Most of us have struggled with our weight at times! It’s easy to fall out of healthy eating routines and allow the pounds of fat to accumulate. This frequently happens when our routines are disrupted, with travel or other disruptions that put healthy eating out of reach. For example, I recently realized, yet again, that the free cappuccino machine in the physician’s lounge was beating me, and I could feel my belly becoming heavy and full. The same thing happened with burritos at Taco Bell several months back. Both with cappuccinos and Taco Bell, I have learned that I must stop completely. As in many areas of life, good habits are the key to lasting success.
The guiding principles of healthy and sustainable weight loss are as follows:
1. Eat a plant-based, whole food diet, with a good variety of fruits and vegetables, purchased ‘organic’ or grown in your own garden.
2. Eat healthy fats (since fats should account for 20-30% of total calories), including mixed whole nuts, avocado, extra-virgin olive oil.
3. Drink plenty of water, since a stomach full of water also controls appetite.
4. Avoid eating carbohydrates (bread, starches) during your evening meal, as these are most likely to be stored as fat while you are sleeping.
5. Stop eating completely after 6 pm.
This means no evening snacking of any kind, as extra food after the evening meal is most likely to be stored as fat.
6. In addition to diet, weight loss must include an exercise routine.
I suggest a combination of cardiovascular and strength exercises, as building muscle plays a tremendous role in weight loss. I like working out at home with video-based workouts like Bar Method and Insanity. Most recently I’ve been using the “Results” app on my smartphone, which guides me through 45 minutes of strength-based and aerobic exercises per day.
7. I have adopted other routines, like a swig of apple cider vinegar in the morning with a tall glass of water.
I also gulp a tablespoon of mixed spices including cinnamon, turmeric, cayenne pepper, and ginger, again washed down with a tall glass of water (part of my morning hydration). I have benefited from an excellent salad bar at work, where I can create a bean-based salad with kidney and black beans, more mixed nuts, and a mix of fresh veggies including tomatoes, peas, spinach, cucumbers, broccoli and cauliflower.
8. Finally, fasting for one day each week, or twice per month is excellent to rest out metabolism, allow cells to cleanse, and to promote weight loss. Choose a day to drink only water for 24-hours. In the end it’s invigorating!
For more information on the Mediterranean diet, which is an excellent guide to a plant-based whole-food diet, please see my article:
A Mediterranean Diet for Optimal Heart Health
Also on youtube: Achieve your greatest HEART HEALTH, most POWERFUL BRAIN, and BEST FIGURE
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