Losing weight for many seems like an elusive goal. One reason is there is so much conflicting information out there about how to achieve healthy and sustainable weight loss.
Today I’m going to share some tips (and research) regarding diet, exercise, and dietary supplements that you can easily and successfully incorporate into your weight management plan.
Why Fad Diets Don’t Work?
Let’s start with my one word response when readers ask me about fad or crash diets: DON’T!
These diets may sound like the perfect quick fix, but they almost always require severe calorie restriction that is not sustainable.
And though you may lose a few pounds fast, once you stop the diet the weight comes back, you often gain back gaining more weight than you lost…leaving you further away from your goals.*
And while you are restricting your diet and removing certain food groups your body needs, you are putting yourself at risk of nutrient deficiencies, dehydration, electrolyte imbalances, and loss of muscle tone.*
On top of the weight coming back and any potential health issues, you’re often met with guilt and shame for “failing” your diet, creating a vicious cycle of moving onto the next fad diet to see if that will work. But the truth is, these fad diets were never designed for you to continue long term! They’re meant to help you shed pounds fast without consideration of the longer-term consequences.
This is why fad diets and crash diets rarely work. It has nothing to do with you or your motivation and dedication to reaching your weight goals.
But don’t worry, there are plenty of other ways you can accomplish healthy weight management.
How Keto Fits into Your Weight Loss Plan
The ketogenic diet involves a low carbohydrate diet with somewhat limited protein intake and little to no limitation on good fat consumption. Instead of severe calorie restrictions – you are free to eat as much as you want within the keto diet parameters.
The goal of the ketogenic diet is to induce ketosis, and this carries a number of benefits with it.
One of those benefits is weight loss. Those who start the ketogenic diet tend to lose weight and lose it rather quickly. Your appetite and cravings decrease and your metabolism increases making reducing calorie intake and losing weight more attainable.*
While no diet can be for everyone – people tend to stick to a low carb diet more readily than sticking to a low fat diet.* This means if someone starts a ketogenic diet, they’re more likely to follow through and achieve their weight loss goals.
And while many think if you eat a diet high in fat you risk increasing your cholesterol, a ketogenic diet has been shown to reduce triglycerides and increase high-density lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterol (the ‘good’ cholesterol).*
Intermittent fasting (IF) often goes hand in hand with the keto diet. Intermittent fasting is the practice of shifting between unrestricted eating 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.*
Even Light Regular Exercise is Important for Weight Management
While changing your diet and eating habits can help you lose weight, adding in various types of exercise can allow you to reach your goals faster and more easily.
But it’s important to choose the types of exercise and movement that you enjoy so you continue to exercise on a regular basis.
And that doesn’t mean you have to “hit the gym” or work up a sweat. Something as simple and low impact as walking can be very effective. One study found that when two groups started a new diet, the group who also started a walking routine lost more weight and total fat.*
Participants walked on average 2.5 hours per week - about 20 minutes per day, which shows it doesn’t take hours at the gym to see benefits. Those who walked regularly lost more weight and their insulin resistance was also reduced. This means not only did they lose weight and fat – their insulin worked more effectively.*
If you want to increase your work out intensity, you can start a jogging or running routine. Running requires more energy than walking so for every hour you run versus walk – you could lose 90% more weight over time.*
Lower impact aerobic exercise like cycling can also help you lose and maintain weight loss. When participants started a cycling regimen – even if they didn’t change their eating habits – they were able to lose weight according to a 12 week study.* Not only did they lose weight, their cardiovascular health improved showing the role cycling could play in reducing a person’s risk for developing cardiovascular issues.*
If aerobic exercises like jogging or biking aren’t for you, then incorporating weight training or resistance training into your regular daily activities can be just as helpful. Resistance training, which includes weight lifting or using kettlebells or medicine balls have been shown to help people lose just as much weight as aerobic exercise (running, cycling, etc). If you are new to resistance training or haven’t done it in some time, remember to start with light weights and add weight to your routine gradually.*
And, although you can lose the same amount of weight, resistance training has the additional benefits of increasing lean body mass and reducing loss of muscle.* Oftentimes we lose muscle while losing weight which can change our overall body composition (how we look overall). Resistance training can combat that, so you lose fat, not muscle.
Four 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:
- 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 spicefruit daily for 8 weeks lost an average of nearly 14 pounds while also improving their cholesterol and triglyceride levels.*
- Saffron. This Middle Eastern golden spice has a number of health benefits and reducing 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.*
- ‘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 fat 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.*
- 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 normalizing 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 more ketogenic approach to your diet, 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.