Weight Loss Quick Fix: Is there a healthy way?

Aug 9, 2012 by

Goal: Learn to LOVE yourself, through healthy practices, not hurtful ones

 

Being a woman in a time-period where image seems to be everything, and being skinny is perceived as being beautiful, it is no surprise that a very common topic I get presented with is that of weight loss and using various diets, or “weight loss” products. While I always immediately want to respond with a “you are beautiful just the way your are,” or “just eat clean and exercise,” I know that the real root runs much more deeper, and is intimately tied to our emotional being, not just our desire to fit into those pair of jeans from 5 years ago. Therefore, I take a step back and try to explain the mechanism of weight (our body’s defense and coping mechanism), educate about the harm of weight-loss tricks, and then offer true healthy and sustainable ways to feel amazing in your body. Because this is all about being comfortable in your own skin, appreciating what you have, what you can do with it, not how others will think of you. 

While I would love to delve into analyzing the emotional root of weight, I think that it is best to address the logic of weight loss, and how so many people make the mistake of going for the so-called easy route, i.e 7-14 day weight loss kits, fat-burning supplements, extreme diets, that often lead to a more compromised and physically heavier state of being than when they began.

Happy Body, Happy Mind, Happy Heart

Your Body at its Happy Weight

The body has a natural weight that it is happy and healthy at, and once you reach that weight it is difficult to move it either way if that weight was achieved through exercise and a healthy diet. At this weight, your body is receiving all the nutrients it needs to function properly, and it is burning excess calories through a sustainable and high burning metabolism. This is where the body wants to be, and it is where it is the healthiest. Many people are here. When people want to move their weight below this threshold (meaning you have a low % of body fat) a few things happen, for one, you have to cut necessary nutrients and calories from the diet (typically from complex carbs and healthy fats) that cause the body to be forced into a state of stress. From there vital nutrients are not present so you can begin to see symptoms such as hair loss, fatigue, morning brain fog, constipation, dry skin, and hormone imbalance. I see this happen all the time, and I have actually been there myself.

Secondly, depending on how you do it, you can put your body in a state of starvation where it will be trained to hold onto any calories it receives, since the body’s intelligence does not know when it will receive food again. Think back to our hunter gatherer days here. As a result, you may actually gain weight in the long run since the body is retrained to hold onto calories, not burn them. Finally, if you embark on a long-term calorie-restrictive diet, you may begin to burn muscle, not fat, which can actually come from our very organs, in addition to the muscle tissue. And the less lean muscle tissue we have, the fewer calories our body burns on a daily basis. Therefore, we have to be very careful when addressing weight loss and you must make sure that you are in a place where you have excess calories to burn without compromising your current health and nutrient status.  

Our Body's Happy Place

Your Body at a Toxic Weight

One thing that you do not hear much about is the fact that an unhealthy weight is not only due to a high caloric intake, but also to an overly toxic system. The body’s job is to protect itself at all times, and that includes protection from the toxins that your body is being exposed to.

We are exposed to a copious amount of toxins daily through our air, water and personal care products, and largely from the food we eat. As a result, our body is constantly trying to detoxify in order to protect our organs, tissues and cells. If the detoxification pathways (liver, intestine, kidney, lymph, skin, lung) are congested, then your body will not be able to efficiently move the toxins out of our cells for elimination. And, if the body does not have enough energy at a cellular level (poor nutrition, poor digestion and therefore assimilation), it will not be able to move the toxins outside of the cellular body, due to a lack of energy. Therefore, the body will choose to hold onto the toxins inside fat cells as a way to protect itself from body-wide toxic exposure. It is only until you can open up the detoxification pathways, and provide proper energy to the cells itself, that your body will be prepared to move them out. As a result, weight loss often naturally occurs when the body becomes healthy and its internal toxic buildup is greatly decreased.  

Are you holding onto toxic weight?

