I’ll be honest. Weight loss is a topic I have tried to avoid. Even before becoming a health coach, I was aware that there is a lot of shame floating around this topic. Especially for women, the pressure to look a certain way is pervasive in our culture. But at the same time, carrying around excess weight is bad for our health and can be emotionally draining. The majority of women seeking out my services are doing so for help with weight loss. And so, as I’m sure many of you are thinking about new goals for 2021, I thought I’d bring you my top tips for weight loss.
Weight Loss myths
Before I get to my tips for weight loss that work, I want to bust some myths you may believe.
- Calories count. The idea that all you have to do is balance the number of calories you consume with the calories you burn is an outdated and flawed approach to weight loss. Our bodies are way more sophisticated than this! Food is more than just energy – it’s also information for our cells. When we eat certain foods, hormones get involved, telling our bodies what to do with what we’ve just consumed. So we can’t solely rely on counting up calories.
- You can exercise your way to your ideal weight. Listen, exercise is IMPORTANT. It keeps our hearts, bones, brains healthy. It relieves stress and makes us feel fantastic. And it can even give our bodies the shape we desire. But it is damn near impossible to use exercise alone to achieve our ideal weight. It can play a part, but it comes after changing our eating habits.
- Going gluten-free is an easy path to weight loss. False. While going gluten-free helps some people, merely swapping out your usual bread and crackers for the gluten-free version will do nothing to the scale except possibly make it go up. Studies have shown that many gluten-free breads have a higher glycemic index than wheat-based breads.
What to Pay Attention To
It’s all about your blood sugar. There are a few ways to manage this, which I’ll share below in my tips for weight loss. When you eat carbohydrates, they eventually get broken down into glucose. When too much glucose enters the bloodstream too quickly, the excess glucose gets stored as fat. If you’re looking to lose weight, your goal should be to keep your blood glucose levels steady. Follow my tips for weight loss below for more details.
5 Easy Tips for Weight Loss
Be mindful of added and refined sugars
When I was growing up, fat was a 4-letter word. Seriously, it seemed everything we ate was low-fat or fat-free. It turns out, when you take out the fat, you also take out a lot of the flavor. And to make our food edible (and addicting, because that’s what the food companies are trying to do), they replaced the fat with sugar. And that, my friends, is what has gotten us into trouble. You’ll find added sugar everywhere! Check your labels, and try to keep your meals below 8g of added sugars, if possible. And for the record: I’m not talking about fruit or sugars that come with fiber attached.
Avoid processed carbs
Note I did not say to avoid all carbs. Doing so is not only dangerous but also it’s just plain boring! Complex carbohydrates such as vegetables, fruits, and some grains can and should be a big part of your diet. When eating grains, I suggest sticking to whole-kernel varieties such as brown rice, quinoa, and whole oats.
Don’t eat carbs all alone
When eating carbohydrates, be sure to include healthy fats, protein, or fiber (bonus if you get all three in!).
Incorporate a fasted workout into your daily routine
In addition to maintaining steady blood sugar, it’s helpful to use up the glycogen stored in your muscles. Aim to work out for at least 30 minutes without having eaten in the past few hours. I prefer to do this first thing in the morning, or at least before I’ve eaten anything that day.
Experiment with time-restricted eating
It is not true that you need to eat every few hours to keep your metabolism going. In fact, giving your gut time to rest between eating is hugely beneficial for both weight management and overall gut health. If you’re new to time-restricted eating (also referred to as intermittent fasting), I suggest starting slow. Three easy ways to get started:
- Instead of eating right when you wake up, try having hot water with lemon, hot tea, or black coffee (keep this beverage calorie-free)
- Wait a few hours after your workout to have your first meal
- Stop eating at least 3 hours before bed
- Eventually, aim for a window of eating that’s six to eight hours long (think: 11 am to 7 pm or 12 pm to 6 pm)
I encourage you to incorporate one or all of these strategies as you set off on your weight loss journey. If you’re looking looking for in-depth explanations or personal coaching, book a discovery call with me. I’d love to hold your hand through this process! Either way, I’m rooting for you to make these changes and develop new, healthy habits that will last you a lifetime!
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To learn about my own health journey and how I got to where I am now, (having lost weight in every decade of my adult life), read about it here: