Most everyone understands by now that fad diets don’t work, that the best way to lose weight and keep it off is through diet (eating the right foods in proper portions) and exercise. But we are humans which means we are always looking for the easy way out. While there is no magic pill to take off the weight, there are some natural remedies that might give you a helping hand and help you burn off that fat faster.
Diet is probably one of the biggest factors when it comes to weight loss. To keep your metabolism fired up all day, make sure you are feeding your body every 3-hours (ending two hours before bedtime). Along with your larger meals, snack on a handful of nuts, vegetables or fruit (but beware of the high sugar content in some fruits). The majority of your food choices should be vegetables (make sure you are eating a colourful mix to get all the proper nutrients), fish and skinless chicken breasts. Try spicing up your food. Eating hot peppers can speed up your metabolism and studies have shown that people who eat spicy food ate 30% fewer calories. Get rid of all the refined foods in your diet; processed food, refined packaged foods.
But just as important as what we eat, is how much. Portion size could be the difference between losing or gaining weight. Try to reduce your calorie intact by 500 calories every day.
Staying hydrated is important too, but eliminate the fruit juices and soda-pop from your diet, many people don’t realize that sweet drinks are a major source of weight gain. Drink a minimum of 8 glasses of water every day. Avoid alcohol, it’s full of empty calories, it can slow down your metabolism and it can make you forget your diet and eat things you shouldn’t be eating. If you are at a party and feel the need to have a drink, choose a clear alcohol like vodka or gin (they have the least amount of sugar) and mix it with soda water.
Tea is something that you can drink throughout the day that will not only hydrate you, but by drinking the “right” tea, without milk and sugar, can also give you a boost to your weight-loss program. Two cups of Pu-Erh tea from China, first thing in the morning, contains an enzyme to help shrink fat cells, give you a boost of energy and increase your metabolism. Follow that up with two cups of White tea at lunch that will help block fat absorption and the Theanine in the tea will help to reduce stress. In the afternoon, have just one cup of Chickweed tea, a mild diuretic and laxative that will help to reduce bloating. And in the evening a single cup of Bilberry tea will help to suppress those evening cravings when you are more apt to reach for something sweet. Green Tea is also a good choice. Green tea contains the polyphenol EGCG that helps to boost your metabolism.
When it comes to supplements there are some good ones out there that have been proven to boost fat loss. You’ve probably heard me talk about green coffee bean extract before. It comes from coffee beans in their purest raw form and contain something called chlorogenic acid that slows down the release of glucose in your body after meals and is a big boost to your metabolism. You won’t get the same effect by drinking several cups of black coffee every day because once the beans are roasted they lose the chlorogenic acid. You need to take two 400mg capsules twice-a-day about 30 minutes before breakfast and dinner, with a full glass of water. Make sure you buy the capsules that are pure green coffee bean extract and contain no binders or additives.
If you are not taking a daily dose of fish oil, you need to start. It is essential to good health and a good source of Vitamin D. Fish oils will improve insulin management, lower cortisol and increase weight loss. You should supplement with between 2000mg and 3000mg every day.
Another proven fat-buster supplement is Conjugated Linoleic Acid or CLA. It can improve your glucose tolerance and increase metabolism.
You also might want to try Alpha Lipoic Acid or ALA. It is a powerful antioxidant that has been shown to have positive benefits for everything from diabetes, to migraines, to glaucoma, to problems in the liver. But it has also been proven effective to help in weight loss by helping to maintain glucose levels in the body. You will want to supplement with between 1200mg and 1800mg per day. More here.
Exercise can’t be stressed enough. I know we would all love to have that washboard stomach or jiggle-free arms without having to exercise, but it’s not going to happen without putting in some sweat equity. If you haven’t exercised for years, start out easy, with a 20-minute power walk every day (strolling through the mall doesn’t count, you want to work up a sweat). But gradually work yourself up to 30-minutes of cardio three to four times a week and at least twice weekly engage in 30-45 mins of strength training. You want to push yourself enough to boost your heart and breathing rates. If you can have a conversation while you’re exercising, then you’re not working hard enough! Weight training, by the way, will increase ‘lean gains’ (build muscle) and boost your overall metabolism and keep your body burning fat 24-hours a day. Women often don’t want to lift weights because they say they don’t want to develop muscles like a man. It won’t happen, men and women are built differently and I can guarantee you that you won’t start looking muscle-bound unless that is what you are going for and start a power-lifting program.
One thing people tend to ignore when planning a weight loss program is sleep and stress. Your body needs an average of 8-hours of sleep every night to replenish itself. Researchers have found that people that don’t get enough sleep or are stressed out all the time, gain weight.
The key to a successful weight loss program is to stay motivated and on-target. Set yourself some realistic and clear goals. Do you want to lose weight before an upcoming wedding or beach holiday or just to improve your overall health? Make sure those goals are realistic, you should expect to lose on-average about 2 pounds every week or 8 pounds per month (if you’re weight training from the get-go, don’t be discouraged if you gain a few pounds! – what has likely happened is that you’ve lost a few pounds of fat but gained even more muscle. That’s good!).
There are of course more fad diets than we know what to do with – all promising you faster weight loss – but if you’ve ever dieted you already know that once you hit your target and go back to your regular diet, you will gain the weight back and probably even more. That’s precisely why a lifestyle – and not a diet – is what works.
Keeping a food diary increases accountability. It has been shown that when people keep track of everything they eat or drink throughout the day, not only do they stick to the plan, but they can see problem areas, like the times of the day when they are eating more than they should. The other thing is to discuss your goals with others. Telling friends and family of your new ‘health kick’ has them auditing you and keeping you accountable! Studies show that people who tell others that they are in the process of losing weight are 60% more successful at attaining their goals.
Remember to also talk to your doctor before you begin any kind of diet, exercise program or start taking supplements. They can best tell you how much weight you should lose, whether there are any health issues that could restrict an exercise program or if certain supplements will interact with any medications you may be taking.
And if you “fall off the wagon,” don’t give up. Remember that what you are working towards is a lifestyle change that will not only make you look better but that will give you more energy and improve your overall health. Good luck!
Note: If you really have tried everything else and nothing is working for you, I along with an expert team of world renowned doctors are holding clinics to test your DNA to determine the ideal diet, lifestyle, and supplement routine that is customized to YOU.