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Let me guess.
You’ve heard dozens of methods for how to lose weight. But they seem to contradict each other.
You hear stories of someone losing more than a hundred pounds. Instead of motivating you, these stories paralyze you. You doubt their safety and lasting power.
You’re afraid to make drastic changes like giving up your favorite foods without assurance.
The truth is that most weight loss methods are unhealthy and don’t last.
What if the easiest and safest way to lose weight was also enjoyable?
You don’t need to count carbs, buy expensive pills, or spend hours in the gym. You need proven strategies that promote healthy weight loss that lasts a lifetime.
In this post, I’ll walk you through four simple steps to lose weight and explain why they work. Plus, I will share the secret ingredient essential for your success.
Four Steps to Losing Weight Without Starving Yourself
Follow these four simple steps for healthy weight loss that lasts an enjoyable lifetime.
Step #1 Stop Eating These Fat Magnet Foods
Why give up your favorite foods if you don’t have to? In this section, you will learn the worst foods for your weight and health. But don’t think about giving up these foods, think about giving up the pain that they cause for you.
Choose just one, for now, to take a vacation from for a week. The taste of these foods lasts only a few seconds, but the problems they cause lasts a lifetime.
1. The Absolute Worst Food For Weight Loss
It doesn’t matter if it’s low fat, low calorie, organic, or even vegan. If it’s processed, don’t eat it.
Processed food is any food that has been altered from its original form. It’s not food, it’s a product designed to addict you and make a profit. These foods have minimal nutrients and high amounts of preservatives, oils, salts, and sugars.
The worst food for your health and weight is processed meat. Processed meat includes bacon, corned beef, jerky, ham, sausage, salami, canned meat, and meat-based sauces.
But does eating meat cause weight gain?
Even grass-fed and organic meat, milk, butter, and cheese have saturated fat, harmful proteins, and zero fiber.
One of the largest studies on nutrition found that those who eat meat gained significantly more weight than those who ate less. (1) Amazingly, they could predict waistline growth based on daily meat consumption.
The second worst food is processed plant foods. These include packaged bread, oils, vegeburgers, cookies, fruit juice, soda, and chips.
Processed plants are either missing key nutrients or they have added ingredients. By the time these foods get to you, their nutrients are degraded and the food is dead.
2. This Food Is Designed to Make You Fat
Milk is designed for infants who are constantly growing. What happens when a person consumes milk throughout their whole life?
Drinking milk beyond development can cause weight gain, promote cancer development, and speed up the aging process.
Further, milk is unique to each species. Cow’s milk is specifically designed for an infant cow that grows up to 40 times faster than a human infant.
“The purpose of cow’s milk is to turn a 65-pound calf into a 700-pound cow as rapidly as possible. Cow’s milk IS baby calf growth fluid.”
-Michael Klaper, M.D.
It gets worse.
Animals are given hormones and antibiotics to fatten them faster. Not only are you what you eat, but you are what you eat, eats.
3. This Popular Liquid Refreshment Makes You Store Fat
Alcohol causes weight gain in several different ways:
- It’s only empty calories. Your body stores excess calories primarily as abdominal fat, also known as a “beer gut”.
- It’s stored as a fuel. Your body uses alcohol as a fuel source first. Unfortunately, excess glucose and lipids are stored as fat.
- It messes with your hormones. Alcohol affects testosterone (2), which supports muscle growth and may help burn fat. Men with low testosterone levels tend to gain more weight than men with normal levels (3).
- It affects your sleep. Alcohol affects sleep and daytime sleepiness (4) and poor sleep causes weight gain.
- It messes with your digestion. Alcohol weakens intestinal muscle movement, reduces nutrient absorption, and prevents toxins from being eliminated (5).
That’s it for step #1, the hardest step. Do you want a list of all you can eat foods?
Step #2: Eat More of These Fat Burning Foods
These foods not only help you lose weight, but they will also help you feel full. The good news is there are many different foods to choose from. For the best results eat a wide variety of these foods.
