Whether your weight is like a yoyo or can never lose the last five pounds, what is the best way to meet your goal? Weight loss can be so confusing these days, paleo, low-fat, diet supplements, juicing…the options are endless. The question to ask is how long do I want to lose the weight for? If your answer is forever, this is my recommendation. Approach weight loss in order to lose weight in a way that will healthily reduce overall body fat (not muscle) and maintain the weight-loss, with these three rules.
1. A reduction in daily calories
2. An increase in whole and unprocessed foods.
From there, you can design many plans based on what works for your life. Some important factors that will help you succeed are:
1. Keep your sugar intake low and avoid wheat based products which can help to reduce visceral fat around the belly, reduce overall inflammation as well as curb hunger because blood sugar will not be jumping all over the board confusing your brain.
2. Increase vegetables and other plant-based whole foods which offer vital minerals and vitamins as well as provide filling meal options with lower calorie content than processed and animal based products.
3. If you eat meat and eggs, buy organic. Why? This is a BIG one. Non-organic meat comes from animals raised on hormones, antibiotics and other toxins. When you ingest the hormones in the meat, those hormones interrupt your metabolic processes. The technical name is endocrine disruptor. The antibiotics that you ingest kill your natural gut flora (the good bacteria) which allows your food to digest as well as sets the foundation for the majority of the neurons in your body which reside in your gut.
4. Buy organic produce whenever possible. While you can wash your produce, many fruits and veggies are now grown with the pesticides in the seed versus sprayed onto the plant. If you cannot buy 100% organic, try to follow the dirty dozen list whenever possible.
1. Visit www.myplate.gov. Go to the super tracker tab. This will allow you to create a profile and input your daily food intake. It is an easy way to see how many calories you should be taking in for your age, height and weight. Reduce the amount by 300 calories per day and you should lose about 1 lb/week. If you try to lose more than that, it will likely come right back. The tortoise wins the race in weight loss, so go slowly.
2. Make chicken soup each week from a 2-3lb. organic chicken (about $12-$14 dollars). Have the butcher chop it up well so the bones are broken and the marrow can seep out into the broth. Fill the bottom of a stock pot with chopped onion, chopped celery and chipped carrots, 3 bay leaves, salt and a bunch of herbs (I like thyme, marjoram, sage and oregano). Put the whole chicken in metal straining pot within a stock pot Fill the pot with water until the chicken is covered by about 1-2 inches. Slow simmer it for 3- 5 hours. Put the straining pot out with the chicken in it, strip all of the meat off of it, throw the meat back into the soup and VOILA, lunch and dinner for the week. Store your soup in wide mouthed mason jars in the freezer (leave 1.5 inches of space at the top so the jar does not crack). The soup is filled with fat and protein. Bone broth based soups help repair intestinal damage and provides a filling and nourishing meal. Don’t be afraid of the fat, fat is good for you if it comes from a healthful source. It also does not raise your blood sugar so it is superior to carbohydrates as long as you don’t go overboard. Fat provides more energy than carbs and protein, 9 calories per gram versus 4 calories per gram so you just need to eat less quantity than you would if you were eating carbs. However, fat satiates the body faster than carbs so you should be fuller faster.
3. Eat salads with a little protein on top (meat, nuts, seeds, beans) and a homemade dressing. Oil and Vinegar are easy but there are many options out there for variety.
4. EAT WHOLE FOOD! I know that is daunting when you don’t have a lot of time. On the weekends, make a batch of soup, wash and chop up your veggies, make a batch of quinoa and boil some eggs. Throughout the week, you can grab and go if you do a little prep on the weekend!
5. GET UP AND DO SOMETHING! The fastest way to increase your health and lose weight is to move your body. It not only burns energy (calories) but it will increase your metabolism which means you burn more even when you rest. Long term studies show people that just walk enjoy better health and mental capacity well into their late life. So, commit to walking 30 minutes three times a week to start. If you can become comfortable with that (do it on your lunch break if you can) then you might add in some weight/resistance training because adding muscle mass is the best way to up your metabolism.
Chop up those veggies and check out my favorite salad dressing recipe below!
4 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1 tbsp red wine vinegar
2 tbsp dry white wine
1 tbsp whole grain mustard
1 tsp Dijon mustard
Salt and pepper to taste
(Try this over roast chicken and fresh greens)