Losing weight is one of those catch 22’s.
It’s so simple, yet so complicated at the same time.
In today’s post I want to share some things you can do to start slimming down right away.
I’m going to talk about some simple things you may have overlooked on your journey to sustainable weight-loss.
HONESTY & DRINKING WATER
One thing I can’t stress enough is being honest with yourself. When I say hydration is important (you need to drink a bare minimum 1/2 your body weight in ounces & you’ll need more than that if you drink coffee or caffeine).
I want you to take an honest look when you say “Yes, I drink enough water” – because if you really want to make the change and lose the weight, you have to do the work and be honest about the work you’re doing.
Maybe that’s not you, but I hear this from so many people. They tell me they drink enough water, but I’ll spend an entire day with them and notice that they 1) either didn’t even bring water or 2) they haven’t even finished one bottle.
Be truthful about the amount of water you’re drinking, and the effort you’re making. Okay, let’s move on…
DIET PILLS & LEAFY GREEN VEGETABLES
One of the big reasons weight loss and health is so darn confusing is because of all the fad diets, pills and products that companies are promoting.
We live in a ‘Now Society’, but health is a life long journey, and who wants to rely on a pill for the rest of their life?
We’ve been asked to sell a lot of them, and we always turn them down. You’ll never see us pushing a weight loss pill or supplement, because we don’t think they’re needed, the best option or something that is sustainable. We recommend increasing your consumption of leafy greens… by A LOT!
How Many Greens Per Day?
I’m talking about 6-8 cups a day.
Currently, in our online community, we’re doing a 28-Day Salad Challenge and it’s amazing to see all of the leafy green creations our members are making (and the weight they’re losing)!
But I will say, out of all the salads I’ve seen, they could all be bigger. Peter and I have a rule where one of our meals every day is a salad. These ‘Entree Salads’ are super filling and usually contain: beans, grains or sweet potatoes – but it’s our entire meal, not just a side, but the main enchilada.
The biggest bowl in your house should be your new salad bowl…
…and your smoothies should all contain leafy greens, along with your stir fry’s and your tacos… oh, and make sure you rotate the greens.
Some of our favorites:
- Romaine Lettuce
- Red & Green Leaf Lettuce
- Swiss Chard
- Collard Greens
- Bok Choy
If you’re not familiar with why greens are important for weight loss, it’s because they contain all of the nutrients, minerals and vitamins your bodies need to run properly and fight off illness and disease. They contain minerals like magnesium, potassium, calcium, manganese and many others. They also contain a large amount of fiber and are very low in calories. That being said, they keep you full and curb the urge to want to keep eating.
When you eat something that doesn’t contain a lot of nutrients – take a Chicken Caesar Salad the size of your hand, for example – the amount of fiber is minuscule, and won’t be enough to keep you full. The protein from the chicken will help you a little, but you’d be better off eating a large bowl of spinach with sweet potatoes, nuts and beans – which would have the same amount of bio-available protein, but also include living enzymes and additional nutrients from the plants. And, typically Caesar dressing is full of dairy, which promotes mucus and inflammation in the body, leaving your body looking puffy and bloated. Try our Vegan Caesar instead.
If you need some help when it comes to eating more greens, check out our leafy green infused recipes, we’ve even got an Online Community with over 300 plant-based recipes and programs to help educate and inspire you.
AB WORKOUTS & GETTING REAL IN THE KITCHEN
I’m sure you’ve heard the saying “Ab’s are made in the kitchen”?
I love it, I think it sums up the balance of clean eating and exercise. I’m going to be honest with you, I’ve been dealing with a back injury and haven’t been able to workout very much… like 1-2 miles running tops, and not much yoga.
I was a little worried that I would gain some weight, have to skip dessert (don’t take my chocolate away!), but I haven’t gained any, because I’m still active. I walk everyday for at least 30 minutes (sometimes it’s broken up), and more importantly I eat nutrient dense plants – and lots of them.
What Peter and I recommend…
> Eat as fresh and close to the source as possible. Which is why we recommend joining a CSA, or shopping at your local farmers market.
> Spend more time in the kitchen. When you cook for yourself at home, you control the oil, salt and sugar in your recipes. Whereas if you eat out, it’s in the restaurants’ best interest to make the food taste good, and to keep you coming back for more.
Don’t get me wrong, exercise is important, but if you think eating less and exercising more is the answer, that’s not true. You can tell by looking at the people who workout a lot – they appear stressed out… exercise is a form of stress, and paired with lack of nutrients, it’s just a bad combo.
SLEEPING & ACHIEVING YOUR DREAMS
You must sleep. And sleep well. It’s your body’s time to repair and renew, and if you don’t get good quality sleep you’re more likely to pack on extra pounds.
So how many hours do you need?
I say at least 7.5, but ideally 8. Now I know a lot of you have busy schedules, but it can be done, especially if you want it bad enough. Peter and I have extremely busy schedules, but we’re able to get 7- 8 hours during the week, and more like 8-9 hours during the weekends. We’re always planning a schedule that we stick to.
I suggest figuring out what time you need to be up, and working backwards. For us, we like to get up at 5:30am, so we need to be sleeping at 9:30pm, so at 9am we’re brushing our teeth and climbing into bed. Because we don’t drink caffeine and always work hard everyday, when our heads hit the pillow, we are asleep. Caffeine and long naps really mess up quality sleep, so we don’t recommend those. At least not for long term use.
When our alarm goes off, we get up. It’s early, but every day is another opportunity to work towards our dreams and live a life we love. We’re grateful and excited to get up (most days :). I hope you’re living a life that gives you the same feelings. If you need help waking up early, be sure to listen to this podcast.
EATING OUT & ALCOHOL
I mentioned eating out above, but I’ll say it again…
Most restaurants don’t have your best interest in mind.
You can find the calories these days on menus, but it’s not all about calories. It’s about ingredients and nutrients.
And then there is alcohol.
You know what I’m going to say… if you’re trying to lose weight then cut out the alcohol, or at least really cut back on it.
Alcohol is pretty much sugar, which causes inflammation, bloating, indigestion and leaves you craving more. I’m not saying you can’t eat out or drink (Peter and I ditched the alcohol about 4 years ago and would recommend it for health & happiness reasons), but when you do, pick restaurants and experiences that you feel good about.
Try to make it a special occasion, not an every week thing.
GREEN JUICE, SMOOTHIES & CLEANSING
If you’ve been following us for a while, or are part of our private Facebook Group, then you know I love juicing.
Juicing a great way to get nutrients into your system without having to deal with the fiber and digestion.
If you’re anything like me and LOVE food, you know that sometimes you just eat too much (it happens to the”live to eat types”:) When that happens, or if I feel my digestion is a little off, I’ll do a quick 1-Day Juice Cleanse, and I instantly feel so much better. It’s also a great way to lose weight while still getting the vitamins, minerals, antioxidants and enzymes your body needs.
If you don’t have a juicer, here are a few we’ve used and recommend.
Another great way to lose weight is the addition of green smoothies.
Green smoothies are so fast and can easily be loaded up with more produce than you could physically chew. They’re essential for weight loss, as they contain a lot of fiber, which is already “chewed” so it’s going to be easier for your body to process. This is also key in keeping you regular, as what goes in must come out.
We do recommend using a high speed blender for the best consistency.