Recently, I got a call from Cara. “I’m ready to make a change – and I want to start with losing these extra pounds I’ve been carrying around,” she said.

I hear this so often from women – especially at the beginning of a new year. The start of a fresh year feels like an invitation to change, doesn’t it? I hear from women every day who are ready to commit to being as healthy as they can, and they realize how connected maintaining a healthy weight is to overall health.

I love that these women are ready for change; it’s the first step towards healthy weight loss. But as you likely know, dropping stubborn pounds is never easy. That’s why new year’s resolutions to “lose weight” rarely stick – it’s not as simple as deciding to do it. There are so many factors at play, whether you’ve struggled with your weight your whole life or, like Cara, the pounds have crept on in recent years. There’s still a common misconception that if you just eat less and exercise more, those pounds will come off. But that’s just not true for so many women!

Weight gain is the result of many factors: hormonal imbalances, emotional trauma, metabolism, toxins, and so much more. We have to consider all of these issues when determining the best way to tackle weight loss.

It can seem overwhelming, but there are plenty of diet and lifestyle changes – some very small and easy to implement – that can jumpstart your weight loss. The tips below will help you transform not just your weight, but your whole life. Losing weight may be where you start – but the overall goal is to change your life to be as happy and healthy as possible!

5 Small Changes to Help You Lose Weight Today

1. Exercise smarter, not harder

Exercise is important when you’re trying to lose weight, but here’s something you might not have considered: you may be exercising more than you need to! Interval training, or short bursts of exercise alternating with a rest period, have been shown to help your body continue burning fat long after your workout is over. In fact, a 2021 overview of reviews found that, as long as the same energy was expended, weight, fat, and visceral fat loss was the same whether the exercise was extended aerobic or high-intensity interval training.

Isn’t that good news? That means you don’t have to find an hour or more every day to make a difference to your weight loss – just 20 to 40 minutes of interval training three or four times a week is plenty.

Here’s some more quick tips about exercise that can make a difference:

  • Scheduling your workouts like any other appointment can help you stay focused on your goals.
  • Switch it up! Repeating the same workout day after day can be boring, making you less likely to follow through. Different types of training will help you meet your goals. And don’t ignore the strength training!
  • Do a few short sessions throughout the day if you can’t manage a 30 minute block. You don’t even need equipment – try walking up and down the stairs in your office building for ten minutes mid-day.
  • Find a group of people you love and exercise together. Fitness is always more fun with friends!
  • Most of all, find exercise that you truly enjoy. Forcing yourself to do something you hate only adds more stress to your life — and stress can bring weight loss to a screeching halt! Don’t be afraid to think outside the box either. Exercise doesn’t have to take place in a gym or group class. As long as you’re moving for at least ten minutes at a time, it counts!

2. Choose a metabolism-boosting diet

Metabolism is something we can’t have complete control over. Genetics plays a role – meaning you might have a naturally slower metabolism. But that doesn’t mean it’s hopeless! There are so many things you can do to be sure your metabolism is functioning as efficiently as it can.

Explore any conditions that might be negatively impacting your metabolism, such as thyroid issues, autoimmune disease, inflammation, leaky gut syndrome or other digestive disorders, hormonal or adrenal imbalances, and systemic yeast overgrowth.

If you’re impacted by any of these factors (many people are without even knowing it) weight loss can feel nearly impossible. The best way to address these issues is to first identify them (you may need the help of a qualified health care practitioner), and then pay close attention to your diet. Avoid foods that are certain to disrupt your metabolism functioning, such as those listed below.

  • Processed foods

One of the reasons obesity is such a problem in our country is the easy accessibility and low cost of highly processed foods. When we eat these foods, our body craves even more – we’re biologically programmed that way! But the lack of healthy nutrients in these products means we often suffer from vitamin and mineral deficiencies if we eat too many of them instead of real, whole foods.

