20 Home Remedies for Weight Loss

An estimated 25 percent of Americans are overweight. See more weight loss tips pictures.
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Diet. Mention that little four-letter word to any woman anywhere in the world and you'll get the same reaction -- disgust. If you really want to know the intensity of feeling behind the word, order a slice of cheesecake, and eat it in front of a woman who has been on a diet for a few weeks. Shouldn't be too hard to find one -- about 40 percent of women are dieting at any given moment. You're likely to end up with heel marks on your forehead and a plate of half-eaten cheesecake in your lap. And you thought women were the weaker sex. Not when it comes to dessert!

Battle of the Bulge

According to recent statistics, more than 97.1 million Americans are overweight. That's an estimated 25 percent of the population. And the numbers are almost equally divided between men and women; 46.9 million of them are women and 50.2 million of them are men.

Because of the alarming number of adults and kids packing on the pounds, Americans are discovering that traditional diets don't work. In fact, the four-letter word that caused so much angst for women over the years is getting the boot. The latest thinking on losing weight is that you don't have to deprive yourself to shed the pounds. It's simply a matter of using your noodle (the one on your shoulders, not on your plate) to learn how to eat healthfully. Making use of readily accessible home remedies is one way to get your diet off to the right start.

Eating smart and exercising are your best bets to paring down to a healthy weight. For most people that means making a complete lifestyle change -- not one that means no more cheesecake, ever, but one that knows how to incorporate that cheesecake into an overall healthy eating style.

Are You or Aren't You?

So how do you know if you're overweight or obese? First you need to calculate your body mass index (BMI). This is the method the government uses to determine who's at a normal weight, who's overweight, and who's obese. To get your BMI, divide your weight in pounds by 2.2 to convert your weight to kilograms. Then divide your height in inches by 39.37 to convert it to meters. Multiply your height in meters by itself, and then divide your weight in kilograms by that number. Say you weigh 150 pounds and you're 5'7" (67 inches). Your BMI figures would look like this:

150 divided by 2.2 = 68.2

67 inches divided by 39.37 = 1.70

1.70 x 1.70 = 2.89

68.2 divided by 2.89 = 23.59

A normal BMI is between 19 and 25. A BMI over 25 is considered overweight. And a BMI over 30 is considered obese. 

Weighing the Risks

Being overweight or obese zaps your energy level and can make everyday tasks an ordeal. But carrying around excess pounds also is a risk factor for some serious conditions. The National Institutes of Health says being overweight or obese can increase your risk for diabetes, heart disease, high cholesterol, stroke, high blood pressure, gallbladder disease, osteoarthritis, sleep apnea, and some forms of cancer.

Your kitchen holds many home remedies that can help you avoid extra calories and lose pounds. Go to the next page to learn how to use common kitchen tools to help your diet.

Dieting can be tricky business -- seek out all the information and support you can when embarking on a weight-loss program. Visit the links below to learn more.

This information is solely for informational purposes. IT IS NOT INTENDED TO PROVIDE MEDICAL ADVICE. Neither the Editors of Consumer Guide (R), Publications International, Ltd., the author nor publisher take responsibility for any possible consequences from any treatment, procedure, exercise, dietary modification, action or application of medication which results from reading or following the information contained in this information. The publication of this information does not constitute the practice of medicine, and this information does not replace the advice of your physician or other health care provider. Before undertaking any course of treatment, the reader must seek the advice of their physician or other health care provider.

Home Remedy Treatments for Weight Loss

dUsing non-stick cooking spray instead of vegetable oil can save you 27 grams of fat.
dUsing non-stick cooking spray instead of vegetable oil can save you 27 grams of fat.
Publications International, Ltd.

You may think that the best way to cure being overweight is to stay out of the kitchen, but that's simply not true. In fact, the best thing you can do for yourself in your quest to lose weight is to create a healthy kitchen. Some of the best home remedies come from stocking your kitchen with healthy foods and fat-reducing utensils that will help you shed the pounds.

Home Remedies from the Cupboard

Fat-separating pitcher. When preparing stocks and soups, you can save a load of fat by letting the fat separate from the flavorful stock. A fat-separating pitcher lets you pour liquid from the bottom, avoiding the fat that floats to the top during cooling.

Indoor grill. Grilling foods allows fat to drip away and gives you a healthier piece of meat.

Kitchen scale. Taking some time to measure your portions will help you learn what's too much. Get a scale that measures in ounces. You'll be shocked to learn that 3 ounces of chicken is only about the size of a deck of cards.

