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5 natural (and cheap!) ways to lose weight

A big Tightwad welcome to Mariana, a freelance writer. She loves receiving reader feedback, which can be directed to

Losing weight is a constant struggle for most. While some turn to the knife and spend thousands of dollars to get the figure they want— being a tightwad there is no way you're going that route. Thankfully there are inexpensive and most importantly non-invasive ways to achieve your goals. To learn how to lose weight the natural way sans expensive plastic surgery, gym fees or costly diet pills, continue reading below.
Eat metabolism-boosting foods When people begin their journey to lose weight their instant reaction is to diet and eat less. This is mistake number one. Instead of reducing your caloric intake and skipping meals, you should actually add particular foods into your diet. Metabolism-boosting foods will give you the energy you need to burn calories at a faster rate. Experts suggest that the following foods should be consumed on a regular basis to kick your weight loss regime into gear: coffee, chili peppers, grapefruit, lean turkey, salmon, apples and lemons.
Drink water The easiest way to lose weight is to stop drinking carbonated and alcoholic beverages such as soda and beer. Not only are these beverages heavy in calories causing you to get severely bloated (and burn a whole in your wallet) they dehydrate you, making you feel sluggish and less motivated to get up and be active—a key component to losing weight effectively. Instead you should consume water. Drinking the standard 6 to 8 glasses a day will help flush away the toxins in your body that make you sick, will keep you hydrated and more alert, and will also help you metabolize fat more easily. If you suffer from hunger pangs shortly after you've eaten a large meal, grab a glass of water to see if the feeling subsides. Sometimes our minds can't differentiate the distinction between thirst and hunger. Extra tip: Drinking ice cold water will intensify metabolism even further.
Get moving For some this is the hardest part of losing weight but a must if you want to shed the pounds. Unless you already own a treadmill, an excellent alternative is do exercises that don’t need gym equipment—such as running around the neighborhood, cycling, or playing a sport outside. Hiking, swimming and dancing are also other great fat-burning activities that won't really "feel" like exercise. Another great alternative is to watch home-exercise videos. You don't even need to purchase them—there are tons of free yoga, Pilates and Zumba videos that can be found on YouTube. For videos that require small dumbbells, use common household items like large food cans or jugs of water instead.
Reduce portion sizes Studies show that no matter if you are hungry or not, the more food that is placed in front of you, the more you will eat. So to avoid over-eating, reduce your meal portion sizes by using smaller plates. You may also want to consider using blue silver and plate ware. Studies show that the color blue acts as a hunger suppressant. Stick a blue light bulb in your fridge! Red, yellow and orange colors increase appetite - anyone who has been to a fast food restaurant will note this - companies often use red in their interior finishes and menu layout.
Manage stress Try your best to de-stress your life. When one is stressed your body creates more cortisol which is a hormone that makes you crave salty and sweet foods - and gives you that oh-so-special muffin top.


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