1. High Water Content Foods
Water helps trigger stretch receptors in your stomach that signal your brain that you are full.
One study found that drinking water a half hour before eating increased weight loss by 44% over 12 weeks (6). But they found no benefit of drinking water with a meal.
The foods with the highest water content are fruits and vegetables, which are between 80% and 90% water. The foods with the highest water content include:
- Lettuce: 96%
- Cucumber: 95%
- Celery: 95%
- Tomato: 94%
- Zucchini: 94%
- Bell pepper: 92%
- Watermelon: 92%
- Strawberries: 91%
- Cantaloupe: 90%
- Peaches: 89%
- Oranges: 88%
The foods with the lowest water content are meat and dried foods.
For the best results, make at least 70% of your diet foods with high water content.
Learn More: I wrote an article to help you drink the right amount of water for your weight and lifestyle, check out How Much Water Should I Drink A Day?
2. Fiber-Rich Foods
Fiber helps you feel full faster and eat less food.
The good bacteria in your gut break down fiber into the compound propionate (7). Propionate helps slow down the rate of food that empties from your stomach making you feel fuller faster. Also, your stretch receptors stay active so you feel full longer.
The fiber in beans has a unique superpower called the “second meal effect.” (8). Eating beans helps you feel full even the next day.
Foods rich in fiber are fruits, vegetables, legumes, and nuts.
Foods with the least amount of fiber include:
- Processed food: the fiber is dead and can’t feed your good bacteria.
- Juice: the fiber is removed
- Meat has zero fiber
3. Low Energy Density Foods
Energy density is the number of calories per unit weight (9). Low energy density foods have a high proportion of nutrients per calorie.
You tend to eat the same volume of food (10). If you eat foods with fewer calories per ounce you can reduce calories without eating less food.
Water has the lowest energy density as it has volume but no calories. Dietary fiber is the second best, contributing volume but negligible calories.
Because of there water and fiber content, the lowest energy density foods are fruits and vegetables.
What are the highest energy density foods that cause weight gain?
The highest energy density foods are foods high in fat like bacon (11) or sugar. Dried foods generally have a high energy density.
The low energy density rule has two exceptions.
First, because soda is heavy, it has a relatively low energy density. Its low energy density makes it appear less harmful than it is.
Secondly, Seeds and nuts have a high amount of beneficial fat. Their high energy density makes them appear less healthy than they are.
Related: Learn about the foods and tips that give you energy in How To Have More Energy | The Ultimate Guide
4. This Amazing Fat-Burning Seed
Chia seeds are rich in fiber, protein, minerals, omega-3 fatty acids, and antioxidants. But they also have a unique fat-burning power. Chia seeds expand in water.
In one study, 77 overweight participants were given two tablespoons of ground chia a day for six months (12). The chia group lost significantly more weight and belly fat than the control group eating the same amount of fiber.
Chia seeds, however, need to be ground to unlock their fat-burning power.
5. The Best Fat-Burning Drink
Apple cider vinegar is a relatively inexpensive way to lose weight with or without giving up your favorite foods. It helps you lose weight in three ways.
First, apple cider vinegar has only three calories per tablespoon (13).
Secondly, It activates an enzyme called AMPK which acts as your body’s fuel gauge. If it senses you are low in fuel, it will increase energy production. It also signals your body to stop storing fat and start burning fat.
Lastly, apple cider vinegar is rich in polyphenols that support the right gut flora for weight loss.
In a study, overweight individuals who took two tablespoons of apple cider vinegar a day for 12 weeks lost about five pounds (14). They also lost harmful abdominal fat and lost about an inch off their waist size.
6. The Right Probiotics
Overweight people have an imbalance in gut flora that signals gene expression for weight gain (15).
Both dairy and non-dairy probiotics cause weight gain by promoting Lactobacillus species in the gut. Conversely, eating foods rich in polyphenols from fruit, green tea, or vinegar can promote weight loss.
7. These High-Fat Foods
Although nuts are rich in calories, the majority of studies show that nuts don’t cause weight gain. In some cases, eating nuts daily helped people lose weight.
