Is your weight loss goal to ‘eat less and move more’ this summer? The current health crisis has given us limitless opportunities for a clean slate, and what better way than to step into warmer temperatures with a strong physique, uplifted mood, and great energy?
Using the best of holistic wellness and modern methods, it can actually be easier in the summer to lose weight than any other time—and most of these tips won’t even have you breaking a sweat!
How to Get in Shape and Ready for Summer
If the past few months have been difficult for you, you might be tempted to overdo it at the gym or get super restrictive with your diet.
This year take a more functional approach to weight loss by working WITH your body (not against it) and create a sustainable weight loss program.
The trifecta for sustainable weight loss for women is:
- A healthy gut
- Balanced hormones
- Reduced inflammation and toxic load
I created this course to address the key systems involved in weight loss for women, especially stubborn fat around the belly.
If you want to banish belly bloat, heal your gut, and drop pounds quickly, my 21-Day Belly Fix course is the best place to begin.
Late spring through early fall is nature’s time of abundance! Prepare meals that are mostly deeply colored vegetables (and fruits too) to keep insulin levels stable, and your kapha dosha balanced. We’ll talk about why keeping kapha pacified is important for weight loss in a moment.
Our appetites in the summer are naturally a little lower, thanks to the interaction between your hypothalamus and your hunger hormones because of temperature and activity (1).
This makes us crave lighter foods that are fresh and nutrient-dense. Minimally processed plant foods are great for increasing healthy gut bacteria, fiber, and nutrition, and decreasing weight.
Not only does drinking enough water help bring energy to cells and support detoxification in the body, but it may also help with weight loss (2).
Hydration is key for dozens of metabolic pathways that burn calories and help to turn body fat into fuel.
What’s more, if you’re drinking anything sugary, you stand to benefit THE MOST from switching to water and making sure you’re getting enough. Aim for half your body weight in ounces of water per day (3). For example, a 170-lb person would need about 85 ounces of water per day.
This is highly dependent upon activity level and lifestyle. Other recommendations say to aim for 8, 8 oz glasses of water per day, but keep in mind this doesn’t take into account activity or personal body weight.
If you prefer a little flavor in your water, do it the easy way! Add chopped fruit to your water bottle, or pitcher in the fridge. NO sugar, and very tasty! Sliced peaches and blackberries are a great combo.
Check-In with Your Feelings About Food
If you’re one of many dealing with the after-effects of the ‘Quarantine 15’, be kind to yourself. We know that our brains are hard-wired to turn to food in times of stress, boredom, and other strong feelings.
However, it IS important we develop healthy coping mechanisms when we’re able. If you find yourself eating when you know you’re not hungry, address these feelings, and consider working with a health coach to get to the root of this behavior change. You can check out my podcast with Ellyn Satter on Intuitive Eating for more info on how to heal your relationship with food.
Include Protein at Mealtimes, and Fat Too
Many diet programs get stuck on counting calories. This may work for some (everyone’s an individual, remember) but the risk of restricting now, and then binging later is high if we’re feeling chronically unsatisfied after meals and snacks.
The best way to keep fat-burning potential high and appetite low is to include some satiating quality protein at each meal. This can be plant-based, such as beans and rice, or animal-based, such as pasture-raised eggs, naturally raised meats, or dairy. Ideally, we want a mixture of all these quality proteins.
Don’t forget about our ultra-satisfying fat sources as well. Healthy fats, like avocado, coconut, fish, butter, and egg yolks build healthy cells, modulate inflammation in the body, AND keep insulin levels low. Healthy fats also support your body’s ability to produce key hormones, like estrogen and progesterone.
Take a look at other hormone-balancing foods!
Don’t Skip Meals
Unless you’re Intermittent Fasting, or eating in a compressed window, skipping meals can increase stress hormones and create a blood sugar rollercoaster. Both of these things are not good for a healthy weight loss.
Behind a healthy gut, the aspect most people neglect on their weight loss journey is consistent and adequate sleep. Hunger and fullness hormones normalize while we sleep, and cells are allowed to rebuild, replenish, and repair.
Eat a Kapha-Balancing Diet
An excess of the kapha dosha may play a role in being overweight. Plus, being overweight can further provoke kapha in the body, so in terms of Ayurveda, it’s important to balance this energy by following certain principles.
I designed this course to keep kapha energy in balance, using key ancient Ayurvedic principles to clear stubborn belly fat.
A balanced kapha will enjoy foods that are light, easy to digest, and freshly cooked. I talk in detail how to balance the three doshas for weight loss, increased energy, and more vitality in my book, Super Woman Rx.
