How to Lose Weight Naturally
If there is one thing we learned during the pandemic, it is that maintaining a healthy weight is not just good for your general health and wellbeing (and fertility), it can determine your longevity. It is predicted that by 2030, more than 18 million Australians will be overweight or obese. It isn’t difficult to see how this is happening. Our diet and physical activity levels have changed dramatically in the last 50 years. Our sugar consumption is out of control, especially in the U.S. where high fructose corn syrup is ubiquitous. This leads to insulin resistance at best and diabetes at worst.
Insulin resistance is something we should actively try to avoid. I would know, because that is what happened to me in my 20’s. I can tell you it is a hard battle trying to lose weight with insulin resistance. No matter how much exercise you do and how good you are with your diet, the weight refuses to budge. This is when you need a proper plan of attack. A special high protein, low carb diet alongside nutrients and herbs to help stabilise your blood sugar. When you see the kilo’s starting to come off, it is the best motivation ever to keep going. And to keep it off permanently.
Here are my top diet and lifestyle tips for losing weight naturally
Increase protein, decrease carbohydrates
Start the day with a protein shake for breakfast, a salad or soup for lunch, nuts and fruit as a snack and meat (or alternative protein) and veggies for dinner with a low GI carbohydrate such as brown rice or sweet potato.
Introduce more movement into your day
Walk briskly everywhere you go, take the stairs instead of the lift, ditch the high heels and walk to your destination instead of driving or taking an Uber.
If you have a sweet craving, brush your teeth
It’s amazing how quickly that sweet craving disappears when you brush your teeth!
Drink plenty of filtered water
Are you really hungry or are you just thirsty? Work out how much water you need to drink by taking your weight in kg and times it by 0.03. e.g. 60kg x 0.03 = 1.8 litres daily.
Eat two small squares of dark chocolate daily if you’re a chocoholic
If you deprive yourself, you’ll eventually binge. Treating yourself to two small squares of dark chocolate a day keeps the binge away.
Add strength training to your daily exercise routine
Strength training not only helps to strengthen your muscles and bones, gaining muscle also increases your metabolic rate.
Stop eating before you feel full
Get out of the habit of eating everything on your plate. Just because your parents told you to do that growing up, doesn’t mean you need to continue bad habits.
Ditch the sugary drinks
Of all the foods to eliminate from your diet, this is the easiest one. Replace with water or raspberry or lime flavoured sparkling water.
Eliminate lollies, biscuits, cakes and fast food
Not only are these foods going to increase your bad cholesterol leading to heart problems later in life, they are empty calories that have no nutritional value – a moment on the lips, a lifetime on the hips!
Detox and switch to organic food
Detoxing is one of the easiest ways to kickstart your weight loss program. Detox diets are usually low in calories and there is a naturopathic theory that releasing toxins from your fat cells, helps to boost your metabolism.
Pesticides are a source of xenoestrogens (external oestrogens) and more oestrogen in the body can lead to weight gain. If you do have high oestrogen (determined by a high oestradiol test on day 2 or 3 of your cycle), try our PMS Support & Antioxidant to help support healthy female hormone levels.
Chromium and biotin
These two superstars are the basic nutrients for helping to stabilise blood sugar levels and can help to keep sugar cravings at bay.
B vitamins help to convert fat into useable energy and also help to metabolise carbohydrates.
A study published in the DMS Journal, showed that zinc supplementation with a low-calorie diet may play an effective role in the treatment of obesity. Aside from the positive effects it had on insulin resistance, zinc (and selenium) are required for conversion of the thyroid hormone T4 into the active thyroid hormone T3.
Research shows that magnesium is another key nutrient in the treatment and prevention of insulin resistance.
Observational research found that adults and children with low calcium intake are more likely to gain weight, have a higher body mass index (BMI) and be overweight or obese compared to people with high calcium intake.
I absolutely love herbal medicine for how powerful it is whether you take a supplement or add herbs to your food. Here are my favourite herbs for helping you to kickstart your metabolism and stabilise blood sugar.
Add some cinnamon to your smoothies, cappuccino or even to some stewed apple topped with yoghurt for a yummy breakfast or dessert.
Gymnema is an Ayurvedic herb known as the “sugar destroyer”. It is difficult to taste anything sweet after consuming Gymnema (and if you can’t taste it, what’s the point?)
Eating spicy food is a great way to rev up your metabolism (and also helps to kickstart your bowels!) Cayenne pepper has been shown to raise the metabolic rate immediately after ingestion and sustained for up to 30 minutes! Studies have also shown that capsaicin the pungent principle in hot red peppers, reduces hunger and stimulates thermogenesis
High in iodine, this herb helps to support your thyroid function which is the gland that controls your metabolism.
Green tea has been shown to have positive effects on weight management. It contains a powerful combination of caffeine and the catechin epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG), both substances that can boost metabolism.
Coleus and licorice are two other herbs used by herbalists to help increase fat loss when combined with diet and exercise.
Losing weight is not as easy as simply taking a pill. It is firstly having the mindset and determination to follow through with a plan, following that diet and exercise plan and taking the supplements and herbs specific to your needs.