Why don’t the calories in nuts cause weight gain? The calories in nuts are generally accounted for in the following ways:
- 70% is compensated by eating fewer calories
- 20% is lost from increased fat burning
- 10% is flushed away
For the best results, avoid added oil, sugar, or salt.
8. Foods From These Proven Diets
Vegan, vegetarian, and reduced-fat diets are proven to work long-term (16).
Low-calorie and reduced carbohydrate diets promote weight loss in the short-term. But they have less adherence and effectiveness beyond one year.
A vegan or vegetarian diet is more sustainable as they provide more fiber, vitamins, minerals, and enough protein (17). They are also low in saturated fat and cholesterol.
Learn More: I wrote a detailed article on the ten best vegan protein sources for weight loss.
Now that you know what to eat, do you want to learn how to put weight loss on autopilot?
Step #3: Make Weight Loss Automatic
Did you know that you only control about 5% of your actions? The other 95% are habits.
So weight loss is 20 times easier than you thought.
Focus on one healthy change at a time. A habit can be changed in 21 days, but you only need to win one moment at a time.
Here are simple strategies to make healthy habits easier.
1. Make Anything Taste Amazing
You don’t have to give up flavor to eat healthily.
Your body is designed to adapt to its environment. As you eat more healthy foods, your taste buds adapt to make you want the foods in your environment.
You can make sour or tart foods taste sweet by chewing on the Ledidi berry. Chew the dried berry for 30 seconds near the tip of your tongue. Then you have about 20 minutes to make even the greenest smoothie taste amazing.
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2. Don’t Give Up Your Favorite Foods
People in the Blue Zones save meat or alcohol for special occasions. Blue Zones are regions of the world where people live longer than average. Obesity is rare in these regions and people are healthy and active beyond the average lifespan.
But the secret to health and longevity is not your location, but your lifestyle.
Why not create your own Blue Zone? Eat healthy foods on most days and savor special occasions.
3. Increase Your Will Power 2,100%
You only need to use your will power about once a week, not every meal.
If you have unhealthy food in the house you need to resist it three times a day or more. You can boost your willpower by a factor of 21 (3 meals times 7 days), by not buying the food that tempts you in the first place.
4. Sleep At the Best Time For Weight Loss
Your body cleanses itself and releases healing hormones around 10 PM. But you need to be asleep to get the full benefit.
Lack of sleep or poor sleep quality can disrupt the hormones related to hunger, satiety, and fat storage (18). So getting quality sleep is one of the simplest ways to maintain a healthy weight.
What you eat also matters. For example, one study found that vegetarians burn more calories in their sleep (19).
Learn More: I Wrote a detailed article on the 35 things that keep you awake at night.
5. Learn a Lesson From A Turtle
The tortoise lives longer than humans. They don’t get fat otherwise, they wouldn’t fit in their shell. What is their secret?
Turtles are calm and persistent. Because they are relaxed, they have little stress and a slow heart rate.
One study found that storing belly fat is one of your body’s natural adaptations to stress (20). Examples of stress are poor sleep, being overworked, poor nutrition, and anxiety.
Take small steps to lose weight. It is better to plan a weight loss program that’s sustainable for you than to rush into the wrong one.
Eat slowly and savor every bite. There is a delay between eating and feeling full. When you eat slowly, you will feel full before you eat more than you need.
“Nature does not hurry, yet everything is accomplished.”
6. Forgive Yourself
Only you have lived your story, no one else could’ve survived what you have. And you needed everything you’ve been through.
You can’t move forward in life until you appreciate who you are. Then you will want to improve and take care of your self. Your subconscious mind will guide you toward your goals.
Most people wait for circumstances to improve before making a change. But you are smart, you’ve chosen to make the change first.
Now you know what to do, why not keep reading to learn the weight loss myths to avoid.
Step #4: Avoid These Weight Loss Myths and Scams
Are these myths keeping you from reaching your goal or even starting?
