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6 Tips You Need to Hear if You Just Can't Drop the Weight

Healthy Weight Loss

healthy-weight-lossObesity is one of the top predictors of disease and death in the U.S. It increases your risk of developing heart disease, type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure, stroke, mental health disorders, Alzheimer’s disease, arthritis, liver disease, kidney disease, gallbladder disease and many types of cancer. According to the National Institute of Health (NIH,) 1 in 3 Americans are classified as overweight, and almost 40% of adults in the US are classified as having obesity [NHANES, 2013-2014]. (read more here)

This is obviously a problem. Weight loss is a big deal and can reduce your chances of developing some pretty terrible diseases.

But why has this become such an enormous issue? I mean, in the 1960’s you couldn’t find a state with more than 15% of the population considered obese. And now we’re averaging close to 40%?!

Is it us?

Have we rapidly developed genes that make us particularly susceptible to weight gain?

I don’t think so…

Consider your ancestors for a moment:

They foraged for plants to eat and hunted wild game.

They moved constantly in search of a safe place to rest and nutrition to sustain life.

They basked in natural sunlight, and slept when it was dark.

Now consider the average American:

We wake up in our cozy beds.

Walk to the kitchen.

Grab a Toaster Strudel and shove it in the toaster before work.

We drive our cars to the office (stopping at Starbucks for a double caramel whipped Frappucino…obviously), and take a seat in a cubicle.

We bathe in artificial and unnatural light, sitting for 8 hours straight.

And finally come home to plop on the couch so we can enjoy a delicious box of takeout and binge-watch Shameless on Netflix.

SO…

The only logical explanation is that lazy modern Americans are at fault for the obesity epidemic and related health problems, right?

I’d argue that we aren’t necessarily to blame.

Our environment has changed too rapidly for our genes to evolve and allow adequate adaptation.

Not to mention…food manufacturers know exactly which chemicals and the precise amount of sugar and hydrogenated fat to add to their foods.

There is a science behind creating processed food-like-substance which ensures that you are more likely to become addicted. If you’re addicted, they can keep selling you junk while filling their pockets with cash.

It’s pretty upsetting, but it’s the truth.

So does this mean that you’re screwed and you might as well get used to your fat pants?

I don’t know about you, but I feel pretty awful when I have to pull those bad boys out.

There’s nothing more damaging to my self-confidence than having to go out and try on and squeeeeze into clothes in a larger size that I don’t want to buy in the first place.

Gaining weight sucks, but there are simple steps you can take to shed that weight and start feeling better.

And while these steps are simple, they aren’t always easy.

Remember to listen to your body, and focus on your health. The weight loss will be an awesome side effect.

1. Don’t diet

Have you ever started a diet, immediately stopped, and then hated yourself as a result? I have.

Diets don’t work. They may be a great short-term solution, but most dieters gain back any weight they lost, and typically a few pounds more than they started with.

“Giving up” and “restricting” food creates a self-loathing and unhealthy environment in your mind. Focus, instead, on what to include and enjoy.

2. Eat for health

Eating foods that nourish your body feels good.

It makes sense that if you make some changes and feel amazing as a result, that you might stick with those changes longer.

Focus on nutrient-dense foods- foods like plants, sustainable meat and healthy fats like omega-3s.

These foods naturally have high levels of nutrients compared to their caloric density.
And speaking of calories…

3. Stop counting calories and focus on food quality

A bag of Flaming Hot Cheetos will not sustain your biological functions like spinach drenched in grass fed butter, alongside some roasted sweet potatoes and a grass-finished steak.

If you can cut out the junk and processed foods, your hunger hormones will have a chance to level out.

This rebalancing of your hormones creates an environment where you eat because you’re hungry, not because you’re bored.

Focus on high quality, nutrient dense ingredients.

Your body will do the rest.

4. Eat more fat

Still stuck in a low-fat state of mind?

Repeat after me: “I will never buy anything at the store because it has a low-fat label, ever again!”

Low-fat labeling is basically another way of telling you that a food has been juiced up with all sorts of chemicals and sugar to make it taste better.

Stick with the natural, high fat versions. Fat is delicious, and it helps you absorb some pretty important nutrients.

Did you know that your body needs fat to absorb vitamins A, D, E, and K?

5. Switch your carbs

Another trick that food manufacturers use is labeling processed grains as “whole grain” and “high fiber” and other healthy-sounding crap like that.

But these “healthy” carbs are likely sabotaging your weight loss goals.

Skip the whole wheat bread and pasta. They’re still highly refined and cause inflammation in the body.

Increase your healthy carbs instead- squash and sweet potatoes are awesome replacements for processed grain foods.

Fill up on a variety of vegetables to reduce inflammation, shed the weight and keep it off.

6. WWMAD?

My final piece of healthy weight loss advice is this: ask yourself, what would my ancestors do?
Eating along the lines of our ancestors will allow our bodies to function the way they were supposed to. Our genes have not evolved to keep up with modern processed foods.

Diets that force you to starve yourself will be miserable, short-term, and probably lead to more weight gain and frustration in the future.

Eat a ton of plants. Enjoy some high-quality, sustainable animal protein. Add an abundance of healthy fats to every meal.

Eat mindfully (focus on every bite)- your body will tell you when it needs food, and how much it needs to function optimally.

And remember- your body is amazing. Fat pants or not, you are effing awesome and you deserve to feel fantastic.

Eat with the intention to feel and function your best. The weight loss will follow.

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