My Top Natural Weight Loss Strategies
For many, weight loss can be a complicated affair since there are many factors that are involved: age, hormonal balance, stress levels, toxicity, thyroid issues, and even autoimmunity can all contribute to excess pounds. If you have experienced years of yo-yo dieting that only ends in frustration, the good news is there is a better way to lose weight that will help you to keep it off. Some of the tips below may surprise you! Natural weight loss is much easier than you think when armed with the right information. Let’s get started!
Calories Do Count
We have all seen people who can eat anything they want and not gain weight. It all comes down to the capacity to burn calories, otherwise known as metabolism. Some are simply more efficient in this area than others. But regardless of where you fall on the spectrum, there are several methods that can help you to slim down. Herbal remedies really shine in this area not only because they help to boost metabolism, but can also help us to navigate stress in a healthy way by reducing the release of cortisol — a stress hormone that is famously known to promote weight gain, particularly in the belly region.
Two of my favorites are lion’s mane and reishi as both have been shown to assist with weight loss in animal studies by boosting fat metabolism.2 What’s more, they help with addressing blood sugar issues, inflammation, and gut dysbiosis — three conditions that are linked with weight gain and obesity. As adaptogens, lion’s mane and reishi also calm the stress response and the release of cortisol.
We can also boost metabolism with herbs that support the liver and turn up the heat. Here’s a recipe to get you started. Add the following to a mason jar:
1 cup warm water
1-2 Tbsp. raw honey
2 Tbsp. fresh lemon juice
2 Tbsp. raw apple cider vinegar
2 Tbsp. freshly grated ginger
A dash of both cinnamon and cayenne pepper
Whisk to combine or cover with a lid and shake before drinking. I recommend drinking one cup, 20 minutes before each meal.
To lower your overall caloric intake, whole foods are key as they have abundant fiber and/or nutrients that encourage satiety with less calories. Focus on:
Raw or lightly steamed/sautéed vegetables.
Fresh fruit — berries are particularly good. Avoid starch-rich fruits such as bananas.
Dark leafy greens, one or more cups per day.
Oily, wild-caught fish — such as salmon, mackerel, or sardines. Three servings per week.
Protein — chicken, turkey, eggs, and legumes. Four servings per week
Whole grains, such as brown rice, millet, oats/oat bran, quinoa, and buckwheat. One serving per day.
Flaxseed and/or chia seeds — Aim for one tablespoon/day.
Oils — olive, almond, apricot, avocado, and coconut oils. Since any kind of oil is calorie-rich, use sparingly unless you’re on a ketogenic diet.
Soaked or sprouted almonds, sunflower seeds, or pumpkin seeds. One tablespoon per day.
Probiotic foods are very important as they improve the efficiency of digestion, thereby helping you to shed excess pounds. Unsweetened yogurt with live cultures, kefir, kombucha, active sauerkraut (not canned), miso, and kimchi are good choices. For additional support, our Balanced Gut Blend is helpful.
It’s best to avoid all processed food and sugar — even those that claim to be healthy — as these foods contain copious amounts of refined carbohydrates and excess salt that can derail any weight loss effort.
Lastly, don’t forget to drink enough water — aim for half your body weight in ounces each day. It helps with digestion and detoxification, both of which can cause weight gain if impaired.
Lifestyle & Exercise
Intermittent fasting, quality sleep, strength training, and high intensity interval training (HIIT) are all important for shedding unwanted pounds. If you are unfamiliar with time-restricted eating, it is not considered a diet but rather an eating protocol. There aren’t any restrictions with what you eat but when you eat. I recommend adopting a 16-8 or 18-6 rule where you eat within an eight or six hour window. The remaining time you can drink water, tea, or another calorie-free beverage (although avoid anything with artificial sweeteners). Whichever time frame you adopt, it is best not to eat after 6:00 PM as studies have shown metabolism begins to slow in the evening, not to mention it can disrupt sleep.1
Speaking of sleep, quality rest is crucial for weight loss as this is the time when your body does its nightly house cleaning by removing toxins and waste from the system. If you do not have enough deep sleep each night, it interrupts this crucial process and can lead to heightened stress on the liver and kidneys. This in turn can cause weight gain as these important detoxification organs will not be functioning at peak efficiency. To promote quality rest, my Sleep Blend formulation is an outstanding option.
Strength training three to four times per week is essential for weight loss as muscle burns more calories throughout the day. This can include weighted deadlifts, squats, bench presses, pull-ups, shoulder presses, and resistance band seated rows. Begin slowly with moderate weight and work your way up. Aim for 45 minutes per session.
Next is high-intensity interval training (HIIT). This method of exercise has been shown to be more effective for weight loss compared to walking or biking for long distances. It involves short bursts of intense exercise — such as sprinting, push-ups, or burpees — for twenty seconds, then resting 10 seconds for a complete round. The beauty of HIIT is that it only takes ten minutes to complete a full session, yet burns more sugar in the muscles than standard exercise and vastly improves insulin resistance that leads to fat storage. One, 10-minute session several times per week is the ideal — especially if it is done in the morning before eating. I do not recommend HIIT for the elderly or those who have heart problems.
Cardiovascular exercise is important as well. Aim for at least 30 minutes per day, but preferably an hour (5,000-10,000 steps/day). Additionally, breathing exercises can be helpful as stress typically goes hand-in-hand with weight gain. Deep lymphatic breathing is an outstanding practice for reducing stress. While breathing deeply, focus on something you are grateful for, an inspirational quote, prayer, or soothing visual such as ocean waves, candlelight, or nature scene. Begin with five minutes and work up to fifteen minutes three times a day. Another highly effective breathing technique that calms stress in only three minutes can be found here.
How to Heal Yourself Naturally with 45 Science-Based Holistic Protocols
If you would like to learn more about natural weight loss, including supplements and additional lifestyle support, my book: The Holistic Guide To Wellness: Herbal Protocols for Common Ailments is an outstanding resource.
Within its pages, you’ll discover 45 easy-to-follow protocols for common ailments based on the latest scientific research and the author’s 30+ years of experience in natural medicine.
You’ll learn how to use food, herbs, supplements, exercises, massages, detoxes, and more to heal yourself from the inside out.
Whether you’re looking for a natural way to treat your arthritis, diabetes, depression, insomnia, autoimmunity, or another condition, you’ll find it in this book.
You’ll also get tips on how to prevent illness and maintain optimal health with a holistic lifestyle. This book is not only for people who are sick, but also for anyone who wants to live a healthier, happier, and more fulfilling life.
Don’t wait. Get your copy of The Holistic Guide to Wellness: Herbal Protocols for Common Ailments today and truly thrive!
Nicole’s Apothecary Products in this Post
- Vujović, N., Piron, M. J., Qian, J., Chellappa, S. L., Nedeltcheva, A., Barr, D., Heng, S. W., Kerlin, K., Srivastav, S., Wang, W., Shoji, B., Garaulet, M., Brady, M. J., & Scheer, F. A. J. L. (2022). Late isocaloric eating increases hunger, decreases energy expenditure, and modifies metabolic pathways in adults with overweight and obesity. Cell metabolism, 34(10), 1486–1498.e7. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.cmet.2022.09.007
- Ganesan, K., & Xu, B. (2018). Anti-Obesity Effects of Medicinal and Edible Mushrooms. Molecules (Basel, Switzerland), 23(11), 2880. https://doi.org/10.3390/molecules23112880