 

The 4 Steps to Reaching and Sustaining a Healthy Weight: 

Clean up the inside, and the outside will follow

 

#1. Diet - There is not way around it. You are what you eat.

The simple act of cleaning up your diet will allow you to lose weight pretty quickly, and those results will be long-term and sustainable. What that means is that your diet should focus on whole grains, healthy fats, fresh organic vegetables, fruit, raw nuts and seeds, and beans, along with the elimination of toxic foods (and food-like substances).

First off, the elimination of conventional, pasteurized dairy alone will help tremendously. You will be quite surprised. Next, you must cut out anything processed or refined…pretty much most things that come in a package, bag, can or box. By removing all toxic foods from the diet (conventional animal products, processed and refined foods, fried foods and toxic oils – trans fats, canola, soy and vegetable oil, margarine, soda, artificial sugars, refined sugars, white flour), you will also naturally reduce your toxic load, which will allow your body to come back to a healthy weight. You can use this shopping guide as well as my articles: Cabinet CleanupCriminals in your Kitchen and a Healthy Eating Out Guide for further tips.

You are what you eat

#2. Reduce exposure to environmental toxins (water, household and personal care products)

Begin exchanging out toxic personal care products for gentle, natural products such as some of my favorites listed here, and remember to purchase a water purification system.

#3. Detoxification (remove harmful toxins and open up those detoxification pathways)

Supply nutrients to support gut, liver and kidney cleansing. This would include products such as Aloe Vera, Milk Thistle, Corn Silk and Psyllium. I personally recommend starting with a Kidney Cleanse and Aloe Intestinal Cleanse .

#4. Superfoods for Cleansing (increase cellular energy and use natural cleansing agents)

Supply nutrients that act as natural detoxifying agents in order to increase cellular energy, while concurrently using nutrients that bind to toxins and force them out of the cells, through the main detox pathways. A few great superfoods that I use are: chlorella, blue green algaealoe ferox leafsalba, clay, seaweeds (love the seaweed product, xenostat), parsley and cilantro. My favorite is the Medi Clay, a specialized, non-toxic bentonite clay that binds to all kinds of toxins ranging from heavy metals, to bacteria, and fungus (to name just a few).

Parsley is a SUPER Cleanser!

What about the Role of Hormones?

Finally, there is the last question of hormones. Hormones do play a role in weight and if they become imbalanced, it can lead to stubborn weight gain. A common way this occurs is from exposure to xeno estrogens. Xeno estrogens are foreign estrogens that interfere with normal hormone production and balance. The main culprits are dairy, animal meat, processed soy, plastics (water bottles), and personal care items (contain chemicals such as sodium lauryl sulfates). By changing the diet, and eliminating chemicals, often the hormones begin to normalize. In some cases though, DIM (diindolylmethane) is needed to detoxify the xeno-estrogens, and natural hormone stimulants or replacements must be used.

Are Hormones holding you Back?

Well, that all sounds good, but I need a Quick Fix! Wedding, Tropical Vacation, Post-Breakup Body Stat!

Okay, so if you change your diet (I will not budge on this one), and want to lose a few more pounds and are determined :) then I would suggest one of the two following HEALTHY options:

 

1. Juice Fast (cleanse, rebuild, burn and recharge)

A juice fast can actually be very healthy for you as it supplies your body with the nutrients it needs, but it allows the body to take a break from digestion. In this time, your body can push out toxins and repair the body. So I would try for a 3 day fast to begin, which would mean that you only drink FRESH pressed juice and purified water all day. Nothing else. During this time, you typically have to scale back your workouts to light walking or yoga as your body is not receiving macronutrients that are needed to support more intense energy expenditure. Remember, we do not want the body to go into starvation mode, nor do we want it to start using muscle as an energy source, but the bottom line is that you will lose weight in just these 3 days and you should actually feel really good afterwards. You can read my THK Juice Detox for more details.

Kale Juice!

