I’m frequently asked for suggestions about long-term weight loss success and how to lose weight quickly, so I’m giving you the low-down, in no particular order.
These seven tips will help you jump-start your effort to lose weight while providing you with the best chance at keeping the weight off long-term:
1) Reduce Your Toxic Load
Most of us don’t realize how many toxins we take in on a daily basis, which “clog up” our bodies and not only prevent us from losing weight, but place us at extremely high risk of major disease.
When our bodies are busy trying to protect us from toxins, it has no time or resources left to filter out fat and waste. In addition, our body, as a protective mechanism, stores toxins in our fat cells, making those fat cells grow larger with each new batch of toxins that comes in. And, one of the most common places for storage is in our abdomen. This is why, as we age, we tend to grow larger around our mid-section and it becomes more and more difficult to lose weight in this particular area.
Toxins also wreak havoc on our hormones – many of which regulate weight – increasing our body mass and making it even more difficult to shed extra pounds.
Recommendations To Lose Weight By Reducing Your Toxic Load:
- No smoking.
- No drugs.
- No unnecessary over-the-counter medications.
- No unnecessary prescription medications.
These things prevent the waste removal mechanisms in our body from functioning at optimal levels – the liver and the lymph system. And, smoking constricts our blood vessels, which further prevents weight loss.
- Use only non-toxic or low-toxic products on your body and in your home.
Visit ewg.org (Environmental Working Group) and use their “Skin Deep Guide to Cosmetics” and “Guide to Healthy Cleaning” search engines to see how your products rank. If a product is not listed on their site, you can manually enter the ingredients found on your product’s ingredient list and the EWG system will provide you with a score and explanation of the risks of each ingredient. Do this for every product you use including your personal care products as well as those used in and around your home, including your laundry detergent.
- Reduce your intake of packaged foods.
Most packaged foods contain a vast amount of hidden toxins. This is due to inadequate government regulations on food suppliers including manufacturers being allowed to conduct their own “safety testing” – a product of the pervasive amount of corporate donations to lawmakers.
2) Reset Your Metabolic Rate With A Cleanse Or Fast
Many people are suffering from a condition known as metabolic syndrome and don’t even realize it. This “catch all” umbrella of medical symptoms and conditions is directly related to high blood pressure, high blood sugar, an imbalance of good and bad cholesterol levels, and obesity, and often results in a heart attack, stroke, diabetes, and myriad other horrific, and life-threatening health issues.
Recommendations To Lose Weight By Reseting Your Metabolic Rate With A Cleanse Or Fast (with physician approval and/or monitoring ONLY):
- Intermittent fasting.
There are many daily and/or periodic options for achieving the metabolic reset achieved via intermittent fasting. I have found that one of the easiest ways is to consume your last meal of the day at approximately 4:00-5:00 p.m., and then consume the next meal between 8:00-10:00 a.m. the following morning, providing the 16-17 hour fasting window that experts recommend. However, many people swear by and prefer alternative methods which can be found on blogs or in books specifically written about intermittent fasting.
- Annual or bi-annual juice cleanse.
Juice cleanses are awesome at not only resetting your metabolic rate, but also at ridding your body of the toxins mentioned in my first suggestion above. And to do it in the easiest and healthiest way possible, I absolutely recommend following a program and preparing the juices yourself. This will provide you with the most nutrient-dense juices, and you’ll be able to tailor each juice to your own taste.
The book I have recommended for several years now is The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Juice Fasting. It’s my favorite, even though I’ve purchased others. The reason being is that it literally walks you through every single step of the process and gives specific instructions for a variety of juice fasts, depending on the length of time you have to commit to a cleanse (e.g.: 1-day, 3-day, 7-day, 30-day, etc…). The authors also provide multiple options for the juices that they recommended at each meal, so you can pick and choose which juice sounds more appealing to you. And they do this with the day and meal in mind, based on your body’s needs at that time, and where you’re at in the detox phase. This is done to maximize the level of detox, while minimizing any unpleasant symptoms from the toxins that are ultimately released into your blood stream when you perform a fast or detox of any kind. The authors also offer great advice regarding how to speed up the removal of these toxins through the use of supplements, liquid tonics, and other natural methods.
