If you're carrying around more weight than you should, it's time you get serious about getting rid of it. Not only do the extra pounds weigh on your self-image and confidence, but obesity leads to much more serious issues, like the increased risk of developing diabetes, heart disease, and even cancer. 

If you're like many of us, weight loss doesn't come easy. There are physical and emotional ties that come with following a weight loss plan and more often than not, we end up feeling defeated in the end. 

Because weight plays a key role on your total health, here are four ways you can beat the weight loss woes and achieve your ideal body weight once and for all:

  1. Cut out the main culprits. We're talking about processed and packaged foods you find in your cabinets and pantry: crackers, chips, bread, cookies, cereal, white rice, and pasta, to name a few. Instead, opt for real, whole foods, like fresh fruits, vegetables, and lean meats. Each meal should consist of a fresh salad, lean meat, and fresh vegetables and your snacks should be fresh fruits, hummus with vegetables, and healthy fats, like avocados and natural nut butters.
  2. Show your thyroid a little extra TLC. Low thyroid function is one of the most common causes of weight gain or even the inability to lose weight. If you suffer from weight gain, brain fog, cold sensitivities, fatigue, dry skin or hair loss, chances are your thyroid function is very low. Try supplementing with iodine, the most important thyroid-supporting mineral, or check with your doctor about bioidentical thyroid treatment. 
  3. Don't just exercise, do the right exercises that encourage weight loss. Simply walking every day may not do the trick for you. Instead, add high-intensity exercises such as running or sprinting, as well as strength training to your exercise regimen. The bursts of sprints will help your body burn fat, while strength training will help tone muscles.
  4. Follow a strict meal plan. When you write out and plan each and every meal or snack you eat, your chances of losing weight are much more likely simply because you're prepared. If you don't know what you'll be eating for breakfast, lunch or dinner, or don't have anything prepped in advance, chances are you're going to reach for something quick and easy, like a drive-through meal or a sandwich. The 28-Day Slim Down is a nutritionist-designed and guided weight management program that not only offers a complete 28-day meal plan, but also the recipes and guidance to go along with it. If you're serious about dropping the weight, the 28-Day Slim Down could be the solution to jump start your journey.

Don't wait another day. With the holidays still in the distance, there's time to get started on your weight loss plan today.