I always see posts about weight loss, whether I’m on Pinterest, reading Cosmo, or simply surfing online. There are tons of products and pills and powders out there, but 90% of the them are either absolutely terrible for you or simply don’t work. I am all about being as natural as possible, so I thought that some easy weight loss tips that incorporated natural ingredients would be right up everyone’s alley.
Add Lemon to Your Water
Add lemon to your water on a daily basis! Lemons lower the glycemic index of foods, which basically means that they help keep your blood sugar in check by counteracting foods which might make your blood sugar rise or dip erratically. If your blood sugar is out of control (thanks to fast-releasing carbohydrates like grains, potatoes, and rice) not only will your body store the extra glucose as fat, but you will feel like absolute crap. Ever had a sugar high followed by a huge crash? Then you know what I’m talking about. Not only does erratic blood sugar make you feel awful, high blood sugar puts you at risk for everything from heart disease to diabetes, so drink your lemon-water! Another glorious fact about lemons? Because they they lower the body’s insulin response to carbs, they slow down the amount of time it takes for food to leave your stomach, which keeps you feeling fuller, longer. So. Squeeze some lemon into every glass of water you drink! It’s refreshing and oh so good for you. Plus, you’re getting a nice little dose of vitamin C.
Spice Up Your Life (with Cinnamon)
Add cinnamon (preferably Saigon cinnamon, rather than Cassia varieties) to your tea, coffee, oats, yogurt, fruit and more. You really can’t eat too much cinnamon. Just like lemons, cinnamon acts as a blood sugar control agent, lowering blood sugar levels as well as bad cholesterol (this one I learned from my PT trainer, Will. If you live in LA and want an amazing trainer, he is the BEST). Cinnamon boosts the body’s ability to metabolize glucose (so that it isn’t stored as fat) and is packed with iron, calcium and fiber. Also like lemons, it helps you to feel fuller longer by controlling how long food stays in your stomach. Get yourself some cinnamon and start experimenting with the different ways you can use it! I love mine sprinkled on apples.
Boost Your Omega Fatty ACids (DHA and EPA)
EPA and DHA, omega-3 fatty acids which are only found in fish, are powerful metabolism boosters according to several studies. In fact, studies suggest that fish oil can speed up your metabolism by up to 400 calories PER DAY. That’s a pretty big deal. It’s also great for your brain, heart, joints, bone density, and skin/hair/nail health AND improves mood and immune function! Can you say #WINNING? Fish oil increases levels of fat-burning enzymes in the body while simultaneously decreasing the levels of fat-storage enzymes. It may also have some effect on insulin sensitivity as well, like lemons and cinnamon. A lot of people stop taking DHA because they find themselves burping up fish, and I used to be one of those poor souls. Now, I use Barlean’s Omega Swirl Fish Oil (another Will the Trainer suggestion) which is an ultra purified, high potency (1,500 mg per serving) fish oil supplement. It comes in liquid form, but it tastes like a smoothie! Seriously, it is SO good. The Key Lime Pie is my favorite flavor. You don’t taste fish and you don’t have those nasty burps. GET SOME!!
Time Your Carb Intake
If you are going to eat simple carbs, like breads, pasta, potatoes, rices (yes, brown rice still falls under this category), cereals, etc. then make sure that you time your intake. Right after (and during) a workout, your body is looking for sources of fuel to replace what has just been used. There is a two hour window after an intense workout session during which you can consume carbs without them being stored as fuel (fat). However, this isn’s a license to go out and eat a pizza after a heavy lift day. Be smart about the carbs you consume and stick to stuff like quinoa, oats, barley, and bulgar. I generally try to avoid all simple carbs that come from grains, so I get my carbs DURING my workout, with a product called Surge. I’ll be doing a review of it sometime soon!
Eat Your Veggies
Last but definitely not least, EAT YOUR VEGGIES!!! The more colorful, the better. Rich in vitamins, minerals, and fiber, plant-based complex carbs take longer to digest, which means that not only do they keep you feeling fuller longer, they also don’t raise insulin (blood sugar) levels as quickly as simple carbs. Your body burns complex carbs for fuel and they are a huge contributor to energy production. Not all veggies are created equal though. Avoid starchy veggies like potatoes and opt for more leafy greens like kale, chard, romaine, and spinach. Go for colorful combos and eat each color of the rainbow to get the most nutrients and vitamins. Each veggie has it’s own set of antioxidants (generally based upon color)-and you want them all! Try cabbage, eggplant, squashes, bell peppers, avocados and more. Play around and try things you haven’t had before. For more plant-based recipes and ideas, check out my food posts on stuff like spaghetti squash, eggplant and zucchini lasagna, and more!