The holidays have come and gone but that excess weight may be here to stay! Whether you gained a few pounds over the holiday season or simply want to get in shape and feel better in 2016, these slim-down tips will get you started on the right track.
Start by Detoxing
Especially if your diet has been less than stellar or you’ve picked up a few bad habits over the past year, a good detox can flush out all those accumulated toxins (not to mention several pounds or more of compacted fecal matter!) and jumpstart weight loss. Choose one of these detox programs:
Global Healing Center’s Oxy Powder 6-day Complete Colon Cleanse requires only a healthy diet, a detox drink made with common ingredients in your kitchen, a bottle of Oxy-Powder capsules, and a good probiotic. Oxy-Powder gently yet effectively oxygenates the digestive system to clean it out while you sleep, so this is a really easy detox plan.
The 21 Day Detox Plan, by Erica Lepore, ND, is an excellent choice for those looking not only to eliminate toxins but also needing some help sorting out which foods leave you feeling your best. You’ll follow a clean and healthy diet for 3 weeks, followed by a period of reintroducing foods to see how your body responds. During the 21 Day Detox, you’ll also take several detox supplements to encourage toxins to be expelled and to support the liver and the digestive tract.
Choose a Diet Plan
This is where it’s easy to get stuck! There are just so many diets out there that it’s hard to know which diet is best. I strongly believe that the best diet plan is the one you feel you can actually stick to, yet still challenges you to change your eating. If you look at a long list of food restrictions and supplements and think, “I can never stick to this!” then chances are, you won’t. If you come across a diet that seems super easy, it’s probably too good to be true and won’t lead to lasting weight loss results. Aim for a middle ground. Many of our blog readers LOVE the Dr. Oz diets. The Dr. Oz Two Week Rapid Weight Loss Diet and Dr. Oz’s Total 10 Rapid Weight Loss Diet won’t leave you feeling hungry and deprived. Plus, the entire plans are mapped out for you, so you know exactly what you can and can’t eat and which supplements to take. Recipes and sample meal plans are included to make it even easier to know what to eat to shed pounds. Dr. Oz developed the Two Week Rapid Weight Loss Diet first, and it is ultimately nearly identical to the revamped Total 10 Rapid Weight Loss Diet, so you can use the weight loss recipes and tips interchangeably.
Give Your Metabolism a Boost
Diet and exercise simply aren’t enough for many of us to lose weight. An all-natural weight loss supplement can rev up your metabolism and help the pounds come off more quickly. As you start to notice the number on the scale drop, you’ll be more motivated to stick to your healthy weight loss plan. A few of our favorite, Dr. Oz-recommended diet supplements include:
Perfect Green Coffee is an extract made from green coffee beans with 50% chlorogenic acid. Green coffee has been found to lower blood pressure and blood glucose levels while promoting fat burning and boosting metabolism.
Perfect African Mango helps suppress appetite and leave you feeling full, so you’re less likely to overeat. Plus, African mango (or Irvingia Gabonensis) amps up the metabolism and improves digestion and absorption of nutrients.
Go for a walk. Take the stairs instead of the elevator. Start your morning with some pushups and jumping jacks. Bike to work. Hit the gym. The options are endless but getting started may feel daunting. If you’re really crunched for time or struggling to balance exercise with other commitments, try some of these free workout videos that you can do at home, with no equipment. Try not to give in to the “all or nothing” mentality. Ten minutes of exercise is still better than nothing, and skipping a day doesn’t mean you should give up on your exercise routine completely. This is how so many New Year’s resolutions fade away; most of us feel like we’ve already failed when we miss a workout or indulge in a couple cookies. Instead of giving up, remind yourself of all the successes, both big and small, that you’ve already experienced this year, and focus on how great you feel when you are sticking to your plan.
It sounds so much simpler than it is, but with good planning, you really can avoid eating to excess! The trick is to figure out ahead of time what pitfalls you’ll face, and be prepared with a solution. Examples:
If you often get the munchies… Keep cut up carrot and celery sticks ready in the fridge. Have sugar-free xylitol gum on hand. Brush your teeth as soon as you finish a meal, which signals your body that you’re done eating. Since mindless eating often accompanies boredom, write a list of activities you would enjoy doing when you’re at loose ends.
If you’re prone to emotional overeating… Have a plan for what you’ll do instead of grabbing a pint of ice cream. You might call a friend, or watch a feel-good movie, or take a hot bath, or go for a walk in the woods. Try adaptogenic herbs like rhodiola rosea or cordyceps to help you manage stress, anxiety, or depression. Avoid keeping your favorite junk foods in the house, since the temptation might prove to be too much.
If you tend to stick to your diet all day and eat everything in sight at night… You might need to eat more throughout the day. If you aren’t consuming enough calories and a good balance of nutrients, you’ll wind up craving junk food to quickly restore your energy and satisfy your hunger. Or, you may need to replace certain habits with healthier ones. If you’ve always come home from work and plopped on the couch with a bag of chips and the TV remote, it will be really hard to watch TV without your chips. Instead, you’ll need to plan something else to do to unwind when you walk in the door.
If you end up eating large portions at meals… Start each meal with a salad or a cup of bone broth to fill you up a bit without adding lots of calories. Serve everyone’s dinner in the kitchen and bring it to the table, rather than keeping bowls of extra helpings right in front of you on the table. You’ll be less likely to pile on second and third helpings if you have to get up and walk to the kitchen to get more, or if the leftovers are already stashed in the fridge.
Strengthen Your Resolve
Why do you want to lose weight? What will change in your life once you’ve reached your goal? Perhaps you’ll finally fit into your favorite dress or build up the stamina to hike a mountain known for its amazing views. Maybe losing weight will improve your health and allow you to wean off medications. You might have more energy to run around with the kids, or more confidence at work. Whatever reasons you have for slimming down, keep them front and center in your mind. Spend a minute or two each morning, noon, and night quietly envisioning your success. Create a vision board, or spend some time journaling about what losing weight means to you. Keep visible reminders around the house: post-its on the bathroom mirror, a photo of your goal weight outfit on the fridge, a family snapshot on the treadmill. Really spend time developing your goal and your vision of the future, so you can stay motivated during weak moments.
Best of luck in your weight loss pursuits!