Low-fat cookbook. Get yourself a cookbook that focuses on healthier cooking. You'll be amazed at how you can make some of your favorite foods lighter without sacrificing flavor.

Nonstick cooking spray. Spraying your pans with nonstick cooking spray instead of coating them with vegetable oil can save you 27 grams of fat and 230 calories.

Nonstick pots and pans. One of the greatest gifts you can give yourself if you're trying to lose weight is a set of nonstick cookware. It minimizes the need for added fat when you cook. Be sure to remember to use nonmetal utensils when you use your nonstick pans.

Olive oil. Getting more monounsaturated fats into your diet can help keep your cholesterol under control and may help you shed pounds. Because it's mostly monounsaturated fat, olive oil is a much healthier choice than, say, butter.

Steamer. Steaming your vegetables instead of frying them or cooking them in loads of lard will help cut back on many calories.

Strainer. Straining your ground meat allows those fat drippings to end up in the trash instead of on your thighs.

Home Remedies from the Drawer

Egg separator. One way you can cut the fat in your foods is by substituting two egg whites for one whole egg in your recipes. And skipping the yolks will also help cut your cholesterol intake.

Kitchen scissors. Use this handy tool to cut away fat from meat and chicken.

You might think of the refrigerator as a den of diet-busting temptations, but there are many home remedies to be found in that appliance to help you shed the pounds. Go to the next page to learn how to use common foods to help your diet.

Dieting can be tricky business -- seek out all the information and support you can when embarking on a weight-loss program. Visit the links below to learn more.

This information is solely for informational purposes. IT IS NOT INTENDED TO PROVIDE MEDICAL ADVICE. Neither the Editors of Consumer Guide (R), Publications International, Ltd., the author nor publisher take responsibility for any possible consequences from any treatment, procedure, exercise, dietary modification, action or application of medication which results from reading or following the information contained in this information. The publication of this information does not constitute the practice of medicine, and this information does not replace the advice of your physician or other health care provider. Before undertaking any course of treatment, the reader must seek the advice of their physician or other health care provider.

More Home Remedy Treatments for Weight Loss

Fruit is full of vitamins and minerals, and it helps to satisfy that sweet tooth.
Fruit is full of vitamins and minerals, and it helps to satisfy that sweet tooth.
Publications International, Ltd.

When you're trying to lose weight, you want to make sure your refrigerator is stocked with healthy foods that will help you shed pounds. Here are some weight loss home remedies that will support your diet goals.

Home Remedies from the Freezer

Frozen yogurt. Want some ice cream but don't want the fat? Try some frozen yogurt. You can indulge your sweet tooth without worrying about the bulge.

Low-fat frozen dinners. There are loads of healthy frozen dinners on the market these days. Stock your freezer with some in-a-hurry healthy choices, and you won't be as tempted to zip through the fast-food drive-through.

Home Remedies from the Refrigerator

Applesauce. When you're baking muffins or cakes, substitute applesauce for half of the oil, margarine, or butter. If your recipe calls for 1/2 cup vegetable oil, use 1/4 cup applesauce and 1/4 cup oil.

Evaporated skim milk. This is a great cream substitute. You can use it in everything from recipes that call for cream to your coffee.

Extra-lean ground beef. You can shave off some fat by choosing leaner varieties of ground beef. Look for beef that says 85 percent lean or higher on the package.

Fruit. Fruit gives you a natural sweet fix and is loaded with good-for-you vitamins and minerals. Some good choices for your fruit basket include apricots, cantaloupe, grapefruit, oranges, peaches, and strawberries.

Low-fat salad dressing. There are many flavorful, low-fat salad dressings available. And a low-fat version can save you fat and calories.

Sharp cheddar cheese. Using a little of flavorful cheeses such as sharp cheddar in your recipes will help you lose fat without losing taste.

Skim milk. Whole milk has 8 grams of fat per cup, skim milk has none. And you get just as much calcium and vitamin D. If you've been drinking the heavier stuff, it may take a while to get used to the different texture (skim milk is more watery). Try going from whole milk to two percent milk and slowly making your way to skim.

Vegetables. These are near-miracle foods for losing weight and staying healthy. The American Dietetic Association recommends getting at least five servings of vegetables a day. Some smart choices: broccoli, carrots, potatoes, spinach, sweet potatoes, tomatoes.

