My Top 10 Healthy Pointers to Slim Down & Beat the Bloat

One question I often get is how to lose weight quickly but in a healthy way. I have a love/hate relationship with this question. On one hand I like it because I love motivating and inspiring people towards a healthier lifestyle, but on the other hand, I hate the quick-fix mentality so many of us have when we feel like we need a health boost or have an event or holiday coming up. Not only does this quick-fix approach often warp our relationship with food – not to mention our body and health in general – but it also often leads to a vicious cycle of yo-yo weight, followed by poor digestion, sugar & carb cravings, and an even more desperate and restrictive approach.

Below are my 10 favorite healthy pointers that will help you boost your health and leave you looking and feeling healthier and slimmer in a week. There’s nothing “fad” or quick fix about these. In fact, these are all things I’d encourage you to adapt as a longterm lifestyle. It’s pretty simple, really – and there’s no magic. Focus on high quality unprocessed plant-foods, lean protein & healthy nourishing fats and ditch anything that comes in a bottle, bag & box. I guarantee you that you’re going in the right direction of renewing your health from the inside out and very likely losing excess weight in the meantime. I used these 10 to lose my baby weight after weaning my son and while a week is just enough to get you started, a week is better than nothing at all and a great way to get rid of excess fluid, bloating, plus a few pounds – the healthy way!

This week I’ve teamed up with my amazing friend Julie Lewis, who’s a NYC/London based interior designer, lifestyle blogger and fellow health lover. She’s the founder of the company Julieann Gregory Interiors and the creative behind the blog “Jewels“. Thanks for helping me with this visual, Julie!

my top 10 healthy pointers to slim down and beat the bloat

{ 1 } Skip all sugar. Completely. There are so many misconceptions & quick fix fads when it comes to weight loss, but one of the most effective means to trim down is to cut out sugar and refined and starchy carbohydrates. Contrary to many other “diets” this is also something you can easily adapt as a lifestyle and do long-term! In fact, the longer the better and your entire body, especially your digestive system, will benefit. In other words, no white bread, pasta, rice, croissants, muffins/cakes, candy, chocolate, soft drinks and so on… Whole grains, such as quinoa, buckwheat and millet are all fantastic and substitutes and they’re all great sources of filling protein as well.

{ 2 } Engage in some form of exercise every day. A few months ago I started combining my usual pilates routine with Tracy Andersons 15 minute Butt & Thigh work out (check the webisode here). It is amazing and my thighs literally feel like they are on fire afterwards. After just a week of doing it every morning I started noticing a difference and it’s a great an easy way to tone up at home. Exercise look different for everyone though, but a minimum of 30 minutes most days, if not every day, is a good benchmark and preferably something that works up a sweat.

{ 3 } Keep salt & sugar to a bare minimum as they promote water retention, making you more prone to bloating. Obviously, I am also going to tell you to avoid artificially sweetened “diet” drinks, as they cause temporary bloating and trick your body into thinking it is getting sugar when its really not. This in turn stimulates your appetite, causing you to eat more… sparkling water with fresh lemon & lime slices are much better but the bubbles can still cause you to blow out a bit so watch your intake. 

{ 4 } Ok, so this point is not really about food, but it’s still relevant from a holistic body & wellbeing perspective. Dry skin brushing is one of favorite ways to improve the appearance and feel of my skin. It effectively assists detoxification, removes dead skin and improves circulation while also fighting cellulite and leaving your skin looking radiant. Perfect routine to pick up before a summer holiday! {Read more about the benefits of dry skin brushing here}

{ 5 } Natural diuretics found in green tea, cucumbers, celery & dandelion greens fight bloating and help flush out your system in a healthy way and green tea also helps curb cravings for sweets. I love adding fresh mint leaves & lemon slices to my green tea for a nice and fresher flavor.

{ 6 } Cook with extra virgin coconut oil, as coconut oil has a unique saturated fat that actually help increase fat metabolism. Contrary to many other oils, it is rich in medium-chain triglycerides (MCT), which are easier for the body to digest and metabolize. I love using coconut oil in cooking as it is also more heat stable than many other oils, meaning that the structure of the fats don’t change when exposed to heat. A definite kitchen “must-have”.

{ 7 } Remember your stomach, when empty, is about the size of your fist! Having a big meal, even if healthy, will still blow out your stomach. Therefore, stick to several smaller healthy meals instead of a few big ones as this prevents your stomach from having to stretch itself to accommodate the food.

{ 8 } Healthy & stabile blood sugar is key to weight loss and weight maintenance and will give you a consistent supply of energy throughout the day. Eating processed foods high in refined carbohydrates and sugar floods your system with insulin, a hormone that triggers fat storage. Instead, eat regularly and fill up on lean protein, vegetables, low-sugar fruits and complex high fiber carbohydrates. This will prevent insulin surges, stimulate your metabolism & keep you feeling fuller for longer.

{ 9 } Skip or limit all alcohol. Alcohol is loaded with calories, depletes your body of vitamins & minerals and put strain on your liver. In fact, the liver will not process the food you’ve eaten until its processed the alcohol first… not a pretty visual, huh. If you’re going out and absolutely need it, go for red wine, a spritzer (wine mixed with sparkling water) or a hard alcohol like vodka mixed with sparkling water and fresh lime/lemon instead of sugary soft drinks.

{ 10 } Go easy on fruits. I know, it may sound surprising, but many fruits are very high in sugar and will affect our blood sugar levels and weight when we eat too much. Stick to 2 pieces a day and go for fruit with a lower sugar content. Pears, peaches, lemons, lime and berries are all low in sugar, whereas pineapple, mango, cherries and melons are among the fruits with a high sugar content.

Photo courtesy: Julie Lewis / www.JulieannGregory.com

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