Today’s post is all about natural tips for weight loss! No crazy detoxes OR diets… These are simple, easy things you can do to boost your weight loss journey :)
The theme of this article is going to be that the little things make a difference. I know, I know. It can be cliche to constantly hear “this is a lifestyle” and not a diet. But it really is true! The little things you do will make a bigger difference in the long run (and be super sustainable) as opposed to trying to find that ONE weight loss hack that will do all the work without you having to do any work :) Whether it’s celery juice, cryo-freezing, or saunas, it seems like everyone wants that one quick fix. This article almost serves as an in-between to the quick fix and the crazy gym / diet. These are tips that you should incorporate along with eating healthy and exercising at a healthy pace.
Tip#1: Green tea (& matcha of course!)
Green tea is full of the catechin EGCG, which is an antioxidant. The reason green tea tends to be better for you than other tea, is because it’s not fermented like most other teas are, which is why it has the greatest amount of EGCG. We know that antioxidants are helpful with weight loss, but research shows that green tea, in particular, is helpful with both initial weight loss and keeping weight off.
Green tea is also a natural appetite suppressant, and while I DO NOT support diet pills, this can be helpful if you are getting a super high amount of calories and STILL feel hungry or feel like you’re overeating at mealtimes! This is just so much better than taking any kind of weight loss pill or strong supplement. As a pharmacist, I’m telling you weight loss pills are super dangerous and can increase heart rate to dangerous levels … stay away!
In terms of incorporating green tea into your diet, if you don’t have time to make a warm cup of tea everyday, you can easily throw a tea packet into a cold water bottle and shake it up, and you have iced green tea! Less benefits than steeping tea, but still good and every little bit makes a big difference in the long run!
When it comes to matcha, you’re basically getting all the benefits of green tea and more. Matcha uses the entire tea leaf and then grinds it into a fine powder, whereas in other teas you’re only getting part of the tea leaf. ALSO – matcha is shaded for two weeks before its even made into a tea, which realllly increase the chlorophyll level. That’s why it has that concentrated and bitter taste. I love matcha with some almond, oat, or coconut milk and cinnamon as a latte to even out the bitterness :)
One study actually found that matcha increases muscle recovery, so if you’re training it’s a great thing to throw into your protein shake or protein pancakes every morning! Culinary matcha, in particular, is great for baked goods or recipes, and you won’t even notice the taste! For drinking, you’ll want to find ceremonial grade, as its more potent (as well as costs more) because it’s designed for direct consumption.
Tip #2: Stress management
We all know that stress is detrimental to the body, and I want to dive a little bit deeper into how important stress management is for weight loss. Stress in general can really increase the amount of cortisol you produce, which will not only make you gain weight but will hold onto more fat storage. It can even make you have an increased appetite. Stress and weight gain are very much linked and so we want to avoid (at all cost) soaring high stress levels.
Moon Juice is one of my favorite smoothie shops in West Hollywood and I was excited to see that they make a really cool blend of adaptogens and mushrooms, that could be amazing for keeping cortisol levels at bay. It contains Shatavari and ashwagandha extract, and I personally LOVE ashwagandha as a natural way to balance the thyroid. I even went to an Ayurvedic doctor who wanted to put me on it, but insisted that I tell my other doctors. It’s THAT powerful and can have that much of an effect. Thyroid issues in general can lead to weight gain for a lot of women, so this supplement is amazing for not only the cortisol benefits but also improving thyroid function.
I also want to highlight Rhodiola, which is also found in the Super You supplement. Rhodiola has been known to improve cognitive function. You might be thinking “Okay…but how does this relate to weight loss?” Well that brings me to my third tip, the importance of the mind-body connection :)
Tip#3: Mind/Body connection
One study that I recently learned about FASCINATED me. The study took two groups of housekeepers: one group was told that their 8-hour shift was like getting a workout and it would help them get in shape & the other group wasn’t told anything. At the end of the study, the group that believed they were getting in a workout lost more weight and some of their blood pressure and blood glucose had decreased as well, compared to the group that wasn’t told anything! Yes, the power of positive thinking is SO real.
That’s kind of why when you workout you need to know what part of the body you’re working. By imagining that part of your body becoming toned, you will naturally focus on strengthening and engaging/squeezing (talk about maximizing a workout!) Another study compared two groups of people in casts. One group was told to visualize their healing and muscles contracting, compared to the control who did nothing, and at the end of the study the visualization group actually had more muscle mass!
I just want to make one extra point – be kind to yourself. The mind-body connection is about loving yourself through the journey, which will help you achieve your goals much faster and more sustainably than self-loathing and focusing solely on what you don’t like about yourself. Self-love is SO important.
Tip #4: Maca
Maca is another adaptogen I have been talking about for YEARS. The cool thing about adaptogens (going back to stress), is that they work by helping you balance your stress hormones. Not necessarily by one specific mechanism, but it helps alter the way your body reacts to stress.
Another benefit of maca is that it helps to balance estrogen levels in women. Excess estrogen can cause the body to hold on to fat, and too much estrogen can give that “soft” or “soft skinny” look where you can’t really get that toned look. A lot of people in the fitness world will take estrogen blockers before a competition to look SUPER muscular but I definitely don’t recommend going that route, as there are natural alternatives like maca that are a lot safer for the body.
Both maca and the Moon Juice supplement will give you more energy, which is a huge benefit of adaptogens. SO many people report higher energy and positive mood after taking adaptogens for a month. Real talk: no one wants to exercise when their mood is low. Even though workouts can improve mood, it’s hard to actually begin if your energy and morale is low. Taking adaptogens, which improves these energy/mood issues, can make it way more likely for you to get a workout in! Even if you have more energy in general, and you’re up and moving, every little bit makes a difference. It doesn’t always have to be a formal workout!
Tip#5: Coffee latte sweetened with stevia
The last thing I want to share is a little bit more of a hack. I think that drinks are a SNEAKY way to gain weight. Just a little bit of cream and sugar can add up over time. Whenever I can find a NATURALLY flavored coffee that makes me use less sweetener I’m all for it. Four Sigmatic makes an organic mushroom coffee mix so you don’t have to add any milk or sweetener to it. It has organic instant coffee, coconut powder, and is sweetened with stevia which means it has zero sugars (yep, zero!) I’ve always loved coffee and tea as a dessert, so this is an awesome way to get that sweet, comforting drink or palette change without all the less-than-good-for-you additives!
I hope you found this helpful :) These make a huge difference for me personally and keep me feeling my best.