There’s no getting around it - weight loss is 80% what you eat and 20% how you exercise. The older I get, the less I can get away with eating junky foods and thinking I can “work off” the calories by jumping around a little extra.
Cleaning up my act requires me to clean up my food choices, and I am so excited to share my time-tested strategies so you, too, can lose weight without going on some fad “diet” science has proven just doesn’t stick.
When I need to slim down for a video shoot, when I’m prepping for a tropical vacation, or when I’ve veered off the Health Highway and need to grab the steering wheel, I use the following 14 tips that always help me lose weight without feeling deprived. With these proven nutritional strategies, I guarantee you’ll feel amazing, your body will become a superhuman fat burning machine, and did I mention weight loss?
1. DRINK 20oz OF WATER right when you wake up - add a squeeze of lemon, a tablespoon of Grade B maple syrup and a dash of cayenne pepper. This mini Master Cleanse kick starts your metabolism and wakes up your digestive system.
2. DON'T DRINK CALORIES. Remove soda, sports drinks, fruit juice, alcohol, sugary coffee concoctions and added sweeteners from your diet. If you love coffee, get good quality joe at your local artisanal roaster, invest in a French Press, and drink 1 big cup in the morning, black.
(Perfect the art of mining your morning "Black Gold" with this tutorial.)
3. CONTROL YOUR ENVIRONMENT. Remove all processed and sugary foods from your cabinet. Donate or ditch the boxes, bags, cans and containers of food-like products. If it’s white, it ain’t right, so lose the pasta, white rice, refined flour & sugar, white bread, and any other food leached of its nutrients through processing.
4. EAT WHOLE FOODS. Organic fruits & vegetables, lean meats, eggs, legumes, organic yogurt, whole grains, nuts and seeds will satisfy your hunger and nourish your body!
5. BRIGHTEN YOUR PLATE WITH COLOR to get the full spectrum of nutrients and antioxidants. At each meal, vegetables should cover at least half your plate. Green is King, but yellow, orange and red veggies are awesome, too.
6. BUY ORGANIC, GRASS FED MEATS & PASTURED EGGS so you increase the pros of eating animal products (high protein content, fills you up) and reduce the cons (added hormones & antibiotics, highly acidic, less heart-healthy). Check out EAT WILD and LOCAL HARVEST for all the sustainable resources you need.
(This chicken is stoked! Happy chickens mean healthy eggs and meat.)
7. CHOOSE HEALTHY FATS to help support the brain and body’s many functions: almonds, walnuts, sesame seeds, avocado, olive oil & coconut oil are great choices.
8. COOK AT HOME 5 days a week, where you can control what goes into your meals, you control portion size, and you get the satisfaction of making something delicious and nourishing, just for you. Use these inexpensive HEALTHY RECIPES and have fun!
9. BREAKFAST LIKE A KING, LUNCH LIKE A PRINCE, DINNER LIKE A PAUPER. Gradually reduce the size of your meals throughout the day. Finish a small dinner by 7pm. Make some herbal tea before bed to soothe your stomach and make you sleepy.
10. CHEW! Minimize distractions, give thanks, and chew each bite 30-40 times. Chewing promotes easier digestion, heightens flavors, and gives your body time to register when it’s full so you don’t mindlessly overeat.
11. BRUSH YOUR TEETH. If you’re not really hungry but tempted to graze, a minty fresh mouth usually crushes the craving.
12. EAT ONLY WHEN YOU'RE HUNGRY. We often eat food to avoid, distract or procrastinate. Employ the H.A.L.T. Method: Am I Hungry? Angry? Lonely? Tired? Slow down and think about why you want to eat at this moment. If your reason is NOT hunger, write down your thoughts about why you might be using food for something other than nourishment. Often this is all it takes to re-focus.
13. SPLURGE ON A HIGH-QUALITY DARK CHOCOLATE BAR (at least 70% cacao) and eat 1 square after dinner. Dark chocolate is super healthy and enjoying a nibble every night feels like a treat!
14. BREAK A SWEAT EVERYDAY. Run, walk, bike, go to the gym, take a class, pop in one of my videos, play with your kids, dance in your living room. Get creative and move that body by doing something you enjoy!
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Xoxoxo – Lara