2. Superfood Protein Shakes (high nutrition, fuel-efficient, low caloric density)

 If you want to keep up a more active lifestyle during this time, you can drink superfood protein shakes as a meal replacement. Depending on how quickly you want to push yourself, how you feel and how much you are exercising, you can replace 1-3 meals a day with a superfood protein shake. I personally drink one for breakfast daily, as it is also a really easy way to get in all your nutrients for the day, and it is DELICIOUS. The idea is that the shake has a really nice blend of superfoods that help to boost your metabolism, keep you feeling good, while supporting natural weight loss, or helping you to maintain a healthy weight. The nice thing is that you can continue to do this indefinitely and it will also be a great adjunct to your workout schedule as well. The shake that I take combines Chocolate Bliss (not a sugar and milk based chocolate, this is actually just the cacao bean plus TONS of superfoods!) along with Sunwarrior Vanilla Protein powder. The combination of these two products is awesome, and can also help you with your lean muscle mass as well. Not to mention, it gives you an energy burst that I have found to replace caffeine from coffee or tea. You can then add in fruit, coconut oil (our favorite fat-burning secret – read my coconut oil article here), or other superfoods to bulk it up as well. * go to the links above to learn more about each product.

Superfood Smoothie!

What about those Weight Loss Kits, like Isagenix?

These types of weight loss and cleansing products are mostly made with synthetic nutrients, preservatives, artificial flavors and colors, and contain conventional whey and soy. Conventional whey contains hormones, antibiotic and pesticide residues, which are harmful to body and interrupt your hormone balance. Conventional soy is genetically modified (read more about soy here) and all soy contains phytoestrogens that interrupt normal hormone balance similarly to the whey. Mess with the hormones and it can actually lead to weight gain, acne, fatigue, hair loss, infertility, cancer etc. So the best protein options are vegan: brown rice, hemp etc. These shakes also contain “natural flavors” which is typically MSG, a neurotoxin (read more about MSG here), as well as caseinate, one of the most toxic components of milk that causes major mucus build up in the gut. Finally they contain synthetic vitamins which can actually damage cells in the body, even our very DNA, when they are taken in the wrong combination. A big no-no…so we do not want to take those.

Why add more toxicity and stress to the body, when it can be done a healthy and natural way?

We do not want to set ourselves up for long-term health complications, for the short-term satisfaction of feeling skinny, therefore, in my opinion, these options should really not be a consideration. Remember, our goal is to achieve a healthy weight that is sustainable and life-promoting.

Here is a nutrition fact label from the Isagenix Shake:

Final Thoughts

The main idea is that if you lead a healthy lifestyle that contains a blend of clean eating, daily exercise, stress management and the elimination of toxic products, your body will find its happy place. There really are no gimmicks, special diets or kits that can be used for long-term sustainable weight loss that do not compromise your health. Your weight is a reflection of not only how you eat, but also how healthy your body is, so focus on the inside, and the outside will follow suite. If you are doing all of the following and the weight just does not seem to come off, then it is very vital that you address the emotional components of your weight. Many times you hold onto weight because your subconscious is protecting you from some sort of emotional trauma, which you have not been able to let go of. Food for thought.

Let Go

“I tried every diet in the book. I tried some that weren’t in the book. I tried eating the book.

It tasted better than most of the diets.” ~Dolly Parton

♥ To Finding a Happy Weight through Health and Wellness!

L

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33 Comments

  1. Brette

    Simply a fantastic article Lauren. Superb advice and well written!

  2. z

    This has been the one of the most helpful articles on weight loss I have read in a long time (and through my disordered eating…I have read A LOT…and most have been (un)helpful actually…)I wish I had read it sooner, because then I would have known the actual causes of my fatigue, hormonal imbalance, constipation, etc. (Instead, I made myself believe the causes were other things…)

    Is there anything you can recommend for amenorrhea? (I understand that gaining weight is a big part of that…but is there some kind of helpful supplement or food?)

