How to Lose Weight Easily, Permanently, and Sustain the Weight Loss
As I’m really close to wrapping up the long-awaited Eat Right for Life Plan, I asked select people for some help. I will be releasing the Plan in early September. But before I finalize everything and send it off to the technical magicians that will make it available, I need to make sure I have covered everything. So, I asked people to take a few minutes to let me know what their top two questions about weight loss are that I absolutely NEED to answer in the Eat Right for Life Plan.
Wow, the response has been amazing! Thank you so much for helping me out so I can help others learn how to lose weight. The Eat Right for Life Plan is improving every single day thanks to your responses.
I got so busy sending personal emails and posting on social media that I forget to set up a post right here on my website to answer questions. Oops! I’m calling that “mom-brain” since I’m trying to get everyone ready to go back to school (and our exchange student from Ecuador arrives tonight!)
I’m going to keep adding to this post every day. I’ll post the newest weight loss question and the answer at the top so you don’t have to go hunting to learn more about easy, sustainable, permanent weight loss. Lots of great information on how to lose weight and some fun weight loss tips.
If you want to get your questions answered, comment below
Weight Loss Questions Answered:
I’m trying to get to all the weight loss questions but I was a bit surprised by the response, although I appreciate it immensely.
If you eat high quality fats, how much is too much? What’s a good number for your daily intake?
This really depends on the person. I recommend about 30% of your daily calorie intake to be good fatty acids, although many people consume a higher percentage. Balance them between saturated, polyunsaturated, and monounsaturated, although all fats are a combination. If you have the desire to do the math, a very general, very conservative guideline / 30% saturated fat, 10% polyunsaturated fat mostly in the form of Omega-3, and 60% monounsaturated fats.
What happens if I avoid carbs altogether?
Carbohydrates are the main source of fuel for the body. Specifically carbohydrates fuel the brain. They also provide a quick source of energy for our muscles and help regulate protein and fat metabolism. We may be able to convert other food sources to fuel the body but we still need carbohydrates as a source of fiber to help with regular elimination, and for specific nutrients found only in plant sources.
Usually when people say they are avoiding carbohydrates they mean they are avoiding simple carbohydrates like sugars, fruit juice, and quick processing starches. Unrefined carbohydrates exist in nature such as vegetables, legumes, properly prepared whole grains, and fruits. These energy-providing carbohydrates include vitamins, minerals, phytonutrients, enzymes, protein, fat, and fiber in a way that will help build the body and create a healthy diet. There is vitality in real, whole foods. Approximately 40% of your daily calorie intake should be unrefined, mostly complex carbohydrates.
Please confirm that low fat foods are not good for you
No question about it / low fat, non fat foods are not good for you. This is a fabulous marketing job perpetuated by a host of companies. I can’t pick on any one because it’s a much more complicated topic than just the soybean association, manufacturers, Monsanto, etc. And, I don’t lie, I bought into too / had a little dial that I turned to track every gram of fat I ate. This was back in the late 1980’s or early 1990’s when fat was being demonized by the diet industry.
But, after terrible health issues, I started really doing my research. I found out fat provides a concentrated source of energy and a fairly high percentage of good fats are required for health and good fats don’t make you fat or gain weight. Fat is a building block for cell membranes and hormones (low fat/bad fat = crazy hormone changes), are required to absorb fat soluble vitamins (no fat = no vitamin A, E, D, & K), help fight inflammation, are required for adequate use of proteins, serve as protective lining, slow absorption of foods, helps let our bodies know when we’re full, and makes food tasty.
The problem with low fat and non fat foods is something has to replace the flavor so there’s usually extra sugar, artificial flavorings, or other manufactured ingredients that are worse than a good quality fat. Plus, our body doesn’t get the signal from the hypothalamus that we’re full so most people end up overindulging and increasing their calorie amounts which doesn’t help with weight loss.
It’s all about balancing good quality fats with good complex carbohydrates and high quality protein sources. No one portion of the equation can be ignored in order to have good healthy and to learn how to lose weight.
I think the “beginning again” is exhausting when it comes to food and staying on a plan. Any tips?
Honestly, if you’re having to “begin again” than you aren’t on the right plan (no pun intended). When you Eat Right for Life there is a beginning but there is never an ending so you never have to start again. My best tip is to participate in a program like the Eat Right for Life Plan that provides the support for six months to see you through the process so the small, incremental changes because your lifestyle not something that you start or stop.
You shouldn’t have to say no to foods you like when you’re body is in balance. At that point you eat 80% healthy real food choices so that 20% of the time you can enjoy special events and social settings without feeling deprived. I told a story on one of my YouTube videos about being at a dinner and watching women decline the dessert that was part of a fixed meal price. You could tell they were distressed; some even left early saying they couldn’t eat dessert – they were dieting. Yes, I had a couple bites of dessert / it was okay, but I certainly didn’t feel I wanted any more. When I asked some of folks who had skipped dessert it was interesting to hear the responses. One lady ended up going back to her hotel and eating an entire box of chocolates. Deprivation won’t work. You shouldn’t have to say no but you do have to maintain balance and eat healthy most of the time in order to achieve weight loss and maintain it as a permanent lifestyle.