If the ingredients list has words you can’t pronounce, it’s best to put it down and move on. Fresh fruits and vegetables, lean protein, and healthy fats are a much better choice. Avoid all fast food – that change alone can make a world of difference!

  • Added Sugar

For a long time, fat was demonized and manufacturers turned to sugar to make up for the lack of flavor in low fat foods. Did you know that this war on fat was pushed forward by research funded by the sugar industry? More current information has clearly demonstrated that healthy fats are actually beneficial to your health – and added sugars are exactly the opposite!

It’s so hard to avoid added sugar because it shows up everywhere. And to make it more confusing, there are multiple names for it – so you can’t just look for one thing while reading labels. High fructose corn syrup, dextrose, maltodextrin, fructose, juice concentrate, cane syrup – it all means added sugar! Take a close look at the labels of foods you may think are healthy – like protein bars, granola bars, flavored yogurt, even bread. You might be shocked to discover just how much added sugar is in the food you eat every single day.

Research documents the impact that sugar has on obesity, diabetes, cardiovascular health, and other chronic conditions. Consumption of added sugars in the US is well above the upper limit recommended by the USDA, so it’s no wonder we see so many of the health issues on the rise.

Naturally sweet foods, like fruit, are a much better way to satisfy your sweet tooth. If you must add sweetener, use natural options like stevia or raw honey — in moderation!

  • Refined Grains

I’m sure you’ve heard about gluten allergies and sensitivity – and for good reason! It’s one of the main compounds in refined grains, and it has the potential to cause big issues with metabolism. Gluten can be behind chronic inflammation, leading to a host of uncomfortable symptoms including joint pain and weight gain.

Other compounds, like starch and phytic acid, can also impact metabolism. Starch is quickly converted into sugar, which can wreak havoc on your blood glucose levels, and phytic acid blocks absorption of minerals when it binds to them.

If you aren’t ready for a grain-free diet, consider sticking to sprouted or fermented grains. For baking, try using almond flour or coconut flour, both of which are far healthier for your metabolism.

  • Unhealthy oils

Please don’t buy into the “fat is evil” philosophy. The truth is, your body needs fat to thrive. But don’t be fooled into thinking all fats are created equal either. Vegetable oils and canola oil are found in refined foods that simply slow down fat burning.

When cooking or baking, replace vegetable oils with coconut oil or grass-fed butter. Any time you have a need for butter, make sure you use the real thing instead of margarine or other substitutes!

More dietary hints for a healthy metabolism

  •  Eat enough quality protein. An ideal diet includes protein with every meal and snack. Great choices include grass-fed beef, free-range eggs, wild-caught fish, organic chicken, and wild game.
  •  Eat healthy fats, like avocado, nuts, olive oil, and coconut (in its many forms: milk, oil, and flour).
  • Add sprouted seeds to your daily routine. Flaxseed, hemp seeds and chia seed are all great options filled with fiber that supports fat loss. As an added bonus, sprouted seeds are high in protein and contain omega-3s – so they pack an all around powerful punch!
  • Eat a wide range of colorful, nutrient packed vegetables. You can’t lose weight if you focus on calories without making sure you are giving your body the nutrients it needs.
  • Drink more herbal tea. One to three cups per day may help rev up your metabolism. Green tea is especially effective due to its high catechins content.
  • Eat grapefruit. No, I don’t mean eat only grapefruit – a diet too narrowly limited isn’t the way to go. But there is research that shows that eating grapefruit can aid an enzyme called AMP-activated protein kinase (AMPK) which helps your body use sugar. And grapefruit contains nootkatone, which has been shown to increase AMPK activity.
  • Don’t forget to stay hydrated! Drinking plenty of water is one of the best ways to stay on track. You’ll flush out toxins, and keep your metabolism going strong.
  • Eat at home most of the time, and cook from scratch.
  • Be prepared with healthy snacks. Keep cut vegetables or fresh fruit handy instead of chips or cookies. With the right containers, these travel well and can help you avoid a trip to a vending machine or convenience store.
  • Enjoy your food. Eating slower not only helps you recognize when you are full, but aids in digestion as well.