Myth #1: You Need to Count Carbs or Calories
Carbohydrates, like fat and protein, are vital macronutrients.
People in the Blue Zones eat mostly carbohydrates, but you won’t find many overweight people in these regions. Like the people in the Blue Zones, your carbs should come from whole plant foods.
Counting carbs is great for reducing bread, sugar, pasta, and other processed foods. Carb counting goes wrong when you avoid fruits, vegetables, and legumes.
Similarly, not all calories are equal. If you are eating mostly a whole food plant-based diet you can eat as many calories as you want. The fiber and nutrients in these foods will make you feel full before you eat too many calories.
Is carb or calorie counting keeping you from getting enough vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, fiber, and phytonutrients?
Myth #2: You Need to Go Keto, Paleo, Or Vegan
Some people in the Blue Zones eat meat and dairy, while others don’t eat any animal products.
What is their secret?
They eat mostly fruits, vegetables, and legumes. Animal products were a small portion. And, until recently, they didn’t eat processed food.
Myth #3: Diet and Exercise Are Equally Important For Weight Loss
Exercise is an excellent way to lose weight and stay healthy. But its role in weight loss is overestimated.
Most people trying to lose weight believe that diet and exercise are equally important for weight loss. But what you eat influences weight gain far more than energy expenditure (21).
You can’t outrun a bad diet. Exercise burns calories, but it can’t burn off harmful hormones, chemicals, and bad fats.
Exercise makes you need more nutrients. You need to eat even more healthy food and less unhealthy food when you exercise.
Walking every day is one of the simplest and most effective ways to lose weight. Walking burns calories, strengthens muscles, and reduces belly fat.
Myth #4: You Should Focus On Losing Weight
Not all weight loss is equal. Where the weight is lost matters most. The most harmful fat is your visceral or abdominal fat around your internal organs.
Because muscle weighs more than fat, the scale won’t give you the whole picture.
Body mass index (BMI) is better than weight as it takes height into account. But it doesn’t tell you where your extra weight is.
The waist-to-height ratio is the best measure of fat loss. Your goal should be to “keep your waist circumference to less than half your height.” (22)
Use a cloth measuring tape, and measure halfway between the top of your hip bones and the bottom of your rib cage.
To measure your waist-to-height ratio:
- Stand up straight
- Breathe deeply then exhale
- Measure your waist
Myth #5: Diet Pills Help You Lose Weight
A review of common weight loss supplements found that none of them worked better than the placebo (23).
Don’t waste money on pills. The best foods for healthy weight loss are inexpensive. But not eating unhealthy foods is free.
Myth #6: Coconut Oil Burns Belly Fat
No studies have shown that coconut oil helps burn belly fat better than a placebo. In fact, one study found that eating coconut oil increased insulin resistance which eventually causes type 2 diabetes (24).
Coconut oil is processed. Instead, eat coconut with the fiber intact.
Now you have four simple, but challenging steps. Do you want to know the secret to overcome any obstacle?
The One Thing Every Weight Loss Story Has In Common
Every weight loss story, or success story, has a powerful “why.”
“He Who Has a Why to Live For Can Bear Almost Any How.”
Anyone can learn the “how”, but if your “why” is strong enough, you will get through anything.
Wanting to lose weight is not enough. You need to imagine what having a healthy weight can do for you. Think of the confidence and energy you will build to chase your dreams.
You will have to make sacrifices. But you are only giving up what is causing you pain and sabotaging your dreams.
Start Your Weight Loss Adventure Now
This morning you were lost in a sea of weight loss advice. Each tip was like an anchor keeping you from moving forward.
Today you’ve learned what advice you can cut loose and what to hold on to.
Without the distractions of diet fads, your goal is closer than you thought.
If you continue to follow these four simple steps, you will keep the weight off for good.
Start now, before you lose focus. Pick one small change to make today or you will forget everything by tomorrow.
Not only will you reach your goal, but you’ll also enjoy every minute of the journey.
Learn more about the products and supplements I use every day on my secret weapon resources page.