3) Lift Weights (with physician approval ONLY):
I can hear all of the women reading this right now, ”buuuut, I don’t want to get all bulky and look like a man.” To that I say, please refer to my pictures and videos. Do I look bulky? Do I look like a man? Hey, hey now… be nice. But seriously, I have been lifting weights since I was fifteen years old and I can tell you, without a doubt, that next to becoming vegan, it was literally the best decision that I’ve ever made in my life, for my health, weight, and overall well-being. Rest assured that it is nearly impossible to “bulk up” as a woman, unless you’re actually trying to do so and consuming an obscene amount of protein, supplements, and possibly even steroids.
The fact is that all the cardio in the world will not provide the same weight loss benefits and increased metabolism that weight lifting offers. When we have lean muscle in our body, our metabolism works 24/7. When we do cardio, our metabolism only works while we’re working out. Muscle burns fat! It is just that simple.
In addition, when we maintain muscle tone, particularly in our legs, lower back, and glutes (our butt), we’re less likely to suffer back injuries and end up with the stiffness, aches, and pains that most people attribute to “just a normal part of getting older.” It’s unnecessary and absolutely NOT NORMAL.
Recommendations To Lose Weight By Lifting Weights (with physician approval ONLY):
- Work with a professional trainer or use an at home program led by a professional trainer.
If you’ve never lifted weights before or have not been active for some time, WORK WITH A PROFESSIONAL TRAINER! At the very least, I recommend that you follow an at-home training program led by a professional, and one that offers options for weight lifting virgins. One that’s awesome and affordable (especially compared to a gym membership and personal trainer), is ChaLEAN Extreme. I’ve used this program myself and I highly recommend it because all of the workouts feature at least one person who is performing the beginner’s version of each movement and lift. The workouts are also relatively short, with most lasting around 35 minutes from start to finish (that includes the warm up and cool down segments), so it’s easy to fit into a busy day. And nothing works your back side like Chalene’s bowling lunges. As she says (and as you’ll see and hear), “oooh, weeee.”
4) Keep Your Body Hydrated
People have no idea how dehydrated they actually are until they begin drinking enough water on a consistent basis. I know that I didn’t. It’s like that old saying (or maybe it was just my saying), “crazy people don’t realize that they’re crazy.” LOL!
So, why is it so important? Well, our bodies require water for literally every human system to function, and water makes up about 60 percent of our total weight. Additionally, our cells require water to function properly. Therefore, water carries digested nutrients to our cells. Water is also responsible for the flushing of toxins out of our vital organs and is necessary for our natural waste removal processes via urination and bowel movements (there’s that toxin removal issue again).
However, we lose water every single day through the simple processes of waste removal, perspiring, and breathing. Add to that all of the caffeine that most people consume daily, which further dehydrates the body, and you’ve got a recipe for disaster, or at the very least, lack of energy and an increased waist line.
Recommendation To Lose Weight By Keeping Your Body Hydrated:
- Drink half your weight in ounces every day.
The old adage of eight glasses a day has been proven inadequate because everyone is not the same; you should be drinking half your body weight in ounces every day. This means that if you are 150 pounds, you should be consuming at least 75 ounces (one half of your weight) of water each and every day. If you find yourself in extremely hot weather conditions or strenuously working out, then that amount should be increased to the point that you do not feel thirsty. Scientific evidence shows that by the time we actually feel thirsty, our body is suffering from dehydration.
5) No Genetically Modified Organisms (GMOs)
The consumption of foods made with, or that contain genetically modified organisms have been shown to cause a plethora of health conditions. One of which is intestinal permeability, more commonly known as leaky gut syndrome. This somewhat newly discovered medical condition leads to internal inflammation which, in turn, leads to weight gain and a resistance to weight loss. In addition, GMOs are either sprayed with high doses of chemical herbicides or they themselves contain a toxic protein that destroys our gut lining, depending on the type of genetically modified crop – herbicide resistant or BT.
