body, but also a quick way to shed some extra pounds. "Consider swapping a few meat-centric meals each week for ones centered around vegetarian proteins — or give a full-fledged vegetarian diet a try if that's of interest to you," Gorin says. "Research shows eating a vegetarian diet may boost and speed up weight loss, resulting in a loss of up to 10 pounds." Gorin recommends topping a salad or filling a veggie taco with vegetarian protein sources like pulses — which are beans, chickpeas, lentils, and dried peas — to give your weight loss a boost. One study found eating ¾ cup of pulses daily led to a loss of close to a pound over about six weeks, versus people not eating pulses daily.
Probiotics are “good bacteria” found in fermented foods or drinks, and also supplements. These bacteria reside in your gastrointestinal tract (also called the microbiome) and have many functions throughout your body. Research suggests that probiotics have numerous benefits for immune, digestive, hormonal and central nervous system functions. Studies have indicated that there are differences in the microbial composition between obese and non-obese patients, and probiotics are involved in energy homeostasis, regulation of appetite, dietary intake and storage of lipids (fats).
Often times, we think the best weight-loss strategies start with a lofty exercise program. But the reality is that workouts are only one part of the picture, and there are a slew of recommendations for how much exercise we should be getting on a regular basis. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), for example, recommends that adults should exercise 150 minutes a week at a moderate intensity, or incorporate 75 minutes a week of vigorous-intensity aerobic activity. Meanwhile, a study published in Circulation found that the amount of exercise we get has a direct relationship to our heart health—the more you get, the healthier your heart will be—and they suggest two full hours a day as the new goal.
Fruits, in general, are high in fiber and nutrients, and eating a few servings every day can help you lose weight, according to a study done by the Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology. Researchers found that people who ate at least one apple a day lost more weight than those who skipped fruit. Steal these 12 diet secrets from people who’ve maintained their weight loss.

You’ve heard of a self-fulfilling prophecy? If you keep focusing on things you can’t do, like resisting junk food or getting out the door for a daily walk, chances are you won’t do them. Instead (whether you believe it or not) repeat positive thoughts to yourself. “I can lose weight.” “I will get out for my walk today.” “I know I can resist the pastry cart after dinner.” Repeat these phrases and before too long, they will become true for you.
It's also important to identify the strategies that feel right for you. A tactic like intermittent fasting may work for some, for example, but others may feel loopy come 11 a.m. without an energy-boosting breakfast. Check out the tips below to help you figure out how to lose weight naturally, in a way that feels totally customized to you and your body. That way, once the pounds peel off, they can stay off—for good.
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