Ayurveda doesn’t focus on short-term quick fixes, but ultimately on whole-body wellness, so by restoring kapha balance, you won’t be starving yourself or implementing unrealistic habits.
Summer Weight Loss Tools
The calories in/calories out hypothesis is true, but it neglects the aspects of hormone dysregulation that exist from a lifetime of what may be yo-yo diets, stress, and other lifestyle aspects that change the way our body communicates with each other.
Add these to your summer plan to speed up weight loss:
A ketogenic diet can be a great, effective tool for weight loss when done the right way. Unfortunately, it also has some of the worst misinformation and pitfalls when we ignore our body’s feedback.
A strict ketogenic diet will aim for approximately 20-50 grams of net carbohydrates (total carbs, minus the fiber) per day, followed by eating fat to satiety, with a palm-sized portion of protein at most meals.
Keto benefits include:
- Improved mental clarity
- Decreased appetite
- Weight loss, especially around the belly
- Increased energy
- Less sugar and carb cravings
Check out this episode of TazTV for the do’s and don’ts of the Keto Diet.
The biggest mistake most people make while on a keto diet is neglecting vegetable intake. Meat, cheese, and convenience foods make a keto diet easy, but we MUST include fiber-rich, nutrient-dense veggies to maintain gut health, digestion, and get enough vitamins and nutrients.
If you’re experiencing digestive troubles while on keto, give this podcast a listen.
We hear a lot about intermittent fasting (IF) when talking about the keto diet, paleo, or low-carb. Truthfully, IF is a great way to help you lose weight, and research supports this.
Not only does IF support weight loss, but it supports cellular health, the metabolic clean-up of old cells, and improved metabolic efficiency.
Intermittent fasting is also sometimes called a compressed eating window. This is when we restrict our eating times to something like 12pm to 8 pm, with a fast occurring for the other 16 hours.
Alternatively, you can fast during times that work for you. You may have a day, or a period of 12-16 hours where it makes sense for you logistically to fast. This could be for a full 24 hours one day per week, or 16-20 hours 2 or so days per week.
Intermittent fasting, or following a compressed eating time, is incredibly adaptable to your individual lifestyle, and it’s a tool you can use when you feel like you need it.
Research supports intermittent fasting helps support healthy insulin levels, and the reduction of body fat (4). Remember, when insulin is high, the body will naturally choose to store fat—choosing instead to burn glucose.
So, by lowering or normalizing insulin levels during a fast, we can promote our body’s natural ability to use fat for fuel—without necessarily having to follow, say, a keto diet.
Balance Gut Bacteria
As with most things in the realm of holistic health, the key to a healthy weight, and sustainable weight loss for women often lies in the gut.
Studies have found a distinct difference in the types and amount of beneficial gut flora in overweight people versus those at a healthy weight (5). Obese people were found to have decreased diversity and number of beneficial gut bacteria.
It’s suggested that one type of bacteria helps to break down and digest carbohydrates, which may play a beneficial role in balanced blood sugar.
Healthy gut bacteria also keeps our symptoms of poor digestion–like, gas, bloating, and constipation—to a minimum.
This is why the best option for weight loss will restore balance in the gut and replenish the friendly bacteria that activate gene expression for fat burning. I built this protocol to do just that.
We’ve learned a lot in the past several weeks about how to reduce stress hormones, support immune health, and adapt our lives in ways we didn’t imagine possible.
And one major factor that creates health?
Movement. Our bodies were meant to MOVE. And the beauty is that this will look differently for everyone depending on your abilities and preference. Want to jump into a HIIT class with your friends from work? Or maybe a less intense barre workout, or restorative yoga flow.
All are good options and will get your heart rate pumping, increase muscle mass, and help your body burn fat.
If you’re just starting out, or getting back into the swing, aim for 15-20 minutes, 3-4 times per week, and increase from there. Struggle with motivation? Try this simple trick: Commit to five minutes, and then decide if you want to keep going after that. More often than not, those 5 short minutes will be enough to make you remember why you set these goals in the first place!
Weight Loss for Women: The Quickest Way to Slim Down.
If you want to kickstart weight loss for women in less than a month, you can slim down by sticking to the following:
- Ditch processed food and added sugar–your gut bacteria are asking you for sugar by interacting with your brain
- Optimize gut bacteria
- Incorporate daily movement
- Consider going low carb with a keto diet
- Use intermittent fasting
The 21-Day Belly Fix is here to help you kick start those fat-burning systems, while healing your gut from the inside out.
Keep in mind the holistic solutions for sustainable weight loss that actually works will be something YOU can adapt to your life. If you know you have healthy changes to make, put a plan in motion to realize your goals, and never underestimate the impact of small decisions compounded over time.