ways to stay healthy
iStock

Losing weight and staying healthy may seem like an extremely difficult task. Changing up your lifestyle, your diet, your routing can seem like an insurmountable obstacle because, basically, isn't that what you have to do to shed the pounds? I mean, who has time to go to the gym like some of our gym-obsessed Latin celebs? And just the thought of dieting gives me a headache. But the good news is, there are easier ways to achieve a healthier lifestyle without having to obsess over food and exercise, calories and what you do and don't eat.

More from MamásLatinas: 40 Healthy smoothies & green juices to stay fit

There are some small changes you can start making in your daily routine that will help you shed those extra pounds without even trying too hard. You can start by walking more, eating your last meal of the day by 7 p.m., or just by surrounding yourself with people that share your desire to lead a healthy life. 

These little steps may seem trivial, but in the long run, they'll help change your whole outlook on health and your well-being. Here are some tips that I hope will motivate you to take action and start making small changes that will help you lose weight and achieve a healthy lifestyle. So, take note! 

Drinks lots of water! 1

Drinks lots of water!

iStock

Drinking water is something so simple that most people forget to do it regularly unless they really feel thirsty. However, it is very important to drink water throughout the day because it "regulates our body temperature, keeps our joints lubricated, helps prevent infections and delivers nutrients to our cells," according to registered US dietitian Lisa Drayer. "Additionally, our kidneys and liver work hard to get rid of toxins in our bodies, and they depend on water to do their job."

But also, drinking will help you lose weight because it helps boost your metabolism! A study published in The Journal of Endocrinology & Metabolism found that drinking about 16 ounces of water temporarily spiked participants' metabolic rate by 30 percent. This study concluded that increasing water intake by 1.5 liters (about six eight-ounce glasses) per day would increase daily caloric burn by about 200 calories.

Advertisement

Drink a glass of water before every meal. 2

Drink a glass of water before every meal.

iStock

It may be old advice, but it is tried-and-true, which is why I say it over and over again: Drink a glass of water before any meal, and you are sure to eat less. 

"If you are looking to lose weight, water can help you shed pounds," says registered US dietitian Lisa Drayer. "Drinking a glass of water before a meal can fill you up a bit and help you eat fewer calories at a meal."

Advertisement

Work out at home while watching your favorite telenovela. 3

Work out at home while watching your favorite telenovela.

iStock

Working out at home while watching your favorite TV show is the perfect way to make working out a bit more fun and affordable. I do this all the time, and it works! I have a set of dumbbells at home and do arm exercises, or I do some squats while watching TV. And I'm not the only one who thinks this is a great, easy strategy to lose weight.

"Keep some free weights by the TV or simply do crunches or lunges during your favorite show," Melissa Joy Dobbins, RD, a spokesperson for the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, told Women's Health.

Fit walking into your everyday routine. 4

Fit walking into your everyday routine.

iStock

If the simple thought of getting up an hour earlier than usual to go for an early-morning jog gives you a headache, you're not alone. The thought of exercising can be overwhelming for some people, and instead of trying other ways to burn calories, we just give up and don't do anything. "When people feel overwhelmed by something, they tend to stop altogether," says clinical psychologist Ninoska Peterson, Ph.D.

So, if exercising is not your thing, just walk, walk and walk! Make sure to get up from your desk at least every two hours and take a walk. Take a nice walk during your lunch hour. Get into the habit of walking everywhere you can instead of taking a cab or public transportation. And, if you have a car, maybe park it far away so that you have to walk. And if you take public transportation, get off one or two stops before your stop and walk! Just remember, walk, walk and walk!  

Advertisement

Dance away the pounds. 5

Dance away the pounds.

iStock

I love dancing (to just about anything!), so this is an easy one for me. Dancing is fun and liberating! It helps relieve stress and is a great way to burn calories without feeling like you're exercising. 

So, sign up for a salsa or hip-hop class, or try taking Zumba! You will shed the pounds without even thinking of the word exercise.  

 

Advertisement

Ditch the elevator and take the stairs. 6

 Ditch the elevator and take the stairs.

iStock

I live on a second floor and no matter how tired I am, I ALWAYS take the stairs! Climbing up the stairs as much as possible is amazing for your body. Not only will it make you burn more calories than many other forms of physical activity, it will also help you build muscles, strengthen your bones and better your cardiovascular health. So, forget about the elevator, and take the stairs!

