Robin Rhine McDonald
My top tricks & treats of weight loss
If you've followed me for a while, you know that I'm not big on emphasizing weight loss as a focus for my health programs. This is because healthy, sustainable weight loss is a result of true health. True health sometimes takes time to achieve.
However, I know full well the desire to lose weight and to feel better about my body. Even when we're making that transition to valuing other aspects of our health more than weight loss, it's still tough to let go of the excitement that comes when we see that number go down. I get it!
So today, I'm sharing some of my top tricks & treats (in theme with Halloween this weekend) for weight loss.
Now, before I share them, just know, these aren't glamorous, instant weight loss suggestions. These are the kinds of things that will get you that weight loss if you implement them consistently and diligently!
Oh! And when I say "weight loss", I mean fat loss. I think it's safe to assume you're not interested in losing muscle, right? If I cut off my arm, I'll lose weight, but that's not the goal here.
Okay, without further ado...
Eat more food, don't restrict yourself
Yes, my top trick for you to lose fat is to eat more food. The biggest hurdle I am seeing with clients and friends who are trying to lose fat is that they are significantly UNDER eating.
When you under eat for long periods of time, you are telling your body that you are in a famine. It thinks that there is not enough food for you to function optimally. As a survival mechanism, it begins to store and hold on to fat in case the little bit it's getting suddenly stops.
Trust me, eating more DOES get that number on the scale to go down.
Eat real food
Now, you might be thinking, "Robin, I can't just start eating more. I'll gain weight for sure."
It depends on what you're eating. That's where this next trick comes in to play. If you are consuming meals and snacks with REAL single ingredient foods (beef, chicken, eggs, broccoli, pecan, strawberry, etc), then the issue of eating too much decreases substantially.
When we consume processed snacks and beverages like potato chips, soda, fast food, and even things like breads, pastas, or pretzels, we're filling our bodies with foods that don't provide much nutritional benefit AND, often times, they require our body to do a lot of work to navigate the harmful additives and ingredients. This extra work can cause inflammation, which leads to an array of issues that result in not only weight gain, but thyroid issues, gut issues, diabetes, heart issues, etc.
Eating real foods is one of the simplest changes we can make for our health.
Drink lots of water
One time Ryan and I decided to increase our water consumption to 130 ounces for him and 100 ounces for me, each day. We did nothing else to change out eating or exercise for a week. At the end of that week, I had lost 3lbs and he had lost 5lbs.
Remember what I said about wanting to lose fat, not just weight? What happens initially when we drink a ton of water consistently, after having not, is we lose water weight and we clear out our digestive system. So, even though this weight isn't the fat you'd like to see reduced, it's still an important clearing for your body.
You should be drinking at least half your body weight in ounces of water. So, for example, a 150lb person should drink at least 75 ounces of water.
Increase your fiber intake
This is another clearing trick you can do to lose weight. Now, while you might be excited to see the scale move as a result of this trick, what you'll also be doing for your body is quite significant.
By increasing your fiber intake, you are feeding the good bacteria (probiotics) in your digestive system (gut). This improves your gut health. Having a healthy gut is extremely important. Your gut is responsible for 80-90% of your immune system, your mental health, your hormonal health, and whether or not your body is actually absorbing the nutrients from the food & supplements you consume.
I recommend this fiber and probiotic combo.
Shift to healthier alternatives
I don't know about you, but I LOVE having baked goods. I've never been much of a sour candy person, but when it comes to a fresh baked cookie, brownie, or muffin, Oh man, I'm in my happy place.
Over the course of my health journey, I've come to enjoy finding healthy alternatives to my favorite baked goods. You can pretty much put "paleo" or "whole30" in front of any recipe and get a great alternative to your usual recipe.
This works not just for sweet things, but also savory. You can find healthier versions of pizza, burgers, and even french fries that you can make at home with ingredients that don't wreak havoc on your body.
These small adjustments make a big difference, and do eventually contribute to your fat loss goals.
Enjoy the old stuff with a plan
You might be thinking, "Ugh, but I don't want unsatisfying healthy alternatives to my favorite things." Well, first of all, the healthy versions don't have to be unsatisfying - but that's for another conversation. Needless to say, I GET IT!
Sometimes we just want the real thing.
Just have it!
Decide to have it, but go after it with a plan. There's a difference between being totally checked out on your efforts to eat healthy - going for any food without regard for quantity or balance, and intentionally choosing to have an indulgence alongside your usual healthy habits.
Maybe there are certain candies that you LOVE and want to enjoy this weekend without guilt. Great! Having a plan looks like deciding in advance how much of that candy you will have and what other healthy choices you'll make throughout the day.
My partner, Sumer Allen always says, "Having one thing isn't going to ruin your day. It's about majority. Make sure that majority of what you ate that day was fueling your body the right way."
How does this help with fat loss? When you take control of your health instead of letting it control you, you are in a place to create sustainable, lasting habits. This prevents the common challenge of being super strict and eating only the healthiest of things OR being totally off the rails, having no regard for what goes in your mouth. It's possible to have a healthy balance.
Make a plan where the majority of your food choices are serving your health goals!
Get yourself new workout clothes & shoes - Get active!
Last, but not least, if making the time to workout has been a challenge for you, sometimes what's needed is a little bit of motivation. Something that will make you feel better in your own skin.
My recommendation? Give yourself permission to get a new pair of workout pants, that fit in all the right places, and a good pair of supportive shoes.
I know for me, when I get new workout clothes, I can't wait to wear them!
Increasing your physical activity, even if it's just adding in 15 minutes of walking a day makes a HUGE difference in losing fat and boosting your overall health.