Healthy Food & Life: Natural Weight Loss Made Simple

Natural Weight Loss Made Simple


weight loss scale and apple

Losing weight is simple and yet hard at the same time. Losing weight naturally sounds wonderful, simple and healthy. Natural weight loss as opposed to a medical procedure such as having your stomach stapled or with weight loss pills is the healthy way. Once you gain a little knowledge of losing weight naturally, you will be able to accomplish your goals.

There are no magic pills and no magic diet that is going to help a person lose weight in a healthy way and keep the weight off. Once you learn about hidden calories, weight loss saboteurs, and calorie density, you will be able to lose weight and keep it off.

Losing excess weight slowly can be aggravating and exasperating, but that is a healthy and natural way. The key to natural weight loss is not to starve yourself every day, but to eat until you are satisfied while losing weight.

What is natural weight loss? It is a simple way to lose weight without any type of weight loss supplements, pharmaceuticals, surgery, or gimmicky fads. You will be able to eat all you want without counting calories, as you lose weight and possibly alleviate chronic illnesses. This is not a diet, but the healthiest way to eat, hopefully for the rest of your life.  

Weight Loss Saboteurs


Does it feel like you just spin your wheels when trying to lose weight? In the beginning, it could be that you lost a lot of water weight and then weight loss gets tough. Do not get discouraged by slow weight loss or weight loss plateaus.

Do not look at the scale every day, as weight fluctuates by several pounds during the day and from day to day. At most you should only look at the scale once per week, and even that can derail your weight loss motivation. Once or twice per month is best.

Are you starting an exercise program that builds muscles? If so, you could be losing fat and gaining muscle at the same time. This might show on a scale as you are not losing weight at all. So the best weight loss gauge is how do your clothes fit, are they getting a little looser?

You can measure your waist once per month and see if you're losing inches, which is many times a better indicator of weight loss than a scale.

Calories and Weight Loss


One pound equals 3,500 calories. If you wanted to lose 1 pound per week you would have to cut out 3,500 calories per week or 500 calories per day. You can cut out 250 calories per day and add an exercise program, which would burn an extra 250 calories per day equaling the 500 calories. 

You think you are just having a can of soup for lunch and it says 180 calories per serving, many of us assume that small can is just one serving and then you look at it and it says 2.5 servings. Of course, that’s crazy but you have to do the math. That one can of soup is actually 450 calories (180 x 2.5). You have to look at the serving size.

If you drink coffee, you might not add that into your daily caloric intake. One teaspoon of sugar is 16 calories and one teaspoon of powdered creamer is 10 calories. 26 calories per cup of coffee, if you have just 4 cups of coffee with creamer and sugar that’s an extra 104 calories per day and an extra 728 calories per week.

Knowing these facts are helpful when you are trying to lose weight, but counting calories can be a hassle. If you eat only healthy foods, you will lose weight without having to count every calorie.  As you will see below, by avoiding calorie-dense foods, you will naturally lose weight.


Foods That Hinder Weight Loss


There are foods all around us that hinder our weight loss and will stop weight loss immediately. Even though we think we are eating healthy, we are actually hurting our chances of losing weight. You should get into the habit of reading the ingredients of everything you eat. There are so many weight loss saboteurs in today's packaged foods and processed foods, that without knowing what to avoid, you could end up gaining weight instead of losing weight.

Oil of any kind is one of the worst weight loss saboteurs there is. And vegetable oil is one of the most common ingredients in all packaged foods and processed foods. There is canola, olive, sunflower, coconut, and palm oil in everything. Oil is nothing but pure fat and has more than twice the calories as the other macronutrients. Carbohydrates and protein have 4 calories per gram, while oil has 9 calories per grams.

Avoiding all oil will certainly help you lose weight. By eating healthy foods, you will get all the fat your body needs to be healthy and thrive. The best way to lose weight is to start by reducing belly fat, and that starts with eliminating the foods that hinder weight loss.

Nuts are also high in fat and can hinder weight loss. Nuts are a healthy food, but only in small quantities. Many of us sit down and eat a few nuts and then find we have eaten the entire can of nuts. That adds a lot of calories and fat. While trying to lose weight, it is best to avoid nuts and nutbutter.

Natural Weight Loss with Healthy Foods


Carbohydrates are the most misunderstood food there is, and it is a complete myth that carbohydrates cause weight gain. A baked potato is one of the healthiest foods you can eat and will not cause weight gain or hinder your natural weight loss program. I have eaten nothing but white potatoes for an entire week and did not gain any weight, in fact, I lost 5 pounds that week and felt great.

