I am NOT a big proponent of unnecessary weight loss and I am even more so not a big proponent of unnatural weight loss. Pills, shakes, diet foods, and being freaking starving? Yea, no thanks dude.
Research has proven that the most effective way to lose weight and actually keep it off long term is to do so slowly. (If we’re getting specific here, the DASH diet over a long period of time is the “best” way to lose weight apparently) Point is, the faster you lose weight, the more weight you’re going to gain when your “diet” is over.
If weight loss is your goal, you certainly don’t want to lose weight slowly.
Being a major supporter of eating real foods and being active (aka keeping it simple, stupid), I’m all for slow, natural, and healthy weight loss. Your body knows what it wants, and denying it is just going to piss it off (and probably lead to a whole pizza in bed).
If there were a completely healthy, natural way to lose weight and keep it off long term, the weight loss industry would be out of business. However, based on my personal experience and the little science I understand, I have found a few little things that can speed up the weight loss process without nasty unnatural products.
Again, I cannot stress enough that I am NOT a supporter of quick fix weight loss and I 100% on board with eating whole, real foods and being active daily. That is, without a doubt, supported by science, the BEST way to maintain a healthy weight and thus a long and healthy life.
Buutttt if you are trying to knock off a couple pounds and don’t have the patience or motivation to just wait for it to happen eating real foods and working out, these are the little additional tricks I have up my sleeve. Some work by increasing energy, thus increasing productivity and activity (thus burning more calories and/or decreasing boredom eating), improving sleep, or just generally getting your body’s systems back from being “outta whack” (why yes, this is the correct medical term).
- Take dem vitamins. Taking B complex vitamins (vitamin B-2 and B-12 are my favorite) always increases my energy a ton. It’s like an extra cup of coffee kick-in-the-ass. This helps me burn more energy throughout the day. Taking Vitamin D3 (discount here!) and/or a multivitamin helps to keep all your systems running smoothly, and being deficient in vitamins can make you sluggish, so staying on top of them is important for optimum energy and weight maintenance.
- Drink TONS of water. I am always drinking water (and therefore literally always have to pee). Many people mistake dehydration for hunger, so they end up eating more if they haven’t drank enough water. Additionally, not drinking enough water makes you sluggish/groggy/headachey/tired, which leads to eating junk and not working out. Water flushes out your system and balances sodium, so if you have had a lot of processed foods recently and are feeling bloated, water will take care of that (as will potassium!).
- Track your steps. It is SO easy to count steps with phones now. By tracking your steps and making sure that you’re >10,000 steps per day, you keep up with being more active because you’re more aware of it. For instance, if I skipped my run or was sitting at a desk all day and saw I only hit 4,000 steps, you know I’m going to be going for a long late night podcast walk! If you are able to use both your legs, do not take that for granted. Get outside and walk!
- Start your day off with a big mug of coffee or tea. And it’s important to note: a lattee or coffee loaded with sugar/milk/calories does NOT count! I always start off with a huge mug of chai spice brewed tea with lemon (not a chai latte, but water and a teabag) or a big mug of black coffee. This caffeine gives you that boost to burn more calories by being more active and productive, without the heavy calories (and thus exhaustion) from a latte drink.
- Don’t be afraid of protein and starchy veggies. As long as you’re eating mindfully, proteins and starchy vegetables help keep you full throughout the day with fewer calories than carbohydrates and high-fat foods. Protein (with healthy fats) that I love come from hummus, natural homemade nut butters (1/2/3), eggs, and fish. Starchy veggies I go for include spaghetti squash, zucchini, and sweet potatoes. These keep you running at high energy without burning you out, making you more active and burning more calories with fewer consumed. For example, yesterday for lunch I had an amazing homemade spicy bolognese “pasta” made from zucchini noodles with lean ground turkey, tomatoes, onions, and red pepper. It was not only SO filling and delicious, but I only finished half of it before I was so satisfied, then didn’t need a 3-4 pm pick me up. In fact, I was so focused and energized on work that I didn’t even look up from my desk until 7! (Other things I did that may have contributed to that high-energy calorie burning: took vitamin B-2 and D, had a morning smoothie, biked to work, drank tons of water, did acupuncture the night before)
- Sleep. Get your 7-9 hours. Science proved that, let’s just start doing it, shall we?
- Strength train. Muscle weights more than fat, yes. However, increasing muscle mass is the only way (other than changing your DNA) to speed up metabolism! Metabolism “boosting” pills? Lies. The only metabolism boosters are the biceps you’re going to get from weights.
It is also really important to note that these tips only work if you’re also eating real foods in moderation and exercising regularly! They are not a magic fix!