Do's and Don'ts

  • DON'T try to be Cindy Crawford. Only a very small portion of the population is meant to look like a supermodel. Be sure that you are realistic when you think about weight loss. Aim for a weight that is healthy for you.
  • DO be patient. Though you wish with all your might that those ten pounds would slough off overnight, it just won't happen. A healthy weight-loss goal for a week is about 1/2 pound. And give yourself time to adjust your habits. It takes time to make a change.
  • DO be kind. Don't belittle yourself if you indulge in a dessert once in a while. Treat yourself every now and then and those "forbidden" foods won't be so tempting.
  • DON'T count calories. You'll drive yourself crazy if you keep tabs on every morsel that enters your mouth. Just learn how to make healthy choices and watch your portion sizes.
  • DO give up the alcohol. The average American gets ten percent of his or her calories from alcohol. Think of the savings if you didn't have a cocktail.
  • DO eat every meal. Skipping a meal will not help you lose weight. In fact, it may slow down your metabolism and set you up for scarfing down a plate of brownies in a moment of weakness.
  • DO keep an eye out for fat. Eating less fat is crucial for a healthier diet. It helps keep your weight down and keeps your body healthier, reducing your risk of heart disease and some cancers. Why is fat such a problem for people trying to lose weight? Fat packs in nine calories per gram, while carbohydrates and protein have only four calories per gram. That means the more fat you eat, the more calories you pile on, and the greater chance you have for putting on a few pounds. The American Dietetic Association recommends getting around 30 percent of your calories from fat.
  • DO seek support. A group of friends or an organized outfit such as Weight Watchers can be vital to meeting your weight-loss goals. They can provide accountability and caring, and they can help you learn how to make healthier choices.
  • DON'T be fooled by magic cures. There is only one proven way to lose weight -- eating a healthy, low-fat diet, and exercising. If anyone promises that you'll lose a pound a day, that a "miracle" food will help you lose pounds, that you need an artificial food or pill to lose weight, that a diet or gadget can get rid of fat from one part of the body, or says that you have to eat their organization's food to lose weight, don't buy into it.

Keep these home remedies in mind to help keep your diet on track. Remember, there are no magic bullets when it comes to dieting. Stay active, eat a sensible diet, and seek out the help and support you need to stick to your diet goals.

Dieting can be tricky business -- seek out all the information and support you can when embarking on a weight-loss program. Visit the links below to learn more.

ABOUT THE AUTHORS:

Timothy Gower is a freelance writer and editor whose work has appeared in many publications, including Reader's Digest, Prevention, Men's Health, Better Homes and Gardens, The New York Times, and The Los Angeles Times. The author of four books, Gower is also a contributing editor for Health magazine.

Alice Lesch Kelly is a health writer based in Boston. Her work has been published in magazines such as Shape, Fit Pregnancy, Woman's Day, Reader's Digest, Eating Well, and Health. She is the co-author of three books on women's health.

Linnea Lundgren has more than 12 years experience researching, writing, and editing for newspapers and magazines. She is the author of four books, including Living Well With Allergies.

Michele Price Mann is a freelance writer who has written for such publications as Weight Watchers and Southern Living magazines. Formerly assistant health and fitness editor at Cooking Light magazine, her professional passion is learning and writing about health.

ABOUT THE CONSULTANTS:

Ivan Oransky, M.D., is the deputy editor of The Scientist. He is author or co-author of four books, including The Common Symptom Answer Guide, and has written for publications including the Boston Globe, The Lancet, and USA Today. He holds appointments as a clinical assistant professor of medicine and as adjunct professor of journalism at New York University.

David J. Hufford, Ph.D., is university professor and chair of the Medical Humanities Department at Pennsylvania State University's College of Medicine. He also is a professor in the departments of Neural and Behavioral Sciences and Family and Community Medicine. Dr. Hufford serves on the editorial boards of several journals, including Alternative Therapies in Health & Medicine and Explore.

This information is solely for informational purposes. IT IS NOT INTENDED TO PROVIDE MEDICAL ADVICE. Neither the Editors of Consumer Guide (R), Publications International, Ltd., the author nor publisher take responsibility for any possible consequences from any treatment, procedure, exercise, dietary modification, action or application of medication which results from reading or following the information contained in this information. The publication of this information does not constitute the practice of medicine, and this information does not replace the advice of your physician or other health care provider. Before undertaking any course of treatment, the reader must seek the advice of their physician or other health care provider.