It is what is put on the baked potato that makes it bad. A baked potato with oil-free salsa is not a problem, but when you add butter and or sour cream on that baked potato, you just turned it into a weight loss saboteur food. Refined white carbs are all weight loss saboteurs. Eat only whole grain foods that have no oil or fat added.

A salad is healthy until you put salad dressing full of oil on them. Vegetables are healthy until you put butter on the vegetables. It is easy to turn healthy foods into unhealthy foods that will sabotage your weight loss goals.

One medium-sized baked potato with the skin has 161 calories and is full of vitamins and nutrients, not to mention very filling. When you add just 1 tablespoon of butter, it becomes 261 calories. Add sour cream and butter and that once healthy baked potato is about 360 calories.

Natural Weight Loss with Healthy Diets


Diets are bad since most think that once they have lost the weight they want to, they can go back to the way they were eating before. This will only cause weight gain since the way you were eating before is what caused the weight gain to begin with. A diet should be the way you eat forever, not something you start and stop.

The keto diet might be great for losing weight in the short term, but it is not a healthy way to lose weight. Every person I have known to try the keto diet was completely miserable. Always dreaming of carbs, potatoes, vegetables, etc. Keto is not sustainable as a long term way of eating and can lead to health issues like constipation, kidney problems, gall bladder problems, colon cancer, and other health issues [1].

A plant-based diet is the healthiest way of eating and has been proven to not only cause weight loss but also reverse certain diseases [2]. When I first started a plant-based diet, I ate large amounts of potatoes, beans, vegetables, and whole grains and lost all the excess weight and fat until I got to my optimal weight. At one point, I wondered if I would just keep losing weight, but I stopped losing weight because the body will find its optimal weight and stay there, as long as you eat healthy foods.

A plant-based diet is not only full of vitamins, nutrients and antioxidants, but also a lot of fiber. Eating too much protein from animal foods can cause constipation and this can hinder weight loss. Fiber helps you feel full and satisfied, keeps you regular, is healthy for the heart and lowers your cholesterol. Eating a plant-based diet will help you create good gut bacteria while also helps with weight loss.

Another great thing about a plant-based diet is that it is very easy to eat at a calorie deficiency and still feel completely satisfied and full while you are losing weight. By eliminating processed foods, you also get rid of the chemical food additives that can cause you to feel hungry all the time because they disrupt your hunger hormones.


Natural Weight Loss with Nutrient Dense Healthy Foods


Paying attention to what you eat is the only way to lose weight and keep it off. You need to eat a nutrient dense diet, healthy foods that are lower on the calorie density chart. Nutrient dense means foods that are high in nutrients for the amount consumed. Calorie dense foods are full of calories for the amount consumed.

By looking at the following chart, you can see which foods are nutrient dense versus calorie dense. By eating the majority of your diet listed in green (nutrient dense) and avoiding those foods listed in orange (calorie dense), you will lose weight, never go hungry, regain health and feel great.

calorie density chart for weight loss
Calories per 100g or 3.5 ounces. Legumes mean all types of beans

 

Natural Weight Loss By The Numbers


It is important to understand that calories are energy (Kcal), the energy you take in as food is the energy you expend with daily activities. The first number you should know is what is known as your basal metabolic rate, also known as total daily energy expenditure (TDEE).

There are several formulas, but it was found that the Mifflin-St Jeor formula is the most accurate. This online calculator will give you your total daily caloric needs for your activity level.

This is how many calories you need to maintain your current weight at your current activity level. But in order to lose weight, you need to either eat less and or expend more energy. It is far easier to eat fewer calories than it is to burn calories. To lose weight, you should decrease your calories by 15-20%. If your doctor says it is okay, an exercise program would also help burn calories and lose the excess fat.

Since calories can add up quickly, tracking your calories each day can be helpful so you can see if you are staying within your own set caloric guidelines. Cronometer.com is an excellent app to use to track your daily calories and each nutrient.

 

Natural Weight Loss Conclusion


It really is not hard to lose weight naturally by just paying attention to you what you eat. Diets never work because for the most part, you never feel full and satisfied, which is why most diets fail. It is this reason why I believe the best way to lose weight naturally and healthy is by eating a plant-based diet.

Before you start any serious exercise program, you should check with your doctor. Eat your food slowly, and chew each bite thoroughly. This will aid digestion, and a good digestive system will also aid with natural weight loss.

Say no to unhealthy foods and you will see how simple weight loss really can be. And you will soon start to feel more energetic and healthier.

About the Author

Sam Montana is a certified Food Over Medicine instructor from the Wellness Forum Health Center and certified in optimal nutrition from the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health.

© 2019 Sam Montana/Healthy Food and Life

Resources:

[1] LifeSpa.com
[2] Journal of Geriatric Cardiology

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