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If you’re like me, you could stand to lose a few pounds, there are many diet programs that you can read about online or in books that purport to help you get to a healthy weight. It is important, however, to use caution and consult with your doctor before you start on any weight loss program. Some diets are dangerous, and may cause harm to those who blindly follow them. The good news is that there are some safe, natural ways to lose weight and a few of these are presented in the list that follows.

1. Eat Pears

eat pears

In an article published in March 2003 in the journal “Nutrition,” researchers reported that overweight, non-smoking women aged 30 to 50 who ate 3 pears a day for 12 weeks lost more weight than those who had a similar diet but did not eat pears. The average weight loss for the pear group was 2.7 pounds. Pears are a high-fiber food, and they contribute to the feeling of being full. Since you feel full, you are less inclined to overeat.

2. Daily Almonds

eat almonds

Reporting in the “International Journal of Obesity” in November 2003, researchers described their study in which a group of obese adults were able to achieve an 18% reduction in their weight after they ate three ounces of almonds every day for 24 weeks. The almonds were a supplement to a 1000 calorie per day liquid diet. The control group had the same 1000-calorie liquid diet, but instead of almonds they ate wheat crackers as a supplement. The control group achieved only an 11% reduction in weight.

3. Green Tea

drink green tea

According to Dr. Nicholas Perricone, medical researcher and author of the book “The Perricone Weight Loss Diet,” you can lose weight by regularly drinking green tea. If you are a coffee drinker, you can lose weight by replacing coffee with green tea, says Dr. Perricone. The weight loss may be the result of increased metabolic rate. The University of Maryland Medical Center advises, however, that if you have high blood pressure, heart disease, kidney or liver problems or stomach ulcers, you should avoid green tea. In addition, women who are pregnant or breastfeeding should not drink green tea. You should consult your doctor if you have questions about the effects of green tea. Green tea supplement comes in capsules as well as a drinkable tea. You may also see some health benefit from the extract Forskolin. This may include weight loss, lower blood pressure and more energy. Here’s what you should know about forskolin before trying it.

4. Walking

take a walk

According to the Mayo Clinic, if you walk briskly every day for about 30 minutes, you can enhance the weight loss you get from decreasing your daily intake of calories. Walking is a natural form of exercise and just about everyone can safely enjoy it. If, however, you have been leading a sedentary life for a prolonged period of time, you should check with your doctor before you start any kind of walking regimen.

5. Drink More Water

drink more water

In the December 2003 issue of “The Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism,” researchers report that people who drink more water each day, can increase the rate at which they burn calories. According to the researchers, if you increase your daily intake of water by 1.5 liters, then over the course of one year you will burn 17,400 more calories than you would without increasing your consumption of water. This translates to a weight loss of about five pounds.

The many health benefits that you can derive by controlling your weight are well documented. In order to maintain a healthy weight, you don’t have to resort to complex diets. The natural weight loss methods discussed here are easy to implement, and can contribute to your overall well-being.

Donald Milford writes about healthy living and fitness for various online publications.