Do you want to learn how to lose weight and keep it off? Have you starved yourself, lost some weight and then gained it all back? Tried yo-yo dieting and failed? Are you tired of counting calories? What about trying a bunch of different types diets and then plateaued? Although some of these diets work well for some people, when it comes to weight loss, there is NO magic bullet that can substitute for a healthy lifestyle.
In this post I will show you how to lose weight in 5 Simple Steps using a holistic approach to weight loss that also brings the additional benefit of overall health and well-being.
- Avoid Processed Foods and Eat WHOLE Foods
The chemicals and additives in processed foods add up quickly. These toxins if not eliminated successfully, are stored in fat cells leading to weight gain. High fructose corn syrup and artificial sweeteners like aspartame (found in diet foods and drinks) found in many processed foods, also contributes to weight gain. You can click here to read about HFCS and its associated risks and link to obesity and diabetes. The surest way to gain weight is to rely on fast foods and convenient foods even if you are counting calories. The chemical additives are enough to make you gain weight and to create a cycle of constant eating (some of these chemicals keep us from satiating creating a constant feeling of hunger). Avoiding processed foods is possible with the help of meal planning. You can read about it in my blog post here. If you need additional help with meal planning you may also contact us at email@example.com
- Avoid Sodas and Fruit Juices and Hydrate Yourself
Ensure proper hydration by drinking clean filtered water not from a plastic container, if possible We need to drink at least half (in oz) our body weight (in lbs.). Although drinking water is good for you, do not over do this. Some people have been known to actually dehydrate from drinking too much water (it affects your body’s electrolyte balance). Chugging down your daily quota of water intake at one time is not going to help either. Sip it throughout the day.
Avoiding plastic containers will also reduce your exposure to BPA which has also been implicated in weight gain. Avoid sodas and packaged fruit juices both of which lead to huge insulin spikes which result in subsequent weight gain. A can of soda contains ~39g of sugar. The allowed amount of sugar per day by the World Health Organization is less than 25g. A can of soda is almost double that and results in huge insulin spikes. Additional contribution to both obesity and diabetes from the High Fructose Corn Syrup, often used to sweeten sodas, does not help. Ditch the soda! Try to drink water flavored with organic berries instead. Many people are taking to Kombucha and sparkling water to help control their cravings for soda. I like to drink water with lemon instead of soda. If you cannot drink plain water, try these for now. Whatever you do, ditch that soda! Properly hydrating is key to controlling sugar cravings that contribute to excess calories and insulin spikes.
- Balance Your Blood Sugars
Eat Low on the Glycemic Index (http://www.health.harvard.edu/staying-healthy/healthy-diet-is-glycemic-index-the-key)- avoiding foods that are high on glycemic index will help control insulin spikes that lead to both diabetes and obesity. The Harvard Medical School lists the GI for most common fruits, veggies and other foods. You can click here to find out more.
- Eat Healthy Fats and Avoid Low Fat and Trans Fats
Eat healthy fats like organic grass fed butter, coconut oil, avocados, organic extra virgin cold pressed olive oil, walnuts and almonds and other organic nuts and seeds like flax seed and wild caught salmon (omega 3). Low fat foods are laden with sugar and in fact contribute to weight gain. Avoid cooking with vegetable oils which turn into trans- fats upon heating. Even packaged foods that say zero trans fats have at least 0.5 g or less trans fats per serving. An excellent resource on how healthy fats promote weight loss is the book by Ann Louise Gittleman, “Eat Fat Lost Weight” and the “Fat Flush Plan”. Healthy fats help satiate and chewing your food well has the same effect-optimizes digestion to provide proper nutrient absorption which has a role in controlling cravings and hunger (among other benefits, I can do an entire blog post on the benefits of chewing your food). For our weight loss purposes, properly chewing is a helpful tool. At least 30 chews per bite but at least do half of that!
- Sleep, Relax and Exercise
Don’t forget the importance of adequate sleep and exercise and to keep stress at bay. The stress hormone cortisol can pile on belly fat. Meditating and praying, deep breathing, journaling, talking to your best friend, going on nature walks will all help reduce stress.
All the above lifestyle changes will provide your body with all the raw materials it needs to keep you healthy and at an optimum weight. Skinny is not healthy either. You can find our the % body fat that is optimum for healthy individuals by accessing this comprehensive guide from Sports Fitness Advisor by clicking here.
Ideally the waist circumference should measure <40inches for men and <35 inches for women.
Most of us can benefit from following the above lifestyle recommendations. Some people will notice a huge difference just from giving up the sodas and sugary snacks alone. Because of our unique individual body types, some people may see results in as little as a week where others of us may not get past the point that we would like to overcome in our weight loss journey. If you feel like you have put your best foot forward and are not seeing the results you want, it may be time to consult with a practitioner that can guide you better. Often times, there are hormonal imbalances that need to be addressed. However, there is no substitute for a adopting a healthy lifestyle. It can only help!
If you need additional help with implementing these lifestyle skills, do not hesitate to contact us at (919) 964-0363 or e-mail us at (firstname.lastname@example.org). We will be happy to serve you by tailoring out health coaching to best meet your needs.
I would love to hear your thoughts, any additional tips you have to share! Let us know how these suggestions work out for you!