 

Advertisement

A fitness tracker will be your best ally. 7

A fitness tracker will be your best ally.

iStock

I got a Fitbit for Christmas and I have been wearing it every single day. I love it because it lets me know how many steps I have taken and how many calories I have burned. It also reminds me that I have to get up and take a walk every hour. 

However, in order for your fitness tracker to be an effective tool in helping you stay active and lose weight, you have to actively set daily or weekly goals, according to a study published in the British Journal of Sports Medicine

Fill up on delicious veggies at every meal. 8

 Fill up on delicious veggies at every meal.

iStock

In order for weight loss to happen, you must consume less calories than what your body burns. However, that does not mean that you have to eat less food. You just have to chose the right foods, and add more veggies to your daily diet, which are packed with nutrients and have fewer calories than other foods.

"You can create lower-calorie versions of some of your favorite dishes by substituting low-calorie fruits and vegetables in place of higher-calorie ingredients. The water and fiber in fruits and vegetables will add volume to your dishes, so you can eat the same amount of food with fewer calories. Most fruits and vegetables are naturally low in fat and calories and are filling," according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Advertisement

Try to make your own food as often as you can. 9

Try to make your own food as often as you can.

iStock

According to a study by Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, people who cook at home eat healthier and consume less calories than those who tend to eat out. 

"When people cook most of their meals at home, they consume fewer carbohydrates, less sugar, and less fat than those who cook less or not at all—even if they are not trying to lose weight," says Julia A. Wolfson, a CLF-Lerner Fellow at the Johns Hopkins Center for a Livable Future and lead author of the study.

Drink citrus-infused water. 10

Drink citrus-infused water.

iStock

Adding some lemon juice and sliced lime and lemons to your water will help tame the cravings for high-calorie, sugary drinks. And, because lime and lemon juice gives water some flavor, it will make it more enticing to drink water during the day, which, in turn, will help boost your metabolism. 

"Staying hydrated is an important component of a healthy diet because it boosts your metabolism," says Alissa Rumsey, R.D., a spokesperson for the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. "For those that don’t enjoy plain water, adding some lemon is a great way to boost the flavor without adding calories." 

 

 

Advertisement

Keep popcorn on hand for those nighttime snack cravings. 11

Keep popcorn on hand for those nighttime snack cravings.

iStock

According to research published in the Journal of the American Dietetic Association, those who snack on popcorn get 250% more whole grains and about 22% more fiber than those who don't eat this fabulously low-cal snack. Basically, this means that popcorn can keep you full longer and you'll be satisfied when snacking on the delicious popped kernels. I always keep popcorn on hand and, instead of butter, season it with my favorite smoked Spanish paprika to give it a unique kick that doesn't add any extra calories.

Apple cider can actually help you lose weight. 12

Apple cider can actually help you lose weight.

iStock

This is NOT a myth! Adding 1 or 2 tablespoons of apple cider vinegar to your daily diet can actually help you lose weight! A small study by the American Diabetes Association found that that those individuals who take apple cider before a high-carbohydrate meal had a 55% lower blood sugar response one hour after eating. 

And, another small study found that taking apple cider vinegar with a starchy meal significantly slowed stomach emptying, which leads to feeling full longer and, may lead to lower caloric intake. This study concluded that "fermented foods or food products with added organic acids should preferably be included in the diet in order to reduce glycaemia and insulin demand."

More on how to take apple cider vinegar for weight loss at LiveStrong.com.

 

 

Advertisement

Take your dog for a run! 13

Take your dog for a run!

iStock

They say that dogs are a man's best friend... but they can also be their best running partner. If you have a dog, take full advantage of the time you spend taking it for a walk and do some exercise while at it. 

Running burns more calories than just walking, which is great for you. However, just make sure you start out slow with your dog and combine intervals of walking and jogging; and make sure to check in with the vet first. 

 

Have some outdoor fun with your kids. 14

Have some outdoor fun with your kids.

iStock

Put the phone down, take the kids' tablets away and go out to have some outdoor family fun! Play some sports with your kids, or go for a hike. Take a dance class with them. Go for a family jog on the beach. Go for a bike ride with them! There are so many things you can do for you and your kids to be active and healthy.

