Many people get healthy by making small lifestyle changes over time. These small changes add up to big results, but it takes a long time to feel the full effect. If you need to lose weight and get healthy fast–especially if your doctor tells you to do so because of health issues–you need to make more drastic changes to your life. Taking this leap can be scary and require a lot of dedication, but once you see the type of changes that it makes, you’ll be more motivated to persevere.
Eliminate meat from your diet. Dr. John McDougall and Dr. Joel Fuhrman state that the root of many medical problems is in the food that you eat. Meat–and poultry and fish–is a large part of the problem. Both doctors advocate following a vegan diet, though the details vary. If you do choose to continue to eat meat, choose organic versions, which have fewer toxins.
Choose whole grains over refined grains. Whole grains have additional fiber which helps you to stay full longer. They also have more nutrition than refined grains.
Drink water as your primary beverage choice. Your body needs water to function properly. If you currently drink juice or sugary sodas, you’ll quickly drop a few pounds simply by switching to water. Even low- or no-calorie beverages can hinder your progress, so swap them out for water.
Exercise for an hour, five days a week. Standard advice usually says to exercise for just 30 minutes, five times a week. This can help you maintain your weight and even lose some weight, but you’ll see quicker changes if you exercise for longer periods of time.
Add an hour of sleep. Many people don’t get enough sleep, which can cause problems during the daytime. Your body needs this time to recover. The “Good Housekeeping” website suggests that with adding just one hour of sleep, you could lose 14 lbs. over a year, even if you don’t make any other changes.