How do I add making fermented and cultured foods into my lifestyle? They seem like a lot of work.
Fermented and cultured foods really aren’t that difficult to make, but they certainly are an art form. I say this because every time I make fermented foods my husband complains about the smell. This is obviously not my forte in cooking. 😉 I do have a few recipes in my Cleanse & Detoxify Your Body book but . . .
If you’re like me and can’t quite master the skill, I recommend a couple places for purchasing / Pickled Planet http://pickledplanet.com/ or Immunitrition http://www.immunitrition.com/ are my go-to choices as well as homemade options from friends at Weston A. Price Foundation events. Look for cultured vegetables that have not been pasteurized, that are living foods with enzymes and natural probiotics. The key phrase is traditionally fermented or traditionally cultured.
I highly recommend adding cultured vegetables into your meal plan for several reasons. First, they increase bowel movements pulling toxins out of your body. Second, they replenish and balance the gut flora. Eight percent or more of our immune system is located in the gut so balance is important for overall health.
How do you achieve a balance diet on a budget or fix income?
This is an interesting question because people assume that eating healthy is more costly. One of my clients kept a very detailed budget and reported back that although she spent more per item she actually purchased fewer items because she wasn’t eating as much and she was planning meals so there wasn’t any waste. Her overall food budget actually went down even though she was purchasing organic.
Tips to help include: purchase in bulk or family size and re-package into smaller servings for use later; purchase quality meats from local sources rather than large grocery stores (farmer’s markets, CSAs, small farmers); purchase fresh fruits and vegetables locally and in season for the best prices; purchase herbs, grains, beans, and sweeteners in bulk for reduced costs; stock up on sales and freeze for later. The most important tip, not only for your budget, but as a weight loss tip too / PLAN! Figure your meal s ahead, purchase only what you need, stick to the plan. This will save a surprising amount of money.
With all the hype about thin, I often have to help my clients realize that not one size eating style fits everyone. Some of the question that come up are what is my optimal weight is for my body type? How can I eat healthy and still enjoy my lifestyle? How can I eat healthy without feeling like it’s a punishment.
It continues to be troubling that people, especially women, put such a high regard on being “thin” or what the scale says. Truthfully, there isn’t any one optimal weight, no matter what the current AMA graph says. So much depends on genetics and lifestyle choices. And, yes, I say lifestyle choices because there’s only so much women can handle at any one time. I talked to a lady the other day who was juggling three kids under the age of 2. No surprise, she wasn’t finding time to exercise for weight loss. She isn’t going to find the time right now – a short walk with the kids, a few weights lifted during nap period, maybe. Those are great weight loss tips, if she isn’t so exhausted that she needs to nap too. Honoring where we are in our lives means there isn’t an optimal weight based on body type, but there is an optimal weight for you and your lifestyle. I wish we could truly get to a place where women just tried to be the best versions of themselves without concern about comparisons to others. I know that’s my own utopia though. (Feel free to join me – it’s an awesome place!)
I will say though that eating healthy definitely shouldn’t be a punishment. If it feels that way the changes are most likely too radical or too fast. It takes a while to change the taste buds – about 15 times. So, smaller, incremental changes (like the Eat Right for Life Plan) are usually not noticed and can slowly change the taste buds so real food tastes better. As healthy foods taste better and better, it’s simpler and less complicated to eat them, and the increased energy and weight loss makes it even easier and easier to keep going. It’s a sustainable upward spiral. If it feels like punishment it certainly isn’t going to be easy or sustainable. I think people forget that they didn’t get to unhealthy habits or a weight they don’t feel comfortable with in a short time frame and creating new healthy habits or losing unwanted pounds won’t happen overnight. Again, if it does, it’s probably not healthy, easy, sustainable, or permanent.
What foods to avoid?
I love this question. Mostly because it’s actually not all that easy and if someone tells you it is / walk away because they offer the same exact answer to everyone, which will never work. The foods you should focus on and the foods you should avoid depend on your body type. For example, my husband can eat all the grains he wants and as much sugar as he wants (because he never craves sugar). On the other hand, I have to limit my consumption of grains and sweets; both will create a spare tire for me and they can cause me cravings if I’m not careful. That’s because we are two different body types and need different foods in order for our bodies to be in balance.
Unfortunately there isn’t a simple answer because it depends on your body. Once you identify your types, where your body derives energy from, where your body stores fat, what foods you crave, etc. you can work with the body to create balance, which is what the Eat Right for Life Plan is all about. I wish I could give you an easy answer but it’s too individual for that. Without assessing your body type you may constantly be working against the body’s natural metabolic rhythm, which is a struggle, rather than working with the body to achieve easy, permanent weight loss.
So many plans have you give up so many foods that I feel deprived from having it. So my motivation to stick with the plan wanes after a few weeks.
