By Isabel Smith, MS, RD, CDN
Most of us always have ‘weight’ on our minds. Whether it’s because we want to lose it or maintain it, often times it consumes our thoughts. For some of us, the weight loss journey is more significant than others. It can take longer and feel insanely hard to get and keep the weight off for good. You can maybe relate, but one more thing to keep in mind is that weight loss varies greatly from person to person. One plan followed by two different people can produce drastically different results. Our individual bodies are so very different from one another, and factors including genetics, activity levels, and food choices all influence weight loss tremendously.
However, along every weight loss journey there are a few things we can do to boost our success. I’ve highlighted eight key tips to help you optimize your weight loss goals whether you’re participating in a Reboot, or attempting weight loss with basic healthy eating.
Patience is a virtue, and one that I think most of us are working on in all aspects of life. But being patient during a weight loss journey means not jumping on and off the scale multiple times each day. It’s not worth throwing away all of your hard work over a daily frustration if the scale isn’t moving how you want it to. Try to stay focused on the big picture. Be patient and continue good practices, but don’t hold on so tight that you lose control of our journey.
Consistency is the most important thing when it comes to weight loss. Whether you’re juicing, eating, or a combination of both, it’s absolutely crucial to be consistent within the day. Try to consume a small meal every few hours (3-4 hours to be precise), stay on top of water consumption and try to stick to a schedule from day to day. This helps prevent overeating, and helps to keep blood sugar balanced from day to day.
Our body functions on calories making them absolutely necessary for every part of life, especially weight loss. The biggest mistake I see that people make in this process is cutting back too much on how many calories they’re consuming. When we cut back too much on calorie intake, the metabolism can slow, and this can prevent weight loss. Don’t over-consume, but 1,200 calories (about 4, 16-20 oz juices if you’re doing a juice cleanse) is crucial.
If I had a dime for every time I said this when it comes to weight loss I’d be rich! Our bodies are 55-70% water, and if we aren’t drinking adequate fluids, it can cause hunger. Beyond a growling of your tummy, it can cause digestive upsets, bowel troubles, sleep disruptions, slow muscle recovery and more. Make sure you’re drinking at least eight, 8 oz glasses of water daily but you might need more depending on your activity level. If you’re exclusively juicing you should also be drinking electrolyte-rich beverages like coconut water as part of your hydration plan as well. To make it easy to consume plenty of water, I recommend carrying a stainless steel or glass water bottle.
The importance of healthy gut bacteria is often overlooked, and although we can’t see them they play a major role in our health overall. These little guys outnumber our cells 10:1 (that’s right, we’re almost entirely bacteria!) and play a role in many key functions like blood sugar regulation and weight loss. There are two ways to keep bacteria healthy: One is through consuming the bacteria itself, and the other is to consume foods that help to nourish the bacteria called prebiotics. Prebiotic foods include asparagus, onion, garlic, bananas and more. Here’s more on prebiotics.
We focus a lot on more movement, but truthfully, sleep is just as important (if not more) for weight loss. You may be wondering why sleep has anything to do with weight loss, but listen up, because it’s key. Research suggests that those who get fewer than 5 hours of sleep nightly may have a shift in their hunger and satiety hormones, meaning that they may be less likely to feel satisfied by the food they eat. Also, sleep is key for muscle recovery. So aim for 7-8 hours nightly if able, and to check this post out for more information on why sleep is so key for weight loss.
Both protein and fat are key for satiety and maintaining blood sugar (two key things for prompting weight loss). Whether you’re trying to lose weight by eating/juicing or juicing exclusively, it’s key in both circumstances. Also, it’s key to remember that certain vitamins like vitamins A, D, E and K require fat for absorption. Choose heart-healthy fat sources like olive oil, nuts, avocado, and fatty fish like salmon (if you’re juicing exclusively use olive oil, coconut oil and other natural plant oils). For protein choose lean and clean protein that is minimally processed (plant-based protein powders that are unflavored if you’re Rebooting).
Last but certainly not least, maintain a positive attitude throughout the entire process. Being unkind and judgmental on yourself doesn’t help your weight loss journey. You’re already on the right foot to feeling better, so if a slip up occurs, brush it off and keep going. Joe always says the most important relationships in life are those with yourself and with plants: If you love yourself and love plants, you are destined for health and happiness.