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Published on January 05, 2016

Woman drinking out of water bottle

5 easy ways to lose weight this year

If your goal is to lose weight this year, remember this: Even a small weight loss makes a big difference in your health.

Losing weight sounds simple in theory; burn more calories through activity than you consume from food. In reality, of course, it can be a major challenge. Here are five easy tips to try:

  1. Substitute water for juice, soda and other sugary beverages.
  2. Eat smaller portions; maybe even use smaller plates.
  3. Avoid fad diets, especially those that promise rapid weight loss.
  4. Eat plenty of fruits, vegetables, whole grains and low-fat milk products.
  5. Strive to be active every day; biking, walking and even doing brisk housework all count.

Just a few pounds can make a difference

For people who are overweight, even a modest weight loss of 5 to 7 percent of body weight can have major health benefits, according to the National Institutes of Health. In fact, moderate weight loss has been shown to decrease the risk of a number of weight-related health problems, including type 2 diabetes and high blood pressure. How much is 7 percent? It's 14 pounds for a person who weighs 200 pounds.

You can do it: How to stay motivated

Health experts say that setting aggressive weight loss goals will often set you up for frustration and failure. Instead start by aiming to lose a reasonable amount of weight that you can safely keep off. Here's how:

  • Create small rewards
  • Talk to yourself positively
  • Take photos of your progress
  • Find role models
  • Make exercise fun

Copyright 2017 © Baldwin Publishing, Inc. All rights reserved. Any duplication or distribution of the information contained herein is strictly prohibited.

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