You don't have to believe me, but I like to think I know a thing or two about weight loss. I'm a physical therapist, have always been involved in a fitness regime but used to completely underestimate the value in eating right. So, after having two babies and gaining 45 pounds each time with them, I had to really research and trial and error all kinds of healthy ways to lose that weight!!
I have found just a few different tips and tricks that seemed to work well for me. Here they are, try it for yourself whether you have 5 pounds or 60 pounds to lose!
Make sure your metabolism is in check. How do you do this? A few different ways. First, I eat every three hours. This is nothing new and I’m sure you’ve heard it before. Metabolism will continue to “burn” at a high speed if you continue to feed yourself. Now, that being said, I don’t eat crap every three hours. I eat small, healthy snacks or light meals that always contain a protein. (Think: hummus and veggies, apple slices with sunbutter or almond butter). Another way to make sure your metabolism is moving along throughout the day (and burning fat) is to drink enough water. Aim for ½ of your body weight in ounces, more if you’re working out hard. Also, being able to properly digest your food means you’re metabolizing well, too. So drinking apple cider vinegar is one of my secrets to keeping it all “moving” if you know what I mean. It creates a more alkaline environment in your body as well, helping to maintain balance in your system. A shot mixed with water and honey at night as a lukewarm tea is my go-to!
I only eat healthy, natural carbs. I’m not paleo, I’m not Whole30 and I’m not Adkins. I’m my own systematic, thought out theory for what works for me and many others I’m coaching. I’m gluten and dairy free 80% of the time. Why? What’s the matter with gluten and dairy? PLENTY! You can check out several reliable resources to understand the reasons behind going gluten free. Watch the documentary “The Wheat Belly” for one source. While being gluten-allergic is a whole different and serious situation, I do believe that the majority of us are gluten-sensitive. And the reason is because the wheat that is grown in our country in 2017 is not the same as the wheat our grandparents or even parents had. It is genetically modified from the very beginning and no matter if it’s labeled organic or not, it’s still something our bodies are not able to digest. So it creates bloating and fat storage because our system doesn’t know what the heck to even DO with it! So what carbs do I eat?? Natural ones: oats, brown rice, potatoes, sweet potatoes, and quinoa. That is plenty to keep our energy levels up and our carbs in check. So, if you’re puffy in the morning and you’re bloated a majority of the time even though you’re eating “healthy”, I’d consider going gluten free for a month and see how you feel. And the weight flies off. No brainer.
I do not eat any carbs after 2pm! My mom had read a book years ago that outlined the reasons for eating all of your carbs for the day in the morning (it was called the 17 Day Diet). I really started thinking about it and WOW it made so much sense! We need carbs for energy. But by dinner time, our bodies are slowing down and getting ready for rest. We don’t NEED carbs in the evening so our bodies automatically store them as fat. Ew, gross. One of the easiest and quickest ways I’ve found to drop some weight is to completely stop eating carbs by 2pm. It’s worked well for everyone that’s tried it, too.
This seems so cliche but: Be CONSCIOUS of what you’re eating! If you’re like me, you’re busy making dinner for the kids or trying to do a million things at the same time and you mindlessly pick. Pick at their food, pick at something in the fridge, pick at that open bag of pretzels. This significantly adds up and without realizing it, you could’ve just eaten enough calories for an entire meal. And then, you eat your dinner. Yikes.
It’s no surprise that I drink Shakeology. I saved this for last because I don’t like to throw it around as the “ONLY” thing that I do. But this has tremendously helped me to stay what I like to call balanced in my nutrition. I drink mine for breakfast. My body gets all of the vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, amino acids, protein and pre/probiotics that I need for the day. It’s a superfood genius. So, I like to start my day like this in order to combat any cravings that I might have. It works and it’s delicious.
EXERCISE. While I have realized that the majority of weight loss occurs as the result of what you put in your body with food, I believe that exercise is what shapes your body. You could weigh 120 lbs and look quite skinny but when you put on a bathing suit, you’ll see cellulite, fat and loose skin that only exercise can fix. I like to say this: In order to lose weight you need to change your nutrition. In order to look good in a bikini, you need to exercise. You wanna look good naked? Tone your muscles.
So, that’s it! In a nutshell these are the things that I pay attention to on a daily basis. I workout 5 or 6 days a week. I eat healthy 90% of the time and look forward to my one cheat meal per week. I do believe in balance, but I don’t believe we can ever go back to eating “whatever we want” or stop exercising. It just doesn’t work that way. And once you realize that it’s not a diet or workout program that you can stop and start, but rather a lifestyle change that you take on FOR LIFE without the intention of stopping, you will have learned the magic secret to weight loss and health. And bonus, the fountain of youth. True story.