Today in our society, excess weight and obesity are widespread issues. With the delectable menu items at our favorite fast food restaurants and larger and larger portions in sit down restaurants and at home, it’s hard to avoid putting on a few extra pounds, and then a few more, and a few more, until suddenly you’re forced to buy a new wardrobe and abandon your favorite “skinny jeans.”

But fashion is not the only result of putting on weight. When we add pounds to our bodies by way of fat, we change our biological systems for the worse. High blood pressure, high cholesterol, heart disease, diabetes, and joint pain are just a few of the effects of being overweight. Some of these maladies cannot be “cured,” but with weight loss, most patients can see dramatic differences in the way their bodies handle these issues. They can live longer, more enjoyable lives–and fit into those skinny jeans too!
The good news is that you can natural weight loss without diet pills or expensive and dangerous surgeries.

With these five natural methods, you’ll be healthier, happier and slimmer in no time:

1. Eat Whole Foods and Say No to Chemicals

We’ve heard it before: eat whole foods. What does this mean? It means, eat foods that have not been modified by chemicals that may harm your body and change your metabolism in yet unknown ways. If you can’t pronounce the ingredients, don’t eat it. Unfortunately, chemicals are a main ingredient in many of our foods today. Stick to whole foods: lots of fruits and vegetables, lean proteins (salmon fillets, chicken breasts, or lean turkey, for meats; or eggs and beans for non-mean proteins), nuts and seeds (try unsalted sunflower seeds!), whole grains (brown rice and quinoa, for example), limited healthy fats (extra virgin olive oil and avocados are great ones!) and it’s OK to have the occasional treat, just keep it chemical-free.

2. Drink More Water

This one is pretty self explanatory: drink more water. Often when we think we are hungry, we’re really just thirsty. And don’t go for soda or coffee. These will not appropriately satisfy your thirst. The majority of our bodies are made up of water (and more specifically, the majority of our brains are water!) so stock up on the clear stuff, and ditch the dark brown sugar water, which will rot your teeth, make you hungrier and pile on the pounds. Water has also been proven to make you feel fuller, so if you’re worried about eating too much at dinner, down a tall glass of water before you dig in.

3. Get a Hobby

When you get home from work, what is the first thing you do? If the answer is sit in front of the TV and eat, you’ve got a problem. You need a hobby–something you do that you enjoy that isn’t food-centric. If you assume there are no hobbies that you’d be interested in, think again. You don’t have to knit sweaters or tinker with cars. You can learn a new language, get a pen pal, learn how to draw, or take an online class. Find an interest that piques your attention and go for it.

4. Move Your Body

Get moving! The truth is, it doesn’t matter what you do, just move. Sure, if you can, get crazy and work up a sweat with a run or a bike ride. But if all you can do at the moment is walk around the block, that’s better than sitting on the couch, right? Little things you can do include parking further away from the store in a parking lot and taking the stairs instead of an elevator. These things add up!

5. Calm Your Mind with Meditation

You might be asking how meditation can help you lose weight. The answer is simple. When we meditate we calm our minds and ideally, achieve a sense of peace that will last us all day. Because the reason for weight gain is often stress-related, a stress-free mind is better able to handle a bad day without reaching for that bowl of ice cream. Sit and meditate for just ten minutes each day and notice how it affects your weight loss. All you need is a timer, a cushion, and a quiet place.

With these five methods in place, you’ll be sure to achieve natural weight loss in no time–no pills or fads necessary!