Social media and advertising have often been unhelpful in teaching us reliable, healthy ways to lose weight quickly. From “detox” products like teas, to dietary programs that basically encourage us to starve, it’s tough to know what’s right for our bodies. Fortunately, the truth is very simple. Follow these five sensible tips, and you can lose ten pounds or more in a month.

Exercise

There are definitely supportive supplements out there that couldn’t be considered your average weight loss pills, but there’s no replacement for healthy eating habits and regular exercise. If you’re currently sedentary, begin with light exercise, such as a daily walk. Work your way up to moderate exercise (jogging, sports, power yoga) for a minimum of two hours per week.

Cardiovascular exercise is very effective in burning calories, but don’t forget to add strength training for healthier joints and muscle tone. Aim for mixed sessions of about 30-40 minutes five times a week. 

Start counting calories

If you reduce calories while ramping up exercise, you are sure to lose weight. The key is to avoid going too low with your calories, as this is under-nourishing and not sustainable in the long term. Generally speaking, women should eat 1,500 calories per day for weight loss, while men looking to lose should aim for 2,000.

It’s helpful here to use an app that can help you meet this goal. Many apps will tell you about the calorie content of a wide range of foods, and track your daily intake. 

Try mindful eating

What’s going on while you’re eating? If you eat because you’re emotional, bored, or busy, you can lose the ability to pay attention to hunger signals. Hunger signals not only tell us when it’s time to eat, but when it’s time to stop.

It may take some time, but eating more slowly can help us regain the sense of when we’re full. With every bite you take, make special note of the flavor, temperature, texture, and source of your food. This can also help you make healthier choices.

Cut out these two things

This one might be difficult for some, but it’s easy to understand, and definitely leads to weight loss: stop eating processed foods and anything with added sugar.

Packaged chips, cakes, and cookies, soft drinks, crackers, breads, and more are sabotaging your weight loss. Opt for fresh foods, and make every Sunday meal prep day. 

Get more fiber

Being on a diet when you’re hungry is the worst, and it’s the reason many of us don’t stick with it. If you want to feel more full and satisfied, fiber is the way to go.

Have a bowl of oatmeal for breakfast, and replace much of your meat with fiber-rich beans. And don’t forget – pretty much any whole, fresh fruit or vegetable is a good source of fiber.

Cut out the noise and the scams, and lose weight the smart way. While a short-term goal of one month is a great start, you want to employ strategies that help keep you on the path to a healthier, slimmer life. Whole foods, exercise, fiber, and mindfulness pave the way.