Healthy weight loss means using a holistic approach to take off the pounds. If losing weight is one of your goals, a healthy weight loss plan is a great way to go.
First and foremost, you need to make sure your diet is focused on whole, real healthy foods. Next, make sure exercise is a part of your life- it is hard to lose and maintain weight without exercise.
But what if you eat what you think is a pretty good diet and you work out regularly, but you’re still unhappy with your body? If you have other health issues going on, you may need to put your desire to lose weight on hold for a while. Be patient as your body heals.
If you are generally in good health and you are frustrated with your weight, though, you probably need to focus on balancing your blood sugar and improving your metabolism as addressing these issues helps most people achieve healthy weight loss naturally.
These healthy weight loss guidelines below were developed for my patients back when I used to run a natural weight loss program. Following these guidelines can help tremendously, so if you are serious about losing weight the healthy way, please give them a try.
- Eat breakfast within 45 minutes of waking up. If you exercise in the morning you can eat after that, but try not to wait longer than 1 hour after waking to eat. Do not eat breakfast later then 10 o’clock. Avoid waiting until brunch to eat- this is just too long for your body to go without food.
- Eat 3-4 nutrient-dense, balanced meals per day (or eat 5-6 true “mini-meals”). A balanced meal is one which contains vegetables (ideally one would eat equal amounts of raw, cooked, and cultured veggies- a serving is about the size of your open hand), high quality protein (a serving is about the size of your palm), high quality starch/carbohydrate (a serving is about the size of your fist), and high quality fat.
- Properly timed healthy snacks are an important part of the healthy weight loss guidelines. In the morning, 2 hours after breakfast, eat a small snack. If you still have not had lunch two hours after this, have another small snack. (Ex. If you have breakfast at 8, have a snack at 10 and 12, and then have lunch at 1; or, have breakfast at 8, a snack at 10 and lunch at 12- in other words, do not go more than 2 hours without eating in the a.m.!
- Three hours after lunch, have another snack. Three hours after this, if you have not had dinner yet, have yet another recommended snack. (Ex. If lunch was at 1, have a snack at 4 and dinner at 6 or have a snack at 4, 7 and dinner at 8). Remember that raw vegetables make the best snacks when you are trying to lose weight.
- Do not eat in the hours after dinner. You may have unsweetened herbal tea if you like.
- Completely avoid alcohol and sugar for the first 7 days. You may indulge moderately in these (once to twice weekly) after the first week. Have only as much as you need to feel satisfied. Do not overdue the alcohol or sugar or you will sabotage your health and weight loss efforts.
- Avoid artificial sweeteners completely. Stevia and a very small amount of raw honey are ok.
- Cod liver oil to provide 10,000 iu of vitamin A should be taken once daily, preferably in the morning with breakfast. 1 tsp. of high vitamin cod liver oil provides this amount (available from LiveSuperFoods.com).
- Coconut oil at a dose of 1-3 Tb. three times daily can help improve thyroid function and optimize metabolism. This may be appropriate for you.
- Exercise- a good balance of aerobic activity, strength/resistance training, and stretching is optimal. Alternate days of doing aerobic activity with strength training so that you are exercising 30 minutes-1 hour 4-5 times a week, if possible. Do not exercise more than 5 days a week as your body needs time to repair, though stretching can be done daily if desired. Be careful not to overdo exercise if you have been sedentary for some time- this can cause more harm than good.
If you have are not losing weight after following these weight loss guidelines for several weeks, you should know that sometimes your metabolism needs to adjust before weight loss can occur.
If, however, you sense that something else is going on, you may want to consider that you have underlying food allergies (also known as food sensitivities, candida yeast overgrowth , hypothyroidism (poor thyroid function), adrenal fatigue, insulin resistance, or another obstacle to weight loss.
Eating a balanced healthy diet with specific attention to my weight loss guidelines will improve all of these problems, but it may take some time.
It may be best if you seek individual guidance so that you can get appropriate testing, a more personalized diet plan, and possibly use some supplements for nutritional support.
I suggest you seek out a natural medicine practitioner who specializes in weight loss for the best results.