People love rules. They love being told that if they just follow this one equation it will result in this awesome outcome. But we can all agree that most of the weight loss rules out there are outdated or created based on some wonky scientific research.
Chances are you’ve tried to lose weight at one point in your life, probably on multiple occasions, but it didn’t go quite the way you planned. You followed all the rules you read on “How to Blast Belly Fat”, but it failed to live up to its promise and your belly fat stayed stuck right where it is. We’re all about breaking the conventional rules here, so what rules should you follow, and which ones should you break when it comes to actually losing weight?
BREAK THESE RULES:
Counting calories. You’ve been slaving away on your calorie counter app, trying to hit your daily goal, but the pounds just aren’t budging. Why? We used to think all calories were the same, but we are finding that the quality of your calorie matters more than quantity. It’s better to focus on eating appropriate portions of high-quality foods rather than worrying about the number of calories you’re taking in each day. When you fill your plate with mostly vegetables you can’t go wrong. Have you ever counted the calories in a cup of broccoli? News flash – it’s only 30 calories – yet it’s rich in fiber and minerals that keep your body nourished and feeling full. The best advice? Concentrate on eating foods that don’t have labels such as fresh fruits and vegetables, lean meats and healthy fats.
Doing all cardio for your workout. You may burn a lot of calories by doing only cardio, but for long lasting weight loss you need to include strength-building exercises. Lean muscle mass you build with resistance training actually increases your metabolism meaning you’ll continue to burn fat even after your workout. The benefits of incorporating weights also goes past your waistline; you can increase your bone density and reduce your risk of osteoporosis.
THE NEW RULES:
Focus on whole foods that keep you feeling full and energize you. Rather than counting calories avoid low-quality foods such as sugary drinks, refined grains (white rice and bread), highly processed boxed meals, and fried foods. Instead you should be eating a variety of high-quality foods including nutrient dense fruits and vegetables, whole grains & fiber, healthy fats and lean protein. These foods will keep you feeling fuller longer, help you moderate portion sizes, and prevent your blood sugar from crashing (hangry is now a medical term.) Pack your plate full of mostly vegetables alongside 4 ounces of a quality protein source cooked in a fat-filled oil such as coconut, extra virgin olive, avocado or grapeseed oil.
Stay hydrated. When you’re dehydrated your body can get confused between the signals for hunger and the signal for thirst. Often you think you’re hungry when you’re actually thirsty. Keep your water bottle handy and sip regularly throughout the day. Our recommendation is dividing your body weight by 2 and aiming for that many ounces of water per day.
Do short, high intensity exercises plus weights. Research shows that doing high intensity interval training (or HIIT) is one of the best and quickest ways to reduce body fat. HIIT is essentially a workout that alternates between intense bursts of activity and less-intense activity or rest. Whether you do body weight movements or incorporate weights – you’re sure to get a great workout!
Are you a rule breaker? Let us know on social media!
Dr. Cassie Wilder is a registered Naturopathic Medical Doctor (NMD) and founder of MIMC. Her passion is empowering her patients through education, understanding, and support through their healing journey. After graduating from Iowa State University with a Bachelors of Science in Kinesiology and Health, Dr. Wilder earned her Doctorate of Naturopathic Medicine from Southwest College of Naturopathic Medicine & Health Sciences, a fully accredited and nationally recognized institution in Phoenix, AZ. During her clinical training, she received extensive hands-on training with many leading experts in the field of functional medicine and developed a passion for treating hormonal imbalances, thyroid disorders, cardiovascular concerns, and adrenal fatigue.