Yep, if you’re looking at a quick diet plan, like my 2 Week Weight Loss Programs, then yes, you’re going to restrict certain foods in order to get quick results. These programs aren’t sustainable. Yes, I just wrote that one of my programs isn’t sustainable. I wrote, right in the book, that it is designed to kick start your weight loss; very few people would or could choose to follow the program as a permanent lifestyle choice. Almost all mainstream programs are designed this way. You follow the program for the first week or two when you’re super excited and have the most energy to follow through and you get great results. Then, life happens; you start following the program less and blame yourself for not getting the desired results.
That’s another reason the Eat Right for Life Plan is six months. Because life is going to happen; special occasions occur; bumps along the path derail the plan and it’s important that you have support during these times, to know what to do, how to get back on track, and to keep you motivated. That’s how to lose weight permanently.
Sustainable, permanent weight loss changes only come from taking small steps that are easily incorporated into your life. Each new, small step builds on the previous and all of the sudden you look back and are surprised how far you’ve come. Life’s for living – not depriving ourselves. If you learn the best choices and then just start swapping out poor choices for the new healthier ones as you need replacements or are making a recipe, you’ll soon be losing weight, eating healthier, and have more energy without dramatic changes. This makes it easier to stay motivated and still have room for “treats”.
WEIGHT LOSS QUESTION:
What causes people to feel “addicted” to foods?
Feelings of addiction really can be much more than “feelings”. Many foods are addictive. Processed foods can alter our taste buds and body in ways that make us want to keep eating them. (These food scientists are highly paid for a reason!) Foods we think of as “comforting” can be stimulating to our dominate gland (where we derive our primary source of energy). These foods, quite literally give us an energy lift and the hormones that are secreted give us a sense of calmness. We form an association, very early in life, with the feeling from the hormones. This is why people have cravings and feel addicted to certain foods. We don’t crave the nutritional value; it’s the value as a stimulant. And, just like all stimulants, we can become addicted to the feeling. This feeling isn’t bad in and of itself / what is bad is the way we come to rely too much on that feeling, overeat the foods that give it to us, and thus exhaust glands in our body. We have to create balance. In the Eat Right for Life Plan you identify your healthiest diet and beginning to make changes to create that balance so you lose the cravings and the feeling of being addicted, while have amazing weight loss results. When you are in balance, you can eat a few bites of brownie, ice cream, potato chips or any food really without devouring the whole pan, quart, or bag.
This is what the Eat Right for Life Plan is all about. No “diet” is going to be a permanent solution. You could probably do anything for a week or two / nothing but grapefruit or rice cakes, no carbs, no sugars, only diet shakes or whatever but that’s not sustainable and it’s not family friendly. That isn’t how to lose weight permanently. To make healthy eating and weight loss permanently part of your life you have to incorporate small steps that build to the big success. If you try to throw everything out of pantry you’re family will hate you. If you try to deprive yourself, you’ll eventually “fall off the wagon”, because there shouldn’t be a “wagon”. Eating the foods that are in the best harmony with your body type and creating balance allows you to eat well about 80% of the time so you don’t have to worry about it the other 20% of the time. “Diet” truly is a four-letter word. So skip the “diet” and find your permanent plan, then weight loss will easily be part of your life every day.
Which weight loss program works best over time? (Maintenance of weight loss beyond 2 years)
Most, if not all, of the weight loss programs I’ve seen and studied aren’t sustainable. The Centers for Disease Control notes that at any moment 2/3 of all Americans start some kind of diet for weight loss. Unfortunately 95% of people who lose weight will gain it back. This is because people are trying, what I call, diets of the moment, which just won’t work because there is no one-size fits all diet. Each one of us is different and we have to respect and work within that difference. What works for one person may or may work for another. The secret is to learn what is right for your body so you can learn how to lose weight permanently. Let me give you an example – for some people breakfast can and should be the biggest most important meal of the day / they wake up with tons of energy, ready to go and hungry first thing in the morning. But for others, who get moving a little slower in the morning, eating a large meal first thing in the morning not only sounds disgusting and overwhelming, it’ actually going to cause them to be ravenously hungry for the rest of the day. These people need totally different meal plans in order to accomplish weight loss.
The same idea is true for all aspects related to eating. Where you get your energy, where you store fat, what types of foods you should eat, what types of foods you crave, and how to overcome those cravings / these are individual topics. When you eat the foods that are in the best harmony with the metabolic needs of your body you will easily lose excess weight and have increased energy. Plus you’ll have reduced appetite, loss of cellulite, less food cravings, improved digestion, and enhanced moods. You can reach your weight loss goals easily by learning how to use real foods that are in balance with your body. We want to work with the body, not against it.
When clients understand how to create balance it’s not only their weight loss program, it’s also their maintenance program because it’s all the same. It’s a permanent lifestyle change where they understand how to choose the best foods, how to plan for special treat occasions, how to live so weight and food don’t control their life. On the Eat Right for Life Plan some women are still losing weight (one has lost over 80 pounds in 2 years and is still losing) and others have reached their weight loss goals and have continued healthy eating habits for over 4 years. That’s how to lose weight permanently and sustain the weight loss.
In short, the best weight loss program over time is to learn to create and implement your own customized diet and nutrition plan not only for yourself, but something the whole family will love.