    Thank you so very, very much. Honestly – this article is so different from anything I have read…I think people will really find it helpful.

    • lauren

      You are so very welcome :) My favorite thing is mixing 2/3 RAW, unprocessed honey with 1/3 Raw, unprocessed bee pollen. Mix them up until the bee pollen is perfectly blended with the honey and store in a jar. It does not need to be refrigerated as the honey preserves the pollen. Eat 1-2 tbs daily. By doing that you should be able to get your period back. For me after birth control, I took that for 3 days and it came! The bioflavonoids support hormone production while it also acts as a liver tonic (the liver is in charge of conjugating hormones). Also make sure you are getting enough cholesterol in your diet. Cholesterol is what the body uses to make hormones. So a great fat would be coconut oil, or if you eat eggs, real farmers market organic eggs. You can find details to the honey, pollen recipe HERE.

      • z

        I bought a jar of ready-made honey + bee pollen mix…and nothing :( Do you think it could be that the proportion was off or would you guess that the problem is just too much for honey + bee pollen to fix? I know you can’t make any 100% suggestions, but any advice or ideas would be appreciated :(

        Thanks <3

        • lauren

          I would only make the mix yourself as the quality of the honey and pollen need to be the best – raw honey and wild bee pollen. This combination should be taken with the other recommendations as well, but this is a long-term program. If you need more personal guidance, please contact me for a consultation at lauren@theholykale.com

  3. Lindsay

    I recently found your website, and I’m really enjoying all your articles. This was another great one! Just one small suggestion – the links that you include throughout your articles do not always open in a new window, which makes it very difficult to follow them without leaving the original article. I typically right click on links to open them in a new window, but I am unable to right click on anything on your site because I get a message that it is copyright protected. Just a small suggestion that would make navigation much easier!

    • lauren

      Thanks Lindsay! My site went down when I was writing the article and it looks like it caused that function to be disabled. But all fixed now! Thanks for looking out :)

  4. When it comes to my health my problem is i’m finding trouble figuring out what to eat and what exercises that I should do.
    Thanks for the post, lot’s of helpful and encouraging information here.

  5. Erin

    Thanks for this article. I suspect I’ve had a hormone imbalance for a long time. Any suggestions on how I might better educate myself on this subject? And where to learn more about hormone stimulants and replacements?

    • lauren

      Hi Erin, Check out the response I wrote to Tess in my article The Birth Control Pill. This is a good place to start, even if you have not been on birth control, since we all have xeno estrogenic exposure (conventional meat, dairy, soy, plastics, personal care products, water etc.) and often need to cleanse the liver in addition to include high quality bioflavonoids, which can be found in the raw honey, wild pollen blend with the flower pollen extract. You can also always get a hormone panel done which can help give you insight to where you are exactly so that you can move forward from there.

  6. As always, great article.
    Putting your body through that much stress just to fit in a dress within a week is horrific.

    Clean eats is the best way to go and by listening to your body :)

  7. LC

    Excellent article, and perfectly timed… I’ve been on the fence about trying supplements or pills to enhance my weight loss, and this has convinced me against it! Thank you for being so informative! However, it is “lose” weight, NOT “loose” weight!

  8. Belinda

    Thanks for yet another fantastic article. It is great to know that I can come here for reliable and balanced information. I feel very inspired and empowered after reading this. :-)

  9. Hey I know this is off topic but I was wondering if you
    knew of any widgets I could add to my blog that automatically tweet my newest twitter
    updates. I’ve been looking for a plug-in like this for quite some time and was hoping maybe you would have some experience with something like this. Please let me know if you run into anything. I truly enjoy reading your blog and I look forward to your new updates.

  10. Carolyn

    Hi there,

    I have a question about my diet. I have recently eliminated gluten from my diet, as I suspect it has something to do with my upset stomach. Also, I eat very little sugar, including high sugar fruits, dried fruit, and added sources of natural sugar (honey, agave, etc). I make exceptions, but generally, I eat things on the unsweetened side.

