A Healthy Way to Drop 15 Pounds in 50 Days

For overweight or obese people, losing 15 pounds may yield significant health benefits -- including a lowered risk for heart disease and diabetes -- and it can boost your self confidence. “Overweight” and “obese” are defined by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention as a body mass index from 25 to 29.9 for overweight and more than 30 for obese. You can lose 15 pounds -- or more -- in 50 days by embracing the healthy lifestyle changes.

Cut Excess Calories

Cutting calories is critical to weight-loss success. According to the Harvard School of Public Health, sugary drinks such as sodas and fruit juices add unnecessary calories to your diet and inches to your waistline. Skip the sugar-laden beverages and instead reach for water. Fat is energy dense; when you consume more fat and less carbohydrates and protein, you add more calories to your diet. Choose low-fat or no-fat foods over their full-fat counterparts. Find ways to eat more fruits and vegetables. Including more fruits and vegetables in your diet will help curb your intake of more fattening foods.

Healthy Eating

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Small changes can add up to big results over time. Switch to whole-grain instead of refined breads. Whole-grain breads contain more fiber and other nutrients, which are removed during processing. Consume healthy fats and oils -- such as omega-3 fats, which are found in fish, and monounsaturated fats, which are found in olive oil. All types of fat are energy dense, so use fat sparingly. Fast food is cheap and tastes good, but it is often loaded with excess fat, calories and sodium. Focus instead on fresh, home-prepared meals.

Exercise Factor

Exercise is important for helping you to lose weight and for your general health and well-being. You can get great exercise without going broke; use body-weight resistance exercises, such as situps or pushups, to tone your body. Walking more during the day can be an effective way to burn calories. Take the stairs instead of the elevator or park your car farther away from your destination. A great way to track your walking progress is to buy a pedometer -- a device that measures how many steps you take during the day. Aim for 10,000 steps per day to maximize your cardiovascular fitness.

Maximize Your Health

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Embracing a healthier lifestyle can add years to your life. Eating a vegetarian, plant-based diet has been shown to be healthy. Vegetarian diets tend to be rich in beneficial nutrients, such as fiber and vitamins, and lower in unhealthy saturated fats. A 2010 research study published in the “Annals of Internal Medicine” showed that consuming a vegetarian diet led to a lower mortality rate compared to an animal-based diet. Eating a vegetarian diet may help prevent heart disease and certain forms of cancer. Consult a dietitian for a diet plan customized for your needs.