We have sifted through all the best-tested weight loss strategies and come up with what really works. Try these best practices for losing and sustaining an optimal weight.
Admittedly, it is hard to find a sensible weight loss program from a plethora of often idiotic schemes. We looked for studies, evidence from real people, and finally tested it on ourselves because we too needed to lose a stubborn belly bump. It wasn't bad, but it had crept up. We can tell you it was not easy and took us nearly 8 months, falling off the bandwagon due to social situations.
Exercise will not help you lose weight. The key is to train your body to a new normal in terms of food intake, moderate exercise, and making good food choices despite an onslaught of social pressures like family dinners and gatherings with friends
10 STRATEGIES TO LOSE WEIGHT
- Fasting - .Many cultures have one form of fasting or another. Only with American marketing did this valuable tool fade away. They hammered into us that breakfast was essential to sell us gobs of cereal and other quick breakfast ideas. There are many studies that show intermittent fasting is effective for dramatic weight loss. While lots of counter research has been done by the food industry, at the end of the day, fasting is an effective way to get rid of toxins and reduce weight Watch this interview with Dr. Fung to understand. Start with an 18:6 fasting. That means no eating for 18 hours and eating within the next 6 hours. Then go one better and do the 20:4 fasting. You can try limited dry fasting, but only after you have gotten used to normal fasting. We recommend 14 hours per day.. Here is a brief explanation of dry fasting.
- Fresh food and food rotation - Throw out all the processed food, and that includes any frozen dinners. Cooking fresh meals is probably one of the most difficult tasks for people. Learn to cook, experiment with spices, and add plenty of vegetables. Here is a starter meal plan (pdf) you can use. But don't eat the same healthy food over and over again because even good stuff can become toxic if overeaten. Eating a variety of food also gives you a diverse range of nutrients as well as bacteria that are essential to the proper functioning of our immune system .
- Follow the Keto diet - This is a radical diet involving 75% fat, 20% protein, and 5% carbs. . Visit our Keto diet resource guide here.It is very tough to do as your body has to be keto-adapted. Watch this video from Dr. Burg which really explains it very well. Watch all his videos. We are fans. It took us nearly six attempts, but it works. You will get Keto flu at the beginning, but push past that. Try our Cinnamon Bullet proof tea, the tasty way to get fat into your system for the keto diet.
- Avoid the sugar - Did you know that sugar stimulates hunger? This NY times article confirmed our suspicions. That means your sugar has to be zero before you even start to lose weight. There is plenty of residual sugar in your system which might take 2-3 days or even a week to purge from your body, as shown on this Dr. Oz show.
- Avoid the fruit - Vegetables will provide all the vitamins and minerals that fruit will provide without the sugar. Read our blog post on what cravings mean and which vegetables can replace fruit. Avoid all forms of sugar, even honey.
- Get Sleep - Without a doubt, proper sleep is essential for weight loss, which means 7-8 hours of continuous sleep per night. We have tested it and it works. More than 80% of your weight loss is exhaled as carbon dioxide according to this cool video. So, maybe that is how good sleep works. Dr. Matthew Walker in this speech at Google tells you how lack of sleep can destroy your health in this video.
- Watch Your Calorie intake - that means you should aim for a caloric deficit. Start small (say 500 calorie deficit), maintain that for 2-3 weeks. Then go to a lower level in a step pattern. Remember, your calorie targets will have to be reduced as you get slimmer. Use this Calorie counter to calculate your calorie target.
- Drink lots of water - Use this water calculator article from Dr. Oz to figure out how much water you need per day. As we get older our thirst receptors become inefficient and we mistake hunger for thirst.
- Organic Apple Cider Vinegar - During our initial weight loss plan we experienced bloating. The best solution we discovered was 2 tsp. of Apple Cider Vinegar with a 1 tsp, of lemon.
- Set Weight and Waist goals - Use this site to calculate your ideal weight. Then calculate your ideal waist size which according to Dr. Oz should be half you height. Print this in big bold letters and paste it to the wall next your bed.
- Add pickles - Last but not least, get yourself a variety of pickles. Studies show people with weight issues or diabetes have a very limited amount of good bacteria in their stomach. Good bacteria are essential to your immune system, especially for weight loss. Make some homemade pickles, but eat a wide variety of pickles.
- MCT Oil - Watch this video by Thomas DeLauer on the benefits of MCT oil for fat loss and appetite suppression. We found that taking MCT oil in the evening in lieu of a meal works best. When you first take 1-2 tablespoons of MCT oil, your stomach will rumble, and you might need to rush to the toilet a few times, so it's best to be at home. After a few times, this rush to the toilet will subside. We recommend taking it three times per week because too much MCT can upset your stomach. Besides, it's not exactly pleasant tasting, but it's very effective.
- Maintain Weight - Once you have reached your weight loss goal, maintain it. You can have an occasional cheat meal but you will have to compensate by getting into a caloric deficit equal to the excess you ate and perhaps some high intensity exercise and fasting is needed then.
