Healthy, Quick Natural Weight Loss
The point behind this rather extreme example is to show that to lose 10 lbs in one month, is not only achievable, but safe. To achieve quick weight loss naturally it is necessary to eat healthily. This involves cutting out high calorie foods, such as sugars and refined carbohydrates.
For a more detailed look at general dietary advice visit our post on extreme weight loss.
This post will be looking at how you can lose weight the natural way. Some of our tips may require a little effort at first. However, a lot of it is all about forming new eating and lifestyle habits and establishing routines.
In the beginning you have to be consciously aware and give yourself reminders to drink that glass of water before every meal, for example. However, after a few weeks the new behaviours should become more automatic. All the tips here involve how to achieve healthy weight loss the natural way and you may find a few other hidden health benefits too.
Eat Naturally: No Processed Foods
Most processed foods are packaged in a box, packet, bag
or bottle and have high refined carbohydrate and sugar content and should be avoided at all costs, not just for effective, quick weight loss, but to improve general health and well being.
At the store, check labels for artificial colorings and additives. Be aware of the sugar and sodium content of your food. On the money saved by cutting out all those cookies, chips and processed food (fast food) you can afford to go organic on the fruit and vegetables that you buy.
Are there scientific studies that show giving up processed food helps aid quick weight loss?
There have been many scientific studies that demonstrate that the worldwide rise in obesity is directly linked to the introduction of processed foods in developing countries. A 2011 study by Asfaw identifies a change from natural eating to increased consumption of processed foods. This is known as ‘nutrition transition’. Furthermore, it is one of the leading risk factors of mortality. The study showed that only a 10% increase in the consumption of processed foods leads to an increase of 4.25 % in Body Mass Index (BMI)
Closer to home, in a scientific paper entitled, ‘Why have Americans become more Obese?‘ by Cutler (et al.) it has been argued that the increase in the rates of obesity in the US are a direct result of increased food consumption due to the convenience of processed foods.
Disturbing Eating Trends in America
Water: The Elixir of Life and Weight Loss
The General Benefits of Drinking more Water
- Increases Energy and Vitiality: If you are dehydrated this will contribute to feelings of extreme fatigue and slumps in energy levels.
- Contributes to glowing healthy Skin:- The skin is a major organ and is made up of 64% water, it stands to reason that staying well hydrated by drinking lots of water will help the skin look and feel better. Without water the skin cannot eradicate toxins efficiently which leads to congestion and a whole host of skin problems.
- Aids Good Digestive Function:- Water is key in helping to rid the body of toxins and metabolic waste more efficiently. It can help reduce the impact of many digestive disorders including ulcers, Irritable Bowel Syndrome, excessive gas and constipation.
- Aids Bladder and Kidney Function– Drinking plenty of water helps the kidneys to flush any microbes out of the system thus reducing the risk of infections such as Urinary Tract Infections (UTI’S) and Cystitis. Staying well hydrated also helps eliminate stored up toxins and waste and helps maintain fluid and electrolyte balance.
… and there’s More
- Protects against coronary heart disease:- This is a very worthy reason alone to up your water intake. A 2002 study by Chan (et al.) investigated the effects of water intake in 20,000 men and women in relation to heart disease. This study found that drinking more water served as a strong protection against coronary heart disease. Several studies have also shown that dehydration may be an important factor in contributing to risk factors associated with heart disease such as high blood pressure and artherosclerosis (clogged arteries).
- Helps slow the Aging Process:- Drinking lots of fresh water and staying well hydrated helps keep you looking and feeling younger for longer. Being well hydrated has also been linked with healing joints and cartilage repair so helps with those aches and pains too!
- Reduces bloating and Water Retention: Strangely enough drinking more water helps you lose that water weight. You may be retaining water because you are mildly dehydrated.
Does drinking more Water aid Weight Loss?
Are there scientific studies to show drinking more water helps you to lose weight?
