Weight Loss: The Science Without a Sell – by Traci Baxendale Ball, LMSW, CAADC
Diet versus Lifestyle
Vibrant Health Company LLC and Vibe Health and Lifestyle Concepts do not recommend dieting and weigh-ins as a lifetime approach to health. Mindful eating is the best way to develop a food-positive, body-love attitude. This toolkit is developed for rapid weight loss to jump-start a lifetime healthy weight and nutrition program. The idea is to be strong and healthy versus “thin”. Thin does not equate to health. This weight-loss approach should be viewed as a beginning chapter to a healthier relationship with food through appetite regulation. Dieters need to know this low-calorie, food-restriction approach is NOT HEALTHY or sustainable over the long-term. Please check with your doctor before you start any weight-loss program.
What Does Science Say About Weight Loss?
It’s important you know that research proves fewer than 10% of people that reach their target weight keep it off. However, if you need or want to lose weight, you could try following my program for a few months. Please do this in conjunction with our most recommended text: “Why Diets Make Us Fat” by Sandra Aamodt, Ph.D. As you work on weight loss, you need to learn mindful eating skills in order to maintain your progress. If you’re learning how to eat, there are many resources available on my website. They cover everything from how to shop to what to eat. There is even a full plan for converting to the most healthy diet on the planet: WFPB- no oil.
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12 Step Program for Weight Loss
- Metabolism & Exercise – Metabolism is likely to be sluggish if you have had an extended time away from regular physical activity and struggle with poor eating habits. To jump-start your metabolism and assist with weight loss, prepare the night before to move first thing in the morning. If possible, plan to be outside in the sunlight. Green exercise is best. If you’re stuck inside due to weather or darkness, use this time of year to practice getting up earlier. A 15-minute brisk walk upon waking is a great start. Build from there. If it is not possible to get out for early morning exercise, try at lunchtime or before dinner. If you must exercise after dinner, sign up for a class that you might enjoy. This helps with motivation, especially if you pay ahead for the class. It is difficult to keep motivated to exercise at night once you are winding down your day. When you sit on the couch, it takes a mammoth effort to get back up, especially when it’s dark outside. Biologically, your second wind for exercise arrives at about 8 pm. For many, moving vigorously or working out this late interrupts sleep. If you hate exercise, replace that word with movement. Move as much and as fast as you can. A step counter might help hold you accountable and you should aim for 10,000 steps. Aerobic exercise such as jogging, dancing, or HIIT is key to rapid weight loss. Aim for 30 minutes per day, at least 3 days per week. Avoid weight training and strength training at this stage. This will be relevant later for toning and strengthening. Right now, burn fat with cardio.
- Calorie Counting – in order to lose weight you must cut calories down to 1000 – 1200 per day max at first. This applies only for the first few weeks of your weight loss program. You will need to print a calorie guide, buy a calorie counter, or use a food scale so that you understand how many calories you are consuming. Utilize these tools even when eating out. The restriction on calories is not a long-term plan. Restricting calories early on in your weight loss program cues you to hunger signals and prepares you to learn to eat mindfully again.
- Portion control – use a small, pretty, side plate for meals rather than a big dinner plate.
- Mindful eating – chew food slowly, at least 15 times per mouthful. This will help you appreciate the taste of food and helps to start the digestion process. Drink a glass of water before your meal. Eat and only eat when it is mealtime. Pause and put down your silverware while you are chewing. Discard the shoveling food approach and slow down.
- Supplements – the calorie cut to 1200 max is short term and cannot/should not be sustained. It’s likely you are not getting the right range of vitamins and minerals as calories are cut unless you are on a raw or WFPB diet. Consider a good vitamin and mineral supplement. Set them out on your counter or use a pill minder to increase your chance of remembering to take them. There is an article on my recommended supplements on this website.
- Consider subbing a protein drink smoothie for at least one meal as you train your stomach to be satisfied with less food. I use only good quality, vegan protein bases such as Vega. You can add healthy ingredients to the drink such as wheat bran, flax, cinnamon, ginger, cocoa, honey, frozen fruit, peanut butter powder, etc. Using 30 calorie p/cup coconut milk or low-fat almond milk with lots of ice cuts calories even more versus using dairy milk. Prepare your ingredients and blender the night before. Wal-Mart has a range of protein powder products. GNC will gladly refund your money if you try one of their protein products and don’t like it. They also have many samples. Consider investing in a juicer. It does take some time to buy, wash and prep produce as well as clean up afterward – but even making fresh juices 2 or 3 times per week will reap health benefits. Using a juicer is a great way to use up raw veggies and herbs that otherwise may go to waste. You can use the pulp to roast meat instead of using fat! This wellness practice keeps your GI tract humming nicely.
- Consider a live pro-biotic. Do your research on the benefits for weight loss and wellness – ask at your natural health food store or co-op and make sure you keep them in the fridge. Take inulin or dextrin every day, no matter what. It will improve the health of your gut. Start with ¼ tsp and work toward a full tsp.
- Drink at least 8 glasses of water per day. Use flavor packets if needed. Add fresh lemon juice and a little honey to boost the benefit.
- Grocery shopping – organize, organize, organize! Make a weekly meal plan and a corresponding grocery list. Make sure you have plenty of food for lunches and snacks. Prep in advance. Do not buy processed foods. Stick to simple meals – lean meat, vegetables, rice, potato, fruit. Do not cook with any oils. Buy fruit popsicles in the summer for treats. Allow yourself to eat anything for a treat now and again, but be careful with portion sizes; take one-half or one-quarter of what you would usually eat.
- Pop/Soda has to go. A couple of regular, full-sugar sodas make up almost your entire calorie allowance for the day. Yikes. Pick a day to treat yourself to your favorite pop if you must – Friday perhaps – but don’t stock it in the house.
- Make a plan for long-term lifestyle eating and movement once you hit that first weight target.
Note: Calorie deficit is an integral part of weight loss. This means what you do with your fork is going to be more important than what you do in the gym.
© Vibrant Health Company LLC All Rights Reserved. Traci Baxendale Ball LMSW, CAADC is the founder of Vibrant Health Company LLC
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