MOTIVATING TRICKS TO LOSE WEIGHT
Everyone tells you what to do to lose weight but nobody tells you how to overcome all the challenges of weight loss. Like nausea, fatigue, brain fog, lethargy, and generally just not feeling well. We all know it is easier said than done. How do you overcome the feeling of hunger, reduce cravings, and the pain of weight loss? We think these points will help you. It did for us.
- Take a photo of your body everyday. Strip down to your underwear and take a front and side profile shot every day. With the advent of cell phones, this is easy to do. Watch plenty of before and after weight loss videos on YouTube, which are inspiring. These people have done it and show the evidence, unlike those who just preach.
- Measure your belly every day and write it down. This frustration will be motivating. Then suddenly, when you start to see the belly go down, you will get excited. Be warned, it will take many weeks before you start to see the belly size go down. You will lose fat from every other part of your body first.
- Weigh yourself every day - We know everyone says not to weigh yourself every day, but that is nonsensical. Although your weight will vary widely from day to day, you will start to notice the average weight will start to come down. Write it down and track it. It keeps you motivated.. And here is a great weighing scale we bought at Target which tracks multiple data.
- Avoid social eating - That means you will have to cut off yourself from any social eating situations, be it a family gathering or meeting friends for a meal. This is a huge area where people fall off the bandwagon. The social pressure to eat, often bad quality food, is one of the biggest setbacks you can experience.
- Nausea, cravings and carb withdrawal - Nausea, cravings, and carb withdrawal - This hit us pretty hard, especially due to the lack of carbs. We went zero carbs, which was too much. So we set a target of three months and gradually reduced carbs. First, we cut the bread and pasta and just kept the rice. Gradually, we reduced the rice to one cup. That is the best we could do, and it was good enough.
- Sugar cravings - This was hard. We discovered that adding heavy whipping cream to our coffee cut the sugar cravings. This is an interim measure as cream will also spike insulin. We also made a Lime gym hydration recipe with crushed ice, which is really tasty and helped cut food cravings. Also, try dark vegetables drizzled with toasted sesame oil, which dull the sugar cravings. Eat some nuts, but not too much.
- Extra salt - The recommendation to cut salt is for people who eat highly processed food. If you eat healthy fresh meals, add sufficient salt to make it tasty, maybe even a little extra. . This article from the Guardian raises some interesting questions about salt. We found adding lemon and lime, as well as Cinnamon, made our food very savory and tasty. It compensated for the sugar and carb withdrawal.
- Eat high quality food - This often means organic. It is so expensive you will have to buy less, but they also taste far better. Plan your meals. We fell into this trap too, running out of healthy meals after 4 days and reaching for sugar. It takes practice.
LOSING THE LAST 5 POUNDS
Virtually everyone comes to a weight loss plateau. That is usually the stubborn belly fat weighing about 5 lbs. It sticks to you like glue. This is one of the most frustrating aspects of weight loss. You must push past this weight loss plateau and to get to a new normal. It involves doing some counter-intuitive things.
From our experience, these are the best practices to lose the last 5 pounds. This is in addition to regular weight loss activities with a few refinements. And it will take you six months to lose the last 5 lbs around the belly. Don't rush it. Just work at it slowly.
- Exercise on an empty stomach - This is what worked for us. This we believe forces the body to use fat instead of residual food in your system to power your body.
- High-intensity interval exercise - A little bit of weightlifting, fast swimming, and tennis is what worked for us. Be warned: your speed while playing a sport on an empty stomach will not be as explosive as on a high-carb diet. But if the weight loss goal is achieved, who cares if you lose a game or not?
- Only two meals a day - Dr. Berg recommends just two meals a day in this video. We agree, although we could not handle the 7-10 cups of vegetables he recommends.
- Reduce protein intake slightly - We suggest reducing protein intake by about 25%. This is because protein also gets converted to sugar, although not as quickly as carbs.
- Reduce water intake slightly - Counterintuitively, we drank about 25% less water and reduced our sodium (salt) intake for this stage. We also did dry fasting, which apparently even kills fat cells instead of just making them shrink. While you need normal healthy doses of salt when you lose weight, the last 5 pounds require a forced intervention. This is because salt makes your body retain water and will fill the empty fat cells with water. Once you lose the last 5 pounds, you can revert back to normal amounts of water.
- Sleep - This Rule Still Applies for the Last 5 Pounds of Weight Loss. Remember, weight loss happens through your mouth.
- Drink tea or coffee - Apparently, caffeine is a diuretic that will force the body to expel water weight quickly. We tried it, and it worked.
- Go slowly on the Belly Fat reduction. Go Slowly on the Belly Fat Reduction. If you go too fast, you will lose the belly but get belly flab or loose skin, like what happened to this guy. Dr. Berg recommends using a healthy approach to weight loss and doing reverse sit-ups instead of crunches. This makes sense. We think adding some cream or coconut oil to your belly might also be useful to prevent stretch marks
- Try a carb re-feed - Yes, actually eat carbs like rice, bread, and roti. Not too much, like a cup of rice, two slices of bread, or a roti paratha or two. Only for one day, and then get back to your normal weight loss diet program.
- Belly Massage - Some say to massage your belly with Vicks Vapor Rub, Tiger Balm, or coconut oil. It's worth a try, even if the evidence isn't there