The 3 steps below will be pretty straight forward and will help you lose weight and become healthy. I don’t think you will be surprised by any of the steps listed. I have also added a Bonus 4th step in case you either hit a plateau or want to take your weight loss to the next level.
Please keep in mind these 3 steps will allow you to lose weight and regain your health. However, for most people myself included it is not reasonable to stick to this for the rest of my life day in and day out.
It is unreasonable to say you should never eat a piece of birthday cake again or have Christmas cookies and so on… You should enjoy your life but understand you can eat food that is not good for you day in and day out.
These 3 to 4 steps will allow you to not only lose weight but will be your template to maintain your weight when you do decide to indulge. Just remember indulging so be occasional and not a regular occurrence.
STEP 1: Eliminate crappy foods and drinks that contain:
- Added Sugar (including diet drinks)
- Refined grains (such as wheat, corn, rice, pasta, cooking grains, breakfast cereals)
- Starchy carbohydrates such as potatoes (including French fries and chips)
- Industrial/chemically altered vegetable oils (such as canola oil)
- Legumes (including peanuts)
In terms of drinks, this eliminates juices, sodas and flavoured coffees. You should stick to drinking water, carbonated water, tea and coffee. Tea and coffee should only be consumed either black or with full-fat dairy (if needed). Try to eliminate or use a minimum amount of sugar in your coffee or tea.
Refined Grains and Starchy Carbohydrates
Refined grains and starchy carbohydrates affect your body by producing insulin to allow the sugar from the carbohydrates to be absorbed into your cell. Ultimately this is what we are trying to limit when we are trying to lose weight and is why eliminating refined grains and starchy carbohydrates are critical.
Industrial / Chemically Altered Vegetable Oils
Most packaged/processed foods and fast food contain industrial/chemically altered vegetable oils. These oils are bad for us as they cause systemic inflammation that is believed to be the root cause of most serious diseases, compromised digestion, immune, cardiovascular and hormonal function.
Granted having chips or French fries will not kill you today. However, it is the compound effect that all these foods have day after day, month after month, year after year. As a result, they will affect your health in the long term.
I would urge you to try giving up these foods for several weeks and eat cleanly. After several weeks, experiment by trying one of the foods above you’ve been craving. You will still like the taste of those foods.
Unfortunately, food companies have the formula down pack to get people hooked on these packaged foods. What I want you to do is notice how you feel after you consume the food. My experience is that I feel like shit shortly after. I feel bloated, sluggish and my sleep at night is crap.
Legumes (including peanuts)
Legumes have higher nutritional value and fewer anti-nutrients than grains do, but legumes are deemed unnecessary to consume because of their high-carbohydrate load and potential digestive sensitivity. We want to limit carbohydrates intake when trying to lose weight.
The list of foods above will eliminate the majority of packaged foods in grocery stores and baked goods. Keep in mind you are trying to lose weight so it will take sacrifice. The goal is to lose weight and understand how your body feels when you do/don’t eat these foods.
STEP 2: Eat Real food
- Plenty of vegetables
- Good Fats (from meat, olive oil, coconut oil, avocado oil, eggs, butter)
- Meat and fish
- Full fat dairy
- A little fruit (mainly berries or fruit in season)
The goal is to eat a low carb, high fat, moderate protein diet. You are probably thinking this is the Ketogenic diet or low carb and both are right. However, I do not want you to focus on the macronutrients just focus on eating real foods.
I believe the list is pretty straight forward. A typical meal will focus on plenty of vegetables and a piece of meat/fish. Breakfast can be eggs, bacon or a green smoothie with some berries.
Fat from meat, fish, nuts and good fats is critical to have as they will satiate. This means you will feel satisfied and stay full longer. Ultimately you will get less of those mid-morning, mid-afternoon, nighttime spells of hunger.
The reason I have indicated little fruit is because you want to try to keep your body’s insulin production as low as possible and since fruit does contain sugar (natural sugar) it will cause an insulin spike. Having fruit over any processed food, sugary drink or baked good is better. Since we are aiming for weight loss the less fruit you have the better, ideally, a 1 cup of berries a day is what you should limit yourself to.
If you were grocery shopping, you would shop in the outer perimeter of the story which is where the majority of food listed above is located.
STEP 3: Move More Frequently
When I say move frequently, I do not mean spending hours at the gym I do not believe that is necessary. I believe primarily you should just walk more. Ideally, a step tracker (such as a Fitbit) would help you determine if you are moving enough.
I enjoy going for a walk as it gives me a chance to relieve some stress, listen to a good podcast or audiobook and get some fresh air.
There are exercises better for weight loss than others and exercises that impede weight loss due to the effect they have on the body. This is something I will discuss in greater detail in a future blog post. If you do enjoy working out, I would recommend the following exercises: bodyweight exercises, weight training, High-Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) or any organized sport (soccer, hockey…).
What I would recommend you avoid or be aware of is that chronic cardio will impede your weight loss and will make you hungrier at least at first. However, if you do enjoy running then by all means continue. Doing cardio is not that bad.
BONUS STEP: Eat Only 3 Times A Day
Working on the 3 steps above will set you on the right path. However, one additional item I would add for better results eat only 3 times a day like we did when we were kids.
If you find you are plateauing with your weight-loss this is where you can take it an extra step and introduce some intermittent fasting. This would mean skipping breakfast a couple of days a week and only having lunch and dinner. Allowing your body more time to consume calories that are on your body as fat for energy.
- Eliminate crappy foods and drinks
- Eat Real Foods
- Move more frequently
- Bonus eat only 3 times a day.
If you would like some guidance and support with your weight-loss journey feel free to reach out to schedule a discovery call.