    I also avoid dairy. However, I do put milk in my coffee every day. Every day I get a small dose of dairy (though, organic, at least!).

    Do you think I should cut this out? (Do you think I should cut out the coffee!?)

    Thanks!

    Carolyn

    • lauren

      Hi Carolyn, if you are drinking an ounce of milk dairy a day I wouldn’t be to worried about it, but there are also such great other options like coconut milk, the switch would be easy. If the coffee is upsetting your stomach, as it does for many, then I would try to change to tea or something like my coffee replacement drink. For those that have gluten tolerance, there is almost always intestinal damage (leaky gut), and therefore you should look at doing an intestinal cleanse to remove stagnant waste, and start introducing healing agents in the diet such as aloe, probiotics, and a glutamine supplement. The goal will be to heal the gut so that you do not have to be gluten free forever. With that being said, avoiding foods such as refined bread, bagels, baked goods etc (which have gluten), is always a good idea even if you do not have gluten intolerance.

  11. Carolyn

    Thanks, Lauren!

    To be honest, I know I should change the relationship I have with coffee. I drink it far too often for it to be okay in my diet; at the very least, I am sure it isn’t contributing to having a healthy pH.

    I don’t really intend on going back to gluten, I don’t think. I am not allergic, but I’d say I don’t feel as well when I eat it as when I don’t.

    I do think healing would be a good idea, and will look into that. Thank you so much for your suggestions.

    Great blog, by the way :)

  12. Everything is very open with a precise description of the challenges. It was definitely informative. Your website is very helpful. Thank you for sharing!

  13. The emotional component is very vital in losing unwanted weight,

  14. This site was… how do I say it? Relevant!

    ! Finally I’ve found something that helped me. Appreciate it!

  15. Clean up the inside, and the outside will follow-this sentence alone says it all.

  16. Olivia P.

    The Holy Kale! I bow to your greatness! :)

    I am currently at a plateau in my weight loss journey and would like to try a juice cleanse however, juicers are expensive and I am a college student on a budget! How do you feel about smoothies versus juice? Also do you have any other suggestions that might get me over this horrid hump?!?!?!

    • lauren

      Hello Olivia! Thanks for writing in. You can definitely do a cleanse just with green smoothies and even pureed, vegetable based soups. The nice thing is that with the blend of these two you can do up to a week on this type of cleanse. Try it out! Just make sure to not use too much fruit due to the sugar content.

  17. Brilliant article again, this blog never fails to gain me knowledge on different topics!

  18. Jill

    Lauren,
    I have gotten so much information from your site, thank you!! I am starting my aloe cleanse on Sat. I was wondering if this week leading up I could do castor packs (kidney, liver and intestines every other day till then) and then on Sat morning do a coffee enema and then kick off the aloe cleanse. Thoughts?

    • lauren

      Absolutely!! Love that idea! I am a big fan of the castor packs, and then the coffee enema would be ideal. You can continue with the enemas a couple times a week while on the cleanse as well.

  19. G’Day! Theholykale,
    I was wondering on a similar note,, I work an hour out of town 5 days/ week. I make dinner almost everynight for my family of 4. I am also my daughter’s girl scout troop leader. I honestly DO NOT have time to excercise. I am not fat, but I could stand to lose 15-20 lbs. I know it sounds like I’m lazy, but I need a quick diet pill that will help me lose the weight as quickly as possible without having to do a lot of exercise. (I have an event coming up for work and I really want to fit into this dress I’ve had for a while.) Anyone know of any good quick fixes?
    I look forward to your next post

    • lauren

      Unfortunately there are no magic bullets, but the good news is that even 10-20 minutes of short burst, interval training exercises can help you to reach your weight loss goals. There are many websites that have free workouts that you could do it home. I would start there, because no pill is going to answer your problems.

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