In a study by Dennis (et al.) a group of middle aged and older adults undertook a scientific trial whereby they were divided into two groups. Both groups went on a low calorie diet but one group drank 500 ml (16 fl. oz.) of water before each of the three main meals. After 12 weeks the water swilling bunch had lost 2 kg more than the group that were on the same calorie controlled diet. In another scientific study, 173 women, aged between 25 and 50, were examined regularly over a 12 month period. All the women were overweight at the time of the study. The results showed that increasing daily water intake was linked to significant weight loss and a reduction in body fat over time.
How much Water do you need to drink every day to aid Quick Weight Loss?
Well as we have seen in the study, drinking one 500 ml glass of water before each meal will help with weight loss over time.
How much water each person needs a day is still debated. The Institute of Medicine (IOM) recommends drinking 3.7 litres (15 cups) of water daily for an average male and 2.7 litres (11 cups) for an average female. However, this seems rather excessive and each person’s individual needs vary and change on a daily basis according to factors such as exercise levels and temperature. However, by the time that thirst is experienced you are probably already dehydrated.
Simply start by adding a glass of water whenever you can throughout your day. After a couple of weeks this will become an automatic behaviour and as well as feeling more energized and looking great you could find a significant improvement with your weight-loss program.
There is no getting away from it … Exercise
Always start the day with a Good Breakfast
Running for the door after a quick coffee means that your blood sugar level, which will be low anyway following hours of sleep, drops even further. This usually means that by mid morning you’re reaching for that donut or refined sweet treat which causes large swings in blood sugar levels. Insulin resistance is thought to be connected with spikes in blood sugar and is also an early warning sign associated with the development of diabetes. A 2003 study at the American Heart Association suggested that eating breakfast reduces the risk of obesity and insulin resistance by around 35% to 50%
The Science behind Breakfast Eating
A study by Schlundt (et.al.) involved fifty two obese women who were split into two groups. The first group skipped breakfast and ate two meals a day, whilst the second group had breakfast and ate three meals a day. The energy content of the diet of the two groups was exactly the same. After 12 weeks, those who ate breakfast had lost more weight than the breakfast-skipping group. The study concluded that eating breakfast actually reduced the risk of impulsive snacking during the day and helped reduce dietary fat.
Another interesting factor is that eating breakfast can also help with maintaining your weight and long-term success after a weight loss program. A 2002 study, connected with the National Weight Control Registry, concluded that:-
Eating breakfast is a characteristic common to successful weight loss maintainers
and may be a factor in their success.
What are the best breakfasts for quick weight loss?
Breakfast is an important start to the day. To ensure a healthy breakfast that will keep you feeling full right until lunchtime try and include foods from three or more groups. Protein foods are always good as they take longer to digest and will provide energy for longer. Good carbohydrates and high-fiber foods are also an excellent nutritional source.
Ditch the Diet
Substitute one Meal a Day
The Science behind Meal Replacements and Weight Loss
Heymsfield (et al.), in a meta study, analysed six scientific trials regarding the effectiveness of a partial meal replacement plan for weight loss. Substituting one meal for a nutritious Smoothie drink qualifies as a partial meal replacement. In the study one group of participants substituted a liquid drink for one or two meals of the day and the other group followed a breduced calorie diet.
The calorie intake was the same for both groups. The two groups were evaluated at the 3 month and one year interval and the results were significant. The group that had substituted a liquid drink for a meal had lost 7 % to 8 % of their body weight. In comparison, those on a traditional calorie controlled diet had lost only 3 % to 7 %. The weight loss in the meal replacement group was around 2.54 kg greater than the dieting group at 3 months and remained at 2.43 kg greater after a year. This shows substituting one meal can help you lose weight naturally and lead to permanent weight loss.
Questions and Answers
Does skipping meals lead to greater weight loss?
That is a tricky one because there is a lot of conflicting opinion amongst medical specialists surrounding this topic.
Some argue that skipping meals leads to binge eating, unhealthy shopping and eating choices later in the day. This fast and binge pattern can cause unhealthy spikes in blood sugar. Furthermore it promotes delayed insulin response. This can ultimately leading to an increased risk of diabetes.