Check out some more ideas at UnicefKidPower.org.

Advertisement

Ditch your car and get a bike. 15

Ditch your car and get a bike.

iStock

Bike riding is a great way of getting your exercise in even when you're not even thinking about exercising. Imagine burning calories and getting fit as you commute to and from work, or while running errands! "You get the same cardiovascular benefits from cycling that you get from any other form of aerobic exercise—walking, jogging or dancing," says Lisa Callahan, MD, medical director of the Women's Sports Medical Center at the Hospital for Special Surgery in New York City. "It can be a very effective cardiovascular benefit."

You will be exercising, saving lots of money on transportation AND saving the environment! 

Wear your workout clothes to run errands. 16

Wear your workout clothes to run errands.

iStock

If you struggle to get yourself to the gym (just as I do), a good trick is to put on your workout clothes in the morning and then just about your day. Once you finish running your errands, not having your gym clothes with you won't be an excuse, and will make it easier for you to get your behind to the gym! This has actually been working for me in the past few months, and after running my errands I make sure to stop at the gym even if just a quick 30-minute workout. It's a lot easier if I already have my gym clothes on.

"Clothes today are more exercise-friendly than ever before," says Melissa Joy Dobbins, RD, a spokesperson for the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. "Look for stretchy, flattering clothes that can double for work and workout."

Advertisement

Don't skip meals. 17

Don't skip meals.

iStock

"There's a good chance missing meals will cause cravings and a risk of overeating later in the day," says Rachael Link, MS, RD, a dietitian in New York City.

Also, skipping a meal may cause your sugar-blood level to decrease, which will make you feel tired. "Sugar is the fuel your body runs on, and if it's not circulating in the right amounts, every organ in your body is affected," says Maggie Moon, R.D., a nutritionist based in Los Angeles. "You generally feel tired and unwell overall." And when you're tired, your body burns less calories.

Make sure you're getting a full night's sleep EVERY night. 18

Make sure you're getting a full night's sleep EVERY night.

iStock

It might feel as if you're being lazier than usual if you get 8 hours of sleep every night, but the truth is that this is an excellent way to promote weight loss. Not only are there plenty of studies that suggest sleep deprivation causes increased levels of the hunger hormone ghrelin, a recent study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition also determined that a lack of sleep can actually slow the rate at which calories are burned. So if you want to burn the optimal amount of calories during the day (just by going about your daily life), make sure you get some shut-eye!

Advertisement

Drink cinnamon and apple infused water. 19

Drink cinnamon and apple infused water.

iStock

Lose Weight by Eating author and blogger Audrey Johns swears by this detox water and so do her followers! Cinnamon is believed to help boost your metabolism, because it takes more energy for the body to process it. Also, a study published in the International Journal of Preventive Medicine found that individuals who took cinnamon supplements every day for eight weeks lost more weight and body fat than those who took a placebo treatment, even when they did not make any changes to their usual eating habits. 

As for apples, besides being delicious, the daily consumption of this fruit leads to weight loss, according to a research by the State University of Rio de Janeiro.

 

Surround yourself with people who share your desire of getting healthy. 20

Surround yourself with people who share your desire of getting healthy.

iStock

When trying to lose weight or staying fit and healthy, it is very important to surround yourself with people that will support you in your journey. And even better is to get support from people that share your same goals, and that are already on their way to achieving their weight loss objectives.

And this is not just my opinion. A study published in the Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology found that participants in a weight treatment program who had at least one successful weight-loss partner lost significantly more weight than those with no successful partners and those without partners. 

Advertisement

Add some chia to your favorite detox water. 21

Add some chia to your favorite detox water.

iStock

These tiny seeds are rich in hunger-crushing fiber, antioxidants and plant-based omega-3 essential fatty acids. And since the seed forms a gel around it when mixed with water, they can hold up to 10 times their weight in liquid and digest slowly. This makes you feel fuller longer and is a great way to tame cravings. 

Just mix 1 tablespoon of chia seeds with 1 cup of water, 2 tablespoons of fresh lemon or lime juice, and 2 teaspoons of honey. Let the seeds soak for a couple of hours before drinking. 

Start your day with a protein-packed breakfast. 22

Start your day with a protein-packed breakfast.

iStock

When trying to build lean muscles comsuming protein is essential. So, make sure to startyour day with a protecin-packed breakfast, such as a delicious mushroom-spinach omelette. Find more delicisou ideas at LiveStrong.com

 

Advertisement

Include some healthy, ready-to-eat snacks on your grocery list. 23

Include some healthy, ready-to-eat snacks on your grocery list.

iStock

"Convenience food doesn't have to mean junk food," says Melissa Joy Dobbins, RD, a spokesperson for the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. She suggestes buying prepackaged foods that are still fairly healthy, such as whole or precut fruit and vegetables, hard-boiled eggs and yogurt. My personal favorite are the 100 calorie almond bags that I find in packs of 7 in the grocery store. I throw them into my purse and have a perfectly packaged snack for whenever I get ravenous at work.

 

Pack your refrigerator and pantry with healthy food ONLY. 24

Pack your refrigerator and pantry with healthy food ONLY.

iStock

Think about, if you don't have any junk food at home, that means that you would have to go out to buy those potato chips or pint of ice cream when those cravings attack. So, most likely, if you don't have unhealthy food at home, you will eat less of it. It's that simple. 

Advertisement

Do some meal prepping for the whole week. 25

Do some meal prepping for the whole week.

iStock

Meal prepping is a great way to make sure you are eating healthy meals every day and, at the same time, is one awesome strategy for saving money and time. 

Find some easy meal prep recipes for weight loss on Health.com.

Keep some yogurt around to fight them sugar cravings. 26

Keep some yogurt around to fight them sugar cravings.

iStock

Low-fat, sugar free yogurt makes for a really healthy snack because it is high in protein and rich in calcium. And what's more, a study found that "an afternoon snack of Greek yogurt, containing 24 g protein, led to reduced hunger, increased fullness, and delayed subsequent eating compared to lower protein snacks in healthy women."

Check out what other foods can help you fight sure cravings on Healthline.com.

Advertisement

Take your time when eating. 27

Take your time when eating.

iStock

This was one of the hardest habits for me to get acquainted with, since I would always eat in a rush. However, after learning that eating slower may help me lose weight, I now make it a point to take my time to eat. 

A study published in BMJ Open found that compared to people who ate their food quickly, those who ate at a normal speed were 29% less likely to be obese. And that people who ate slowly were 42% less likely to be obese. 

Wear jeans to go to the office. 28

Wear jeans to go to the office.

iStock

Did you know that people who wear jeans to work tend to move around more than those who wear business attire?

A study lead by researchers at the University of Wisconsin-La Crosse found that people who wear jeans to work take 491 more steps a day than those in business wear. 

Advertisement

Drink lots of green tea. 29

Drink lots of green tea.

iStock

The catechin compounds in green tea also help to burn fat cells and turns it into energy. It’s also loaded with antioxidants that can even do wonders for your skin.

So drinking green tea will make you lose weight and achieve radiant skin at once. 

Drink this detox juice in between meals. 30

Drink this detox juice in between meals.

iStock

This is my ultimate favorite juice for weight loss! Every ingredient in it is diuretic and will make you shed pounds fast. I drink a glass between breakfast and lunch, and then another glass at around 3pm. 

Get the full recipe at Natural Healthy Team.

Advertisement

Stay away from sweet cocktails and beer. 31

Stay away from sweet cocktails and beer.

iStock

"Cocktails can be a total disaster. They are mixed with sugar syrups, high sugar juice or soda, and high sugar liqueurs," writes Ditch the Carbs author Libby Jenkinson. "Make your own so you know what went into the cocktail, or limit yourself to just one then swap onto a lower carb option."

As for beer, she writes, "Beer is made from grains (oats, barley, wheat, rye), malt (sugar) and yeast. They don’t call a big gut a 'beer belly' for nothing. Beer was originally brewed to provide nourishment for adults and children alike, especially during periods of fasting. So next time you order a beer, ponder for a moment on whether you are actually ordering a liquid meal."

Instead, go for red or white wine, but choose the types that are not sweet. Whiskey on the rocks is also a good option, as is a dirty martini. 

