Why is losing weight such an elusive goal for so many of us? One reason is that there is so much conflicting information about how to lose weight. When you don’t know who or what to believe, temporary fad diets—with their irresistible shortcuts and big promises—seem like a logical place to start. You start off motivated until deprivation sets in and you realize that adopting the changes long-term is just not realistic.
I want to get you off the dieting rollercoaster once and for all by sharing effective tips (and the research behind them) about diet, exercise, and dietary supplements. Together they can amplify the effects of dieting alone. And seeing the weight come off will be all the motivation you need to just say no to fads.
Why Fad Diets Fail
Let’s start with my one-word response when readers ask me about fad or crash diets: DON’T!
These lose-weight-overnight diets may sound like the perfect quick fix, but they almost always require severe calorie restriction that is neither healthy nor sustainable. Though you may lose a few pounds fast, they’re boomerang pounds that often return as soon as you stop dieting, along with an extra five hunger pounds that leave you further away from your goals.*
And, by severely restricting your caloric intake or removing healthy food groups, you put yourself at risk of nutrient deficiencies, dehydration, electrolyte imbalances and loss of muscle tone.*
Then there’s the guilt, shame and disappointment of “failing” at yet another attempt to lose weight, creating a vicious cycle of bouncing from one diet to another in search of one that works not to mention the emotional toll that all of the ups and downs of yo-yo dieting take on you.
But here’s the truth…the only diet that works is the one you can stick with long-term. And that means taking a balanced approach to diet and exercise, making small habit changes, and incorporating the right supplements to accelerate your weight loss and help you see results.
Habits (Not Diets) for Losing Weight
There is no one-size-fits-all approach to eating, and that’s why traditional dieting doesn’t work for most people. Forcing yourself to eat in a way that you’re not accustomed to is simply not sustainable, which is precisely why I favor healthy habits and strategies that work with your body and can be adapted to fit your life—as opposed to modifying your life to fit your diet.
If you typically feel hungry and deprived when dieting, try a low-carb approach, which research shows is easier to sustain than a low-fat diet.* A Mediterranean style of eating, full of plant fiber, filling protein, deliciously satisfying good fats, and brimming with herbs, spices and extracts that supply powerful antioxidants that fight disease and aging, is something you can incorporate into your daily routine one meal at a time.
For a non-diet approach altogether, consider intermittent fasting. This is the practice of cycling between unrestricted and restricted eating, and is a key activator of autophagy—your cells’ natural repair and rejuvenation process.
Intermittent fasting encourages your body to burn fat while sparing muscle. In fact, it is four times better than calorie restriction at helping your body burn fat while preventing lean muscle loss. And intermittent fasting has been shown to improve how well your insulin works while reducing the risk of many health issues associated with being overweight.*
The easiest way to get started with intermittent fasting is a 12:12 schedule…for instance, fast from 7 pm to 7 am, then gradually increase your fasting time. Having a long stretch of time for autophagy gives your cells the best chance to burn through sugar and tap into stored fat for energy.
Even Light Exercise Has a Big Payoff According to Research
Adding low-impact exercise to your healthy diet will help you reach your goals faster and more easily, and you don’t have to “hit the gym” or work up a sweat to multiply your results.
A surprising study found that when two groups started a new diet, the group who also started a walking routine lost more weight and total fat, and reduced insulin resistance…with just a 20 minute walk a day.* As you get stronger and light, you can ramp up to running to increase energy expenditure, which can help you lose 90% more weight over time.*
Or, keep with lower impact aerobic exercise like cycling, which has been shown to increase weight loss and improve heart health even without changing eating habits!*
But if aerobic exercise is not for you, then try resistance training with handheld weights, kettlebells or medicine balls. In fact, resistance training can help you lose just as much weight as aerobic exercise, such as running and cycling. Not only can it significantly reduce body fat, the increase in lean muscle helps you look strong and toned.**
The takeaway is to get moving on a regular basis with activities that you enjoy.
4 Tools to Help You Reach Your Weight-Loss Goals Faster
A healthy diet and regular exercise are the staples of any weight management plan, but they’re not the only tools at your disposal. Incorporating high quality, natural supplements proven to support weight loss can help you reach your goals sooner and more easily. Here are a few of my favorites:
1. SpiceFruit – This West African seasoning has been shown to increase metabolism and help people lose weight.* Even without actively changing diet or exercise habits, clinical study participants who took this fruit seed extract daily for 8 weeks lost an average of nearly 14 pounds while also improving their cholesterol and triglyceride levels.*
2. Saffron – This Middle Eastern golden spice has a number of health benefits, and reducing hunger, cravings and appetite are among them. Several studies have shown that adding saffron to your daily diet can reduce overall calorie intake leading to weight loss and fat loss.* High concentrations of saffron’s active compounds can also help balance mood to reduce emotional eating, a leading cause of overconsumption of calories.
3. "Mediterranean" blend – This blend includes a variety of citrus extracts including grapefruit and blood orange. Both of these extracts have been shown to increase metabolism, improve insulin resistance, and even inhibit fat accumulation.** This formula also includes guarana seed extract which helps improve energy and metabolism.* In fact, this belly-burning combination of nutrients has been clinically shown to help participants shrink 2 inches from the waist and lose up to 10% of total body fat in 12 weeks.*
4. Berberine – A plant-based extract, berberine packs a powerful punch when it comes to revving metabolism and controlling blood sugar. Berberine has been shown to increase AMPK activity which increases energy use and metabolism as well as helping to normalize blood sugar levels.**
As you can see, without resorting to unhealthy and unsustainable crash dieting, there are many ways you can tackle weight loss.
By incorporating a Mediterranean style of eating, adding regular exercises, and introducing one or more of the proven and non-stimulating dietary supplements to your daily regimen, you can successfully and sustainably manage your weight.