The herbicide most widely used on GMO crops is Roundup. This toxic chemical is, in and of itself, linked to obesity as well as dozens of other serious health conditions, including cancer.
Recommendations To Lose Weight By Avoiding Genetically Modified Organisms:
- Consume only non-GMO and/or organic foods.
If purchasing 100% organic produce is not financially feasible, visit ewg.org and review their “Clean Fifteen” and “Dirty Dozen” lists. This will tell you which non-organic produce items are safer to purchase based on EWG’s annual testing of pesticide and herbicide levels, and which crops have been genetically modified.
- Eat a plant-based diet.
Almost all animal foods contain GMOs because the majority of animals raised for human consumption are fed genetically modified corn and soy. In addition, the terms “grass-fed” or “organic meat” are very deceiving because, quite often, manure from GMO-fed animals is sprayed on the grass to feed the “grass-fed” and “organic” animals.
- Avoid foods containing hidden GMO ingredients.
6) Limit Restaurant Foods
The amount of toxins, excess sugar, excess salt, and GMOs found in restaurant foods is staggering. And, this is true of not only fast food restaurants, but fine dining establishments.
If you’re eating away from home, you’re literally eating antibiotics, growth hormones, glyphosate and other toxic herbicides and pesticides, chlorine, arsenic, heavy metals and other neurotoxins (from vaccines given to land and sea animals), as well as GMOs.
Recommendations To Lose Weight By Reducing Your Consumption Of Restaurant Foods:
- Cook at home and prepare large batches of meals that can be frozen and reheated on nights that you work late or are too busy or tired too cook.
This may sound obvious, yet this time-saving method is still under-utilized. Another option is to, at minimum, do your weekly meal planning, shopping, and food prep in advance, which makes meal preparation much faster on busy nights.
- Sign up for a delivery service of healthy, organic, plant-based meals.
Meal delivery services are popping up around the globe as companies recognize the need to provide healthy options for busy individuals and families. And, most offer a wide range of specialty meals, including gluten-free, plant-based, paleo, and other options.
Keep work-night meals simple. A meal can be a large baked potato topped with vegan butter and vegan sour cream, with a big side of steamed spinach or a jumbo wrap filled with veggies and hummus.
7) No Animal-Based Foods
I know that everyone is going to balk about this, unless they’re already vegan, but I’ve got to keep it real. When we consume animal protein, our chances of losing weight and keeping it off are highly unlikely, especially as we age.
Animal foods subject our bodies to all of the toxins in and on the animals (see everything listed above) and also negatively change our gut bacteria and cause internal inflammation every time we consume these dangerous foods. Both, the changes to our microbiome and the inflammation are directly tied to a resistance to weight loss and an increased risk of obesity. These factors are also a direct cause of all major and life-threatening diseases including cardiovascular disease, diabetes, and a multitude of cancers.
Recommendations To Lose Weight By Eliminating Animal Foods:
- Pre-prepared plant-based meals.
If you’re a bit culinary-challenged, sign up for a plant-based meal delivery service or look for pre-prepared plant-based meals at your local stores.
- Choose plant-based menu items if you must eat out.
If the restaurant does not offer plant-based options, create your own by eliminating the most common culprits – cheese, meat, sour cream, ranch dressing, etc… – and add in legumes and/or guacamole. You can also piece together a plant-based meal by ordering off the appetizer and/or “sides” menus.
- Experiment with meat alternatives in your favorite dishes.
Some of my favorite brands are Beyond Meat, Gardein, and Upton.
Add a new plant-based recipe to your regular routine each week and continue adding one additional meal each week, building upon the meal you switched out in the prior week. If you continue this pattern, you’ll be 100% plant-based in less than six months (assuming that you’re eating three meals per day).
Week 1 includes 1 plant-based breakfast.
Week 2 includes 2 plant-based breakfasts.
Week 3 includes 2 plant-based breakfasts and 1 plant-based dinner, and so on…