12 Steps to Healthy Weight Loss

12 Steps to Healthy Weight Loss

Losing weight is hard, right? We make resolutions and promises to ourselves each year but rarely keep them. Some of us go on a juice cleanse, some follow a diet de jour, while others resort to extreme exercise. But too often we get derailed, deprived and deflated. Today, I want to offer you a no-diet diet, no cleanse and no gimmicks.

What’s is this perfect no diet diet? It’s a clean eating lifestyle. This means rejecting processed foods and cooking the majority of your meals at home because that is the one and only gateway to permanent weight loss and effortless maintenance. Clean eating involves a lifetime commitment, which will be annoying at first, but once you are empowered with knowledge and feeling amazing, you will never want to go back to eating any other way.

Follow my 12 tips and you will never have to worry about excess pounds, not to mention you will have amazing energy, good skin and clear mind.

1. Get off sugar. Sugar and high fructose corn syrup cause your liver to store fat more efficiently around your tummy. It’s highly addictive and interferes with your body’s ability to know when it’s full.

2. Don’t drink your calories. Skip the soda, specialty coffees and mind your adult beverage intake. Couple of glasses of wine is a fine way to unwind but it adds up to approximately 250 empty calories. Drink lots of water (add lemon!) as hunger is often confused with dehydration.

3. Give up refined carbs like bread and pasta. Refined carbohydrates affect the body in similar ways to sugar, storing fat in your trouble spots like belly, butt and thighs (our trouble areas!). Replace toxic carbs with complex carbs such as fruits, (root) vegetables and whole grains (millet, brown rice, oats, quinoa, amaranth and buckwheat).

4. Eat quality protein. Include protein with every meal and choose plants such as nuts and nut butters, beans, seeds (pumpkin, sunflower, chia and hemp). Limit your animal intake to grass fed, pastured and organic meats to avoid exposure to antibiotics and hormones.

5. Detox with green vegetables. Green leafy veggies help you de-bloat and flood your body with vitamins and minerals. Choose bitter greens like arugula, watercress, kale, chard, mustard green to support your digestion. Blend and juice your way to skinny!

6. Eat good fat. Fat doesn’t make you fat, it’s the sugar and processing (especially in low fat foods)! Choose healthy fats like avocado, coconut oil, nuts, seeds and flaxseeds as well as fatty fish like salmon, sardines and mackerel. Fat gives your energy, healthy skin and hair and supports weight loss by helping you stay full and reduce cravings for sugar. Just control your portion as 1 gram of fat has twice the calories of carbs and proteins.

7. Cook at home. Cooking at home allows you to control portions and quality of ingredients. Eating minimally processed foods, as close to its original source as possible, is the single most important thing you can do for your waist.

8. Fix your digestive health. Hidden food sensitivities can cause inflammation and sabotage weight loss. Consider an elimination diet to rule out any triggers to common allergens such as wheat, dairy, corn and soy.

9. Sleep 7-8 hours a nights. Sleep deprivation disrupts your metabolism, causes you to overeat and leads to sugar cravings. Catch some zzzs to lose more pounds.

10. Exercise! Commit to making Bikram Yoga a part of your life in 2016. Aim to visit at least 3 times a week to see optimal results. Make sure to keep your body hydrated and full of electrolytes.

11. Calm your mind. We live in a stressful world but chronically high cortisol leads to abdominal weight gain. Manage your stress by meditating and practicing mindfulness. Let it go. Don’t let stress appear as extra pounds.

12. Balance your hormones. Have your adrenal and thyroid hormones checked to ensure your hormones are working properly.

Ania Dunlop
Ania Dunlop
Ania Dunlop is an Integrative Nutrition Coach and founder of Food For Zen, LLC, a nutrition practice dedicated to helping people adopt a clean diet and create a new mindset around food. She is a chef and advocate of a plant-based way of eating. Follow Ania on Instagram or Facebook to get inspiration, healthy recipes and wellness tips that make healthy eating a lifestyle, rather than a diet.
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