A lot of people put on weight over the winter months. It’s nothing to be ashamed of, and with a little effort the weight can come off.

Whether you are battling the dreaded freshman 15, you just want to look good on a bathing suit or you are trying to maintain a healthy weight, these 3 tips for losing weight this summer can help.

Motivation is key to any weight loss plan, you have to truly want it and commit or you won’t be able to stick to it in the long run.

Tip 1 – Walk

That’s right walking is a free, natural and effective way to begin shedding those unwanted pounds. If you live in a city choosing to walk instead of riding a bus or driving is an excellent way to get in a little extra work out time. This may not always be possible so make sure to set aside an hour or so a day to take a walk.

Getting off the sidewalk and finding some local hiking trails will challenge your balance, and walking them can burn close to double the calories as on pavement. Taking a brisk walk, not a slow walk, amps up the workout intensity and therefore will help in cardiovascular fitness as well as weight loss.

Tip 2 – Grapefruit

Adding grapefruits and its juice to your diet can not only aid in weight loss, but is also extremely healthy. Many studies have been done regarding this amazing little fruit, and have found that either eating 1/2 a grapefruit or drinking a 6 ounce glass of the juice before meals can up a person’s weight loss with only a small amount of exercise added.

Grapefruit is not only a help in losing weight, but also in keeping healthy. The fruit is a great source of vitamin C which studies have found supports the immune system, and can help reduce the risk of stroke, heart disease and cancer. And that’s not all, grapefruit contains high quantities of potassium, fiber and vitamin A.

The juice, however, does not contain the fiber. And added advantage of having grapefruit on your diet is they have shown to aid in the repairing of of DNA that has been damaged in prostate cancer cells in humans. Grapefruit has long been a popular food for dieting, and studies and research has proven how effective it truly is.

Everyone on the diet train wants the pounds to come off FAST, and want those fast results to be HUGE. This just doesn’t happen, especially if it is being done the right, healthy way. So to keep on track and not get discouraged:

Tip 3 – Set Realistic Goals

When anyone starts a diet with big numbers of weight loss in mind they set themselves up to fail when the goals just can’t be reached.

When realistic goals are set instead of those impossibly huge ones some diets promise in short amounts of time reaching them is possible so you are able to feel good about your progress not like you failed when you can’t achieve the impossible goals.

A very realistic goal to set yourself up for success is losing about a pound a week, 6 pounds a month or for a year 60 pounds. These goals are achievable and will help keep you motivated when you reach them.