If you follow food trends, you might think you have to fall in love with cauliflower and kale to reap all the rewards that veggies offer, but that isn’t the case. Be it broccoli, sweet potatoes, carrots, red peppers, cabbage, spinach, or any other vegetable, the idea is to eat a variety of them and find plenty of ways to enjoy their goodness. So if you just can’t stomach steamed Brussels sprouts, try them roasted, or give sautéed Brussels sprouts a try. If raw zucchini isn’t your thing, see if you like it spiralized into noodles or grilled on a grill pan.
You can blame biology for your sweet tooth. We’re hardwired to have a preference for sweets, and this drive is universal and begins early on, according to research on the subject. Sugar makes food taste good, so food companies add it to everything from breads to soups to salad dressings to cereals, yogurts and more. This adds up to way too much sugar!
Admittedly, I’m healthier than many people. But that first meal changed every guest’s ideas about what the 16 of us were in for at this tough-love-luxury health retreat in the middle of nowhere, British Columbia. At similar fitness retreats, such as the Ranch at Live Oak, I’d been hungry and cranky, subsisting for a week on little more than vegetables. The results had been more than worth it, but the process was uncomfortable and sometimes stressful. (I stayed at these retreats as their guest.)
Weight Loss Spas and Retreats conduct programs for guests who are seeking a vacation or away-from-home experience to jump start a healthier life. These organized programs and retreats can vary from medically oriented, to luxurious vacations, to no-frills boot-camps. No matter what “style” suits your interests and needs, any weight loss spa and retreat should include counseling and coaching on health and wellness, exercise and fitness, and nutritional guidelines.
The benefits of chowing down on whole fruits are clear, and eating an apple each day can help prevent metabolic syndrome, a disorder associated with abdominal fat, cardiovascular disease, and diabetes. The red or green fruits are a low-calorie, nutrient-dense source of fiber, which research has proven to be integral to reducing visceral fat. A study at Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center found that for every 10-gram increase in soluble fiber eaten per day, visceral fat was reduced by 3.7 percent over five years.
Weight gain has been associated with excessive consumption of fats, (added) sugars, refined carbohydrates in general, and alcohol consumption. Depression, stress or boredom may also contribute to weight increase, and in these cases, individuals are advised to seek medical help. A 2010 study found that dieters who got a full night's sleep lost more than twice as much fat as sleep-deprived dieters.
Suspect you have a sluggish metabolism? You might have hypothyroidism, or an underactive thyroid gland, which afflicts about 25 percent of American women — many of whom don't know they have the condition, according to the American Association of Clinical Endocrinologists. "The thyroid gland controls your body's metabolism, so one of the first signs that it may be off is an inability to lose weight," explains Pamela Peeke, M.D., professor of medicine at the University of Maryland and author of Fight Fat After Forty. Your doctor can determine if you're suffering from hypothyroidism by running a blood test. If you do have an underactive thyroid, you'll be treated with a synthetic thyroid supplement, which you will need to take for the rest of your life (it will return your metabolism to normal, so it should be easier to drop unwanted pounds).
One weight loss counselor who offers the program said it's not the urine, but the hormone in it that takes off the pounds. “It's human chorionic gonadotropin,” said Iris McCarthy of Success Weight Loss Systems. She said hCG tricks your brain into thinking your body is pregnant. McCarthy said science has shown her hCG helps the body metabolize faster. “This will help you have patience to learn how to change your ways and change your relationship with food,” said McCarthy.
Part 1 — this post — details exactly how top fighters like Georges St. Pierre rapidly lose 20-30 pounds for “weigh-ins.” To refine the method, Nate performed this on himself, losing 20 pounds in 5 days. The unique part: Dr. Berardi and team measured key variables throughout the entire process, including the last “rehydration” phase. As Berardi put it:
Fermented foods: These enhance the function of good bacteria while inhibiting the growth of bad bacteria. Sauerkraut, kimchi, kefir, yogurt, tempeh, and miso all contain good amounts of probiotics, which help to increase good bacteria. Researchers have studied kimchi widely, and study results suggest that it has anti-obesity effects. Similarly, studies have shown that kefir may help to promote weight loss in overweight women.
It makes sense that decreasing your risk of life-threatening conditions would lead to a longer life. “A 5 percent loss can lower your risk of diabetes, heart disease, and cancer, so yes, it may indeed extend your life,” Sass says. Dr. Webster agrees that losing even a small amount of weight can improve overall health, though official reports haven’t confirm this. “Although 5 percent weight loss improves health and decreases the risk factors for serious diseases, we do not know if this will translate into an increase in lifespan, because that study has never been done,” Dr. Klein says. The reverse, though, has been shown: Those with a high BMI have a greater overall mortality risk. In any case, if you’re looking to feel better both inside and out, it doesn’t take a major weight transformation—just a few pounds will do. Find out how much your life expectancy goes down for every two pounds you gain.
If you are serious about losing weight and you want more than just a boot camp, then check out some of these weight loss centers. They will likely come with an in-house personal trainer (or two) and scheduled fitness classes. The more serious centers will include a well-organized fitness program with a quality nutrition plan. You may have private workouts with a personal trainer and a nutrition coach to teach you healthy eating habits.
Not fond of exercise and healthy food? No worries, simply ingest a parasite to help you lose weight. At the beginning of the 1900s, tablets containing tapeworm eggs were marketed to help people lose weight. These eggs reportedly hatched in your system and stole your nutrients, causing weight loss. It wasn’t known whether these tablets really contained tapeworm eggs, but the idea itself is pretty extreme.
A result of this is the tendency for people to tie happiness and emotional health to weight loss and, when they have successfully lost the weight but remain dissatisfied with other aspects of their life, fall into a cycle of dissatisfaction. Guilt at not feeling happy after weight loss can also factor in, as can the temptation to eat to cope with these feelings. Moreover, some people can experience an uncertainty about what’s next after losing significant amounts of weight if that’s been their primary goal.
As far as grains go, quinoa is a great one to have around if you’re looking to lose weight. It’s packed with protein and fiber, and contains approximately 220 calories per cup, cooked. What’s more? Quinoa is one of the few plant foods that offer a complete set of amino acids, meaning it can be converted directly into muscle by the body. It’s also incredibly versatile, and can be eaten as part of a salad, tossed in a smoothie, or on its own as a side dish.
Interval training can also be a very effective weight-loss tool. It's pretty easy to incorporate into any fitness plan because it can be applied to a variety of settings, and different types of equipment can be used. Choose an activity that you can do at a high intensity (greater than 80 percent of your maximum heart rate) for 30-60 seconds, then follow it with 30-60 seconds of rest.