Make sure you're not drinking your calories. 32

Make sure you're not drinking your calories.

iStock

Stay away from high-calorie, sugary drinks, such as sodas, processed (canned or bottled) juices or those fancy lattes full of whip cream and  caramel syrup. They are loaded with empty calories and sugars that may be stored as body fat.

 

Advertisement

Healthy food doesn't have to be tasteless and boring. 33

Healthy food doesn't have to be tasteless and boring.

iStock

Some people have this perception that healthy food is boring and tasteless. Well, they're wrong. There are so many options out there for those who really want to stick to a healthy diet. The key is to find those healthy foods you like and add tasty ingredients that will make your meals more fun and delicious. But it's also important to be open to tying new things. I love trying new things and coming up with new ways for making a dish. When I go to the supermarket and see a vegetable, fruit or whole grain I have not tried before, I take out my smart phone and do a quick Google search to see the nutrition value of it, and if it's packed with nutrients, I'll buy it and try it. I also love trying new herbs!

 

Try this pineapple and cinnamon tea. 34

Try this pineapple and cinnamon tea.

iStock

Pineapples are delicious. They also aid in digestion and are known to help prevent infections in the throat and mouth. Pineapples are considered one of the world's healthiest foods, and because of their high water content, they make you feel full and are incredibly satisfying. This pineapple tea is perfect for those of us looking to shed those few extra pounds. 

Get the full recipe here. 

Advertisement

Don't eat in front of the TV or at your desk. 35

Don't eat in front of the TV or at your desk.

iStock

A study by the Institute of Psychology, Health and Society at Liverpool University found that eating a meal while watching TV or while sitting on your desk may lead to gain weight. "People who are distracted while they eat appear to pay less attention to what they have eaten," said lead researcher Dr. Eric Robinson.

Eat healthy, nutrient-packed meals on a daily basis, and allow yourself to cheat sometimes. 36

Eat healthy, nutrient-packed meals on a daily basis, and allow yourself to cheat sometimes.

iStock

I know that choosing to eat a hamburger or some loaded fries may seem way more attractive than a healthy meal. It's not the end of the world if you indulge sometimes. However, try to get into the habit of eating a balanced diet on a daily basis, even if you then allow yourself to cheat sometimes with one treat.

"Make sure what you do eat high-quality, nutrient-rich food: lean protein combined with carbs from whole grains and some monounsaturated good fats," suggests LA-based nutritionist Maggie Moon, R.D.

 

Advertisement

Say yes to black pepper. 37

Say yes to black pepper.

iStock

Adding some black pepper to your diet may help you shed some pounds. A research published in the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry found that an ingredient called piperine found in this spice blocks the formation of new fat cells.

Besides using black pepper to spice up your good, you can also reap all the benefits of this spice by drinking it in the form of tea.  

Brush your teeth right after dinner to avoid late-night snacking. 38

Brush your teeth right after dinner to avoid late-night snacking.

iStock

This will prevent you from eating more food after dinner. Think about it: who wants to dirty freshly brushed teeth? This works for me every time.

Advertisement

Eat your dinner by 7 p.m. 39

Eat your dinner by 7 p.m.

iStock

"An early dinner is good for digestion, and anything that is good for digestion aids weight loss," says clinical nutritionist Dr. Rupali Dutta. "It is said that the body is wired to the movement of the sun. The later we eat, more are the chances of the food lying in the intestines, affecting the digestion. On the other hand, if you have your dinner early, you reach the satiety value earlier, the body is able to utilise the food better. The body uses everything we eat. If the calories produced are not put to use, it is stored as fat." 

Turn the thermostat down in your house (and don't be afraid of the cold). 40

Turn the thermostat down in your house (and don't be afraid of the cold).

iStock

I personally hate the cold, but it seems like a good way to easily lose some extra pounds. According to British researchers, there's a direct link between rising indoor temperatures and increased obesity rates in the U.S. and the U.K. Their study, published in Obesity Reviews, explained that when the body is cold, it produces brown fat, which burns energy to create heat and is different from white fat, which is basically a stockpile of calories. Researchers explained that when people wear light clothing while in a 60 degree Fahrenheit room, they go from burning 100 to burning 200 calories per day (which can result in losing 10-20 lbs. per year!). Just make sure you don't wrap yourself up in too many blankets, because this will completely negate the effect.