If you want to lose weight fast AND improve your health at the same time, there are four key steps to consider.
The key steps include: (1) reduce intake of starches and sugars, (2) eat protein, fats, and vegetables, (3) drink enough water daily to stay hydrated and (4) get at least 15 minutes of aerobic exercise and/or weight lifting daily.
The good news is that you don’t have to learn a complicated weight-loss program and count calories nor do you have to spend an hour at the gym every day.
How much weight you can lose on this plan depends on how much weight you have to lose and how well you can keep to the guidelines. But most people will lose at least 2 pounds of fat per week, and potentially much more than that in actual weight.
For the first few days, you may feel different, such as tired, restless, or just uncomfortable.
This is because your body is used to burning sugar for energy, but on this diet your body will burn fat, which is a slower-burning and cleaner fuel for your body.
The most important part of this plan is to avoid eating all starches and sugars for at least two to three weeks. This means no potatoes, grains, breads, cookies, crackers, chips, sweets of all kinds, including fruit.
What happens when you do this plan is that your body will stop burning carbs and sugar for energy and will start to burn fat.
In addition, your hunger levels will go down and you will naturally consume less calories—even though you are not going to worry about calories at all.
When you cut carbs and sugars, it will lower your insulin levels and will help improve your health in a number of ways.
Just a few of the clinically proven benefits of a healthy low-carb diet include the following:
So, without the carbs, what do you eat?
Each meal should consist of a moderate amount of protein and healthy fats, and an abundance of low-carb vegetables.
The ratio of protein, fats and vegetables is important. Your plate should be primarily vegetables with a moderate amount of protein at each meal (e.g., about 4-6 oz. of meat, depending on your height and weight) and a moderate amount of healthy fats. Eating an excessive amount of protein will also cause the body to burn sugar and will not be healthy.
When reducing sugar and starch, fat is your friend! Eating a small amount of these healthy fats with each meal will keep you from feeling hungry. You need to eat healthy fats to burn fat.
Don’t hesitate to add some butter or oil to your steamed vegetables, for example. Or you can find numerous healthy fat vegetable sauces online. These sauces will help to give you the fullness you are used to getting from carbs. My favorite is a lemon-tahini-olive oil sauce.
You can choose from a very long list of low-carb vegetables. The following are just a few of the more common ones. Try to include a color variety of vegetables on a daily basis.
The main starchy vegetables to avoid are: potatoes, sweet potatoes, winter squashes, peas and corn.
Again, a small amount of healthy fat and protein in between meals (as needed) can keep you satiated and full.
Fruits and sweets
Even though fruits and berries are nutritious, it is best to avoid all fruits for at least the first 3 weeks on this plan in order to allow your body to switch from sugar burning to fat burning.
After the first two to three weeks, if you want to have something sweet on occasion and you want to continue to lose weight, we recommend a small amount of berries a 4-ounce cup of organic applesauce or a few dark chocolate-covered almonds.
Drinking enough water daily to stay fully hydrated can help (1) speed your metabolism, (2) suppress appetite naturally, (3) increase calorie burning and (4) improve digestion so that you get optimum nutrient value from your food.
How much water your drink depends primarily on your weight and how much you exercise.
In general, we recommend drinking about one-half ounce of water per pound of body weight. Thus, if you weigh 200 pounds, for example, you would want to drink about 100 ounces of water.
Even if you think you drink “a lot of water,” I highly recommend you measure how much you are actually drinking daily.
If your body is dehydrated, it will be much more difficult to lose weight because your body is in survival mode and will want to hold onto fat for fuel.
In addition, try to drink at least 8 to 12 ounces of water about 30 minutes before each meal to reduce hunger and improve digestion.
While on this weight loss plan, avoid all sugary drinks and fruit juices. They have the highest concentration of sugar and metabolize quickly. Consuming them will hinder your ability to lose weight.
If you drink coffee or tea, it is ok continue to drink them. The caffeine can help boost metabolism and promote mental focus. (Note: if you are used to putting sugar in your coffee, switch to stevia. It will not affect your weight loss.)
Even though you will most likely be able to lose weight on this plan without any exercise, you will more likely get results week after week if you add 15 minutes of exercise at least 5 times a week.
Any type of aerobic exercise, such as walking, swimming, jogging, cycling or weight lifting will be beneficial.
Lifting weights two or three times a week will also help to boost your metabolism.
Caution: As always, if you have a medical condition, you should talk to your doctor before making dietary changes especially because this plan could reduce your need for certain types of medication.
Further reading . . .