Some people gain weight by skipping meals. However, there has been evidence to suggest that skipping meals can have some surprising health benefits, including weight loss.
A 2007 study by Johnston (et al.) that examined obese, asthmatic patients who ate normally for one day and then ate only one calorie restricted meal per day, on alternative days, found that the participants lost 8 % of their body weight. Furthermore these patients, after 8 weeks on the regime, experienced significant improvement in their asthma-related symptoms and also had:-
- Lower cholesterol and triglyceride levels
- Lower markers of inflammation
- The patients Peak Expiratory Flow (PEF) increased significantly in just 2 weeks of the alternate day meal skipping diet. This is evidence that indicates an improvement in pulmonary function.
- Striking reductions in markers of oxidative stress
This study showed rapid and sustained beneficial effects for obese, asthmatic patients by the alternate day calorie restriction eating plan.
The answer is that it is okay to skip meals during the day, particularly if it is a short term calorie controlled eating plan similar to that outlined above for obese, asthmatic patients. Some dietary regimes such as the 5:2 plan have had some impressive results.
However, skipping meals as a long term weight loss plan may lead to both short and long term health problems. Eating a healthy, diet and adapting other beneficial behaviours to help with quick weight loss appears to be the way forward.
I’m interested in replacing one meal a day with a nutritious smoothie but finding the time to make it is a problem. Is it okay to buy Smoothies?
Some brands of Smoothies that you can buy in supermarkets are not as Innocent as they seem. Nothing beats a freshly, homemade nutritional shake.
If you are short of time you can always blend your lunchtime replacement the night before work, refrigerate and take to work the next day. Alternatively, get up just 15 minutes earlier and whilst sipping your hot water and lemon juice blend up those nutritious shakes. Remember your smoothies can be a mix of fruit and veg – try and go for the low-carb vegetables.
A word about Supermarket Smoothies
If you really must buy your Smoothies at a supermarket be very vigilante about reading labels. One well known brand that is promoted as a healthy choice, contains 171 calories and 34.3 grams of sugar in just 250 mls. To put this into perspective, that is more sugar than a can of soda.
Look out for juice bars that blend their own Smoothies from fresh ingredients on the premises.
I’ve heard that coconut oil is good for losing weight but I can’t actually drink it. Is coconut water or coconut milk the same?
Yes, there have been a good few scientific studies that show a direct link between coconut oil and weight loss. Thus, coconut oil is particularly effective in helping lose that stubborn belly fat.
Coconut water or coconut milk is the natural liquid that is inside the white flesh of the coconut when you open it. Coconut water is very good for you, it is full of vital enzymes, phytonutrients and vitamins and minerals. However, coconut oil is extracted from the mature dried coconut flesh at low temperatures. Coconut oil contains a high concentrate of medium-chain fatty acids. The fatty acids help raise metabolism and may be used as part of a good diet plan to help you lose weight.
I was told recently by my physician to get medical weight loss. What exactly does this mean? Will it involve bariatric surgery and following a pre-surgery diet?
Medical weight loss is not what you would think. It is not surgery or weight loss pills but it is rather very much the philosophy behind the Halls.md website. Medical weight loss is a management treatment that is adapted to each individual’s weight-loss goals. The treatment and guidance is supervised by qualified physicians, dietitians and nutritionists. There are many weight loss centers. Although some advocate themselves as quick weight loss centers, most will supervise a healthy, weight loss diet.
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- Cutler D, Glaeser E, Shapiro J (2003) Why Have Americans Become More Obese? (Retrieved January 10th 2016) NBER Working Paper No. w9446 http://www.nber.org/papers/w9446
- Kramer FM , Jeffery RW , Forster JL , Snell MK (1989) Long-term follow-up of behavioral treatment for obesity: patterns of weight regain among men and women. International Journal of Obesity [1989, 13(2):123-136] (Retrieved January 12th 2016) https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/2663745
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