3. Supplement intentionally for fat loss

Because it’s so very difficult to get all the nutrients you need from food alone, I often suggest supplementing in ways that address your specific issue. For overall general health – including keeping hormones balanced so you can lose weight – I recommend that all women take a high-quality multivitamin daily. When fat loss is your goal, the following supplements can also help:

  • Fish Oil

Fish oil supplements are a great source of EPA and DHA, omega-3 fatty acids that can help diminish inflammation and may balance out metabolic changes related to obesity. 1,000 milligrams daily can make a big difference.

  • Vitamin D

Vitamin D helps keep hormones balanced so you can lose excess fat. It’s tough to eat enough vitamin D-rich foods or get enough sunlight for your body to produce what you need. That’s why I recommend 2,000 IU of vitamin D3 daily for most people.

  • Protein powder

I’ve already mentioned how important protein is to a healthy metabolism and building lean muscle. If you don’t eat meat, or find it hard to get enough protein with snacks, protein powder can be used to ensure you’re getting enough to support fat loss. You can make smoothies, use it in baking, or mix with water for a quick energy boost. Many of the powders available in supermarkets or pharmacies are heavily processed or contain artificial sweeteners, so be careful to find a high quality powder that won’t sabotage your results.

  • Probiotics

Your gut health is important to your ability to lose weight, and a high quality probiotic can support digestion and balance the flora in your gut. Research has shown that some strains of probiotics can impact energy metabolism and can be associated with reduction of both body weight and body mass index.

4. Eat in a way that works for your unique profile

There are myriad diet programs to choose from; how are you supposed to know which one is best? I talked a lot about how to find the best long term solutions for yourself in this article, so I won’t do too much of that here. But I do want to stress that every person is a unique individual — there is no one size fits all diet plan that works for everyone! I also want to be clear – any short term “diet” will bring short term results. What you really need to do is find healthy dietary patterns that will work for you long term.

I’ve been offering a unique weight loss program (with accompanying online course) for a few years now – and it works! This program is different from a lot of the popular plans because it’s designed to truly transform your life – not just your weight. And that brings those long term changes I was talking about. I address what can lead to weight gain and obesity, the emotional aspects of weight loss, and I help you to intentionally build healthy habits that will help you keep the weight off forever.

The weight loss program itself uses a combination of homeopathic drops and a somewhat strict eating plan for six weeks. If you follow it precisely, it’s possible to lose up to 20 pounds in six weeks! But unlike so many other programs that help you lose weight quickly, my program examines your whole lifestyle to find where you need to make permanent changes so the weight stays off.

I also urge participants in my program to complete a genetic profile test so that we can discover exactly which type of long term nutrition plan is right for them. Every healthy diet includes eating organic whole foods and avoiding the processed stuff. But your genetics may dictate avoiding specific things to keep the weight off. When you are eating to work with, instead of against, your genetics, your weight loss happens much more smoothly.

5. Try intermittent fasting

Another great thing about my new program is that the six-week plan encourages intermittent fasting, which can be very effective in boosting metabolism and helping those pounds melt off.

Intermittent fasting means you eat within a specific time window, then fast for several hours each day. Often this means skipping either breakfast or dinner, since you’ll want the time you spend sleeping incorporated into your fast.

Fasting also helps with hormone production, reducing inflammation, heart health and digestion.

Permanent lifestyle changes mean permanent weight loss!

It’s absolutely possible to start off the new year with quick weight loss – and keep it off – when you are committed to doing things a different way. It’s all about your mindset, and your desire to transform your life once and for all. The good news is that once you’ve built those healthier habits, you can veer off the path slightly — as long as you get right back on! When you live by healthy choices 90% of the time, you have a little wiggle room for the other 10%.

Cara decided to give some of my suggested changes a try, and she’s already seeing results. Make the choice for yourself now, and begin your journey of weight loss and transformation. Aren’t you worth it?

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