Painless weight loss? If you're desperately trying to squeeze in workouts and avoid your favorite high-calorie treats, it can seem like there's nothing pain-free about it.
Yet while eating healthier and slipping in exercise does take some work, it really doesn't have to require heroic effort. Making just a few simple lifestyle changes can pack a big weight loss punch over time.
By Jamie Diamond
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WebMD spoke to weight loss experts and everyday people who've figured out a few painless ways to lose weight -- and keep it off. Here are their top tips on how to lose weight without sweating it too much.
1. Add, Don't Subtract
Forget diet denial: Try adding foods to your diet instead of subtracting them.
Add in healthy goodies you really love, like deep-red cherries, juicy grapes, or crunchy snow peas. Slip those favorite fruits into your bag lunch and breakfast cereal; add the veggies into soups, stews, and sauces.
"Adding in really works, taking away never does," says registered dietitian David Grotto, RD, LDN, author of 101 Optimal Life Foods, but do remember to keep an eye on overall calories. And don't forget to add in something physical, too, whether it's doing a few dance moves before dinner, shooting hoops, or taking a quick stroll.
2. Forget About Working Out
If the word "exercise" inspires you to creative avoidance, then avoid it. Maybe the trick to enjoying a workout may be to never call it working out.
"There's some truth to that," Grotto tells WebMD, and once you start your not-calling-it-exercise plan, Grotto says you'll discover "the way good health feels knocks down the roadblocks that were preventing you from exercising in the first place."
So burn calories and invigorate muscles by beachcombing, riding bikes, grass skiing, making snow angels, hiking, washing the car, playing Frisbee, chasing the dog around the yard, or even enjoying great sex. After all, a rose by any other name ...
3. Go Walking
Walking when the weather's nice is a super-easy way to keep fit, says Diane Virginias, a certified nursing assistant from New York. "I enjoy the seasons," she says, adding that even when she's short on time she'll go out for a few minutes. "Even a five minute walk is a five minute walk."
No sidewalks in your neighborhood? Try these tips for slipping in more steps:
Trade your power mower for a push version.
Park your car at the back of the lot.
Get out of the office building and enjoy walking meetings.
Sweep the drive or rake the leaves instead of using a leaf-blower.
Get off the bus a few stops earlier.
Hike the mall, being sure to hit all the levels.
Take the stairs every chance you get.
Sign up for charity walks.
Crank the music and get your heart rate up the next time you mop or vacuum.
It all adds up. If you walk twice a day for 10 minutes and try a few of these tips, you may find yourself with a low-impact, 30-minute workout easily tucked under your belt.