If you’re anything like me, though, you’ve tried everything in the diet book trying to find a way to finally get rid of that last little bit of belly fat so you feel comfortable in a bikini when all your friends decide on a hot tub night! But that was before I figured out how easy it can really be.
Let me clarify: if you don’t feel good about you WITH the extra weight, you aren’t going to love you without it. Self-love is a totally different ball game than weight loss, and I want you to know that you’re going to have to work on that by itself before you can really expect to change your life.
…there are some easy guidelines you can follow to lose weight without overthinking it. And since nutrition is often the pitfall when it comes to health goals and weight loss, I wanted to break it down for you. So I made you this video!!
Here are the five foods YOU need to give up if you want to see weight loss in your own life. Will cutting these foods change your life? Maybe not! But in my mind, these are the five easiest changes you can make to see results. Big bang for your buck, if you will.
Foods that aren’t doing ANYTHING for you
You might think this is crazy, but for me, iceberg lettuce and gummy worms are on the same page for me here. Iceberg lettuce has ZERO nutrients in it, so it’s a waste of time! I replaced it with spinach or kale or even a garden mix to get some vitamins in there. Same thing with candy – dark chocolate actually has huge antioxidant benefits, but gummy worms can’t *really* say the same.
Important caveat: if those same nutrient-void foods are part of a family tradition or a holiday celebration, then maybe they are “doing something” for you! Mental health and physical health go hand-in-hand. So for me, the birthday cake my mom has been making me every year of my life might not have much in the way of vitamins, it brings me SO much joy. So I count that as a nutrient You’ll see more weight loss if you’re balanced!
This Chickpea Pasta Mac N Cheese is a great example of making your food serve your needs, and not vice versa!
Ok, so I really do love a good french fry. I do. But fried foods are really hard on your body a lot of the time, and it’s not just because they’re high in calories. It’s because of the type of oil that they use to deep fry your food: it’s called polyunsaturated fat and it is highly inflammatory to your body, due to free radicals that are released when it’s heated to frying temperatures. And since this oil is often used and reused over the course of hours, the situation gets worse and worse, meaning more and more free radicals are continuously released, which cause a long list of bad reactions in your body. Among those, premature aging, fat retention, and brain fog.
Frying foods makes them flavorful because it infuses them with so much fat. But I promise, you can have an equally delicious experience baking some sweet potato fries (even covering them in butter!!) and it won’t put your health at risk. So for fried foods? Eat them on special occasions that mean something to you, not just because they came as a side dish. And in general, watch out for soybean, palm, and canola oils — these are just a few of the oils that aren’t doing you any favors. Opt for avocado or extra virgin olive oil instead!
This is waaaaay controversial, I know. But look: soy has been proven to mimic estrogen in the human body. Is this fact by itself the end of the world? No, definitely not. We interact with lots of hormones on a daily basis in small amounts, and it’s no problem.
But what if I told you that GMO soy is in like EVERYTHING. Small amounts of soy are used in everything from baked goods to chips to frozen dinners (basically anything processed). It really is everywhere. And if you’re eating a lot of processed foods everyday, you’re getting a fair amount of soy.
Consider also that because of our lifestyles, many Americans are estrogen dominant already, which causes you to hold on to body fat (and to have really awful PMS symptoms).
Would you want to reach for a giant block of GMO tofu? Probably not. So it’s not that I think soy is the devil, or that having it is going to kill you. I just think we already ingest so much of it without knowing, that we don’t need any more of it. When I do have it, it’s organic, and I really preferred fermented forms.
Plus, I have hypothyroidism, which means I’m on intense hormone meds… I just don’t want to mess with it. Feel free to make your own choice here, but I think the logic is pretty sound. And it will force you to avoid a LOT of processed foods, which will be great for everybody. This article is one of many I have come across in the research process and my choice is simply to avoid something that it seems like the jury is out on: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3074428/
Hormone-treated Meat & Dairy
So the meat and dairy situation is fairly similar to the soy situation. I acknowledge that it won’t kill you to have GMO meat/dairy sometimes. I also acknowledge this can be an expensive lifestyle choice if red meat is a big part of your family’s cooking. However, rBST and rBGH are hormones added to conventionally farmed cows’ diets to promote size and milk production, both of which could potentially have effects on human bodies.
So while I am aware that there are indeed hormones already present in meat, that has always been the case for as long as humans have been eating animals. Only recently have we started added hormones (in the interest of making money off of more meat and more milk) and I am simply not convinced this is safe if you’re consuming dairy and meat every day over the course of your life. Especially when you consider that tiny doses of estrogen and HGH have pretty big effects on human bodies.
So again, for me with my pre-existing hormone issues, I am not looking for extra risk. And for me, balancing my estrogen levels has provided really great results, both with weight loss and with PMS symptoms. So I’m gonna keep doing me. Try to get organic, grass-fed dairy and meat products whenever you can.
Random added sugars
This one is so helpful for me because it just makes sense. Save sugar for when you actually taste it! Pasta sauce, salad dressings, chips, coffee drinks — all of them can have insane amounts of added sugar. Look, I get it, sometimes you just gotta have the cupcake; but I am guessing you’re not craving spaghetti for the sweet factor?? So don’t waste your own time! Spend two extra seconds checking out nutritional labels to see how many grams of added sugars there are. I usually steer clear of anything with more than 5 grams of added sugars, or 10 grams of sugar overall per serving (but this does not apply with fruit).
Same for coffee – if you’re addicted to venti four-pump mochas, it might be time to start cutting down the sugar until you don’t miss it. I promise, you will adapt, and you’ll have poppin’ abs in like a month haha Seriously it makes that much of a difference to weight loss.
Try the super healthy Pumpkin Bread recipe here!