Complete Healthy Weight Loss Guide

Healthy Weight Loss must also involve restoring Gut Health, Metabolic Health,and Fat Metabolism.

HEALTHY WEIGHT LOSS

Maintaining a healthy weight can be challenging at different ages and stages of life – especially as we age.

My clients often ask me – What will help me burn fat and lose weight?

And throughout decades of consulting, I have found there is no single universal answer to losing weight.

YES – what you eat is essential in a healthy weight-loss plan.

BUT – there’s much more to losing weight than the food and drinks you consume.

You must also address metabolic imbalances and restore functions that enable you to burn fat and lose weight.

Metabolism, though, is not just about your ability to burn fat and calories.

Metabolism is all the chemical reactions in and between the cells and organs of your body that sustain your life.

Your cells are doing two things – they are creating energy and using energy in a never-ending cycle.

Metabolic health is the result of how well your cells generate and process energy.

I’ve found with my clients that the four most common metabolic imbalances that contribute to weight issues and difficulty losing weight are:

1. Gut dysbiosis.

2. Systemic inflammation.

3. Insulin resistance, and an

4. Underactive thyroid.

Restoring metabolic health is essential for healthy weight loss and improving your ability to burn fat.

And the good news is you can restore metabolic health at any age or stage of your life.

Four most common metabolic imbalances connected to weight loss and fat burning difficulties are Gut dysbiosis, Systemic inflammation, Insulin resistance, and an Underactive thyroid.

GUT DYSBIOSIS

Gut dysbiosis is an imbalance in the numbers and diversity of the trillions of microorganisms (microflora) that live in your gastrointestinal tract that starts from your mouth to your anus.

We depend on vast communities of microorganisms (microbiomes) that live and interact in (and on) our bodies to keep us alive.

When I work with clients to restore their gut and metabolic health, I begin with imbalances in the gut microbiome.

Many factors influence gut dysbiosis, such as diet, lifestyle, stress, drugs, antibiotics, diseases, environmental toxins, and age.

Gut dysbiosis impacts your ability to lose weight because your gut microorganisms directly influence glucose (blood sugar) and fat metabolism.

Prolonged gut dysbiosis leads to insulin resistance, which increases glucose in the blood, which then encourages fat storage.

You can faithfully follow a diet and exercise daily and still find it hard to lose weight if you do not have the correct balance and variety of beneficial gut microorganisms.

Every system in your body is affected by the trillions of microorganisms found in your gut.

Restoring your gut microbiome improves your ability to lose weight successfully (and keep it off).

Diagram depicts a healthy balanced gut versus what happens when the gut and microbiome become imbalanced (gut dysbiosis).

SYSTEMIC INFLAMMATION

You also need to address the issue of inflammation throughout your body.

Most of your immune system is centred in your gut.

If your gut microbial communities become imbalanced (gut dysbiosis), it directly affects your immune system, triggering inflammation.

Systemic (entire body) inflammation occurs when your immune system constantly creates an inflammatory response trying to defend your body.

Stress, infection, chronic diseases, and gut dysbiosis eventually put your body in a hyperactive inflammatory state.

And weight issues are directly linked to inflammation.

Chronic (ongoing) inflammation impacts how insulin works and can lead to higher glucose levels and fat accumulation.

Inflammation also affects hormone regulation and your body’s hunger signalling.

Diagram depicts the cycle of insulin resistance when cells resist insulin and store blood glucose as fat.

INSULIN RESISTANCE

Insulin resistance is another leading cause of weight gain and difficulties in losing weight.

Your pancreas produces the hormone insulin.

Insulin regulates the amount of glucose (sugar) in your blood.

With insulin resistance, your cells don’t respond properly to insulin.

Glucose can’t enter cells easily, so it builds up in the blood and is stored as fat.

Losing weight with insulin resistance is more difficult because your body keeps storing blood sugar as fat.

You restore insulin sensitivity by repairing your gut microbiome, restoring resistant cell membranes, correcting nutritional deficiencies, managing stress, and increasing exercise to build muscle.

Diagram depicting the role of the thyroid and thyroid hormones, including metabolism and body weight.

UNDERACTIVE THYROID

An underactive thyroid (hypothyroidism) is another common condition that affects the ability to lose weight.

Autoimmune disorders also contribute to thyroid and weight issues.

Thyroid hormones regulate essential metabolic processes, including fat and glucose metabolism and energy levels.

Your metabolism slows down when your thyroid doesn’t create and release enough hormones.

You can feel tired, gain weight, and feel more sensitive to the cold.

Some people also experience constipation, brittle nails, dry skin, thinning hair, aches and pains, brain fog, poor memory, and feeling low.

Chronic stress, poor nutrition, low-grade stealth infections, and exposure to environmental toxins (particularly synthetic chemicals and heavy metals) are major contributing factors that directly affect your thyroid.

CHEMICALS & HEAVY METALS

One of the best things we can all do for human health is say NO to synthetic chemicals and heavy metals.

Certain synthetic chemicals act as hormone disruptors and interfere with thyroid function.

Hormone-disrupting chemicals are found in plastics, pesticides, flame retardants, artificial food preservatives and colourings, non-stick cookware, liquid hand soap, body wash, mouthwash, toothpaste, cosmetics, make-up, personal care products, paint, and cleaning products.

Heavy metals are metallic elements that are toxic to our cells, disrupt our systems, cause hormone imbalances, accumulate in our organs, and are classified as cancer-causing (carcinogenic).

Exposure to heavy metals is widespread because they are used in industrial and agricultural procedures, manufacturing, mining, medicine, and technology.

The effects of synthetic chemicals and heavy metals on human health are why I firmly believe we should all:

• Eat certified organic or biodynamic food.

• Store food in glass containers.

• Cook food in stainless steel or heatproof glass.

• Clean with chemical-free products.

• Use organic cosmetic and personal care products.

• And ditch plastic anything.

Foods that help boost an underactive thyroid include seaweed foods, wild-caught salmon, organic eggs, coriander (detox heavy metals), and eat three to four Brazil nuts daily.

Berries, dietary fibre, and cruciferous vegetables also support thyroid function.

STRESS HORMONES

I also work with my clients to create lifestyle strategies that help them reduce chronic stress.

Constantly bombarding your body with stress hormones undermines thyroid function.

Learning how to heal and deal with stress is one of the best gifts you can give yourself.

Whether it’s healing trauma, strengthening your ability to recover from painful circumstances, learning how to say no to what you don’t want and asserting what you need – stress management skills are essential for restoring and maintaining your health and hormones.

Diagram depicting the central role of your gut microbiome in metabolism, immune strength, and brain function.

RESTORING METABOLIC HEALTH

As a naturopath, healthy weight loss involves helping my clients restore metabolic imbalances (including nutrient deficiencies).

It’s much harder to burn fat and lose weight if you don’t address metabolic imbalances in your weight-loss journey.

In this guide, I’m sharing general naturopathic strategies that can help you:

Reduce inflammation.

• Restore the diversity and numbers of beneficial gut microflora in your gut.

• Improve insulin sensitivity so your body doesn’t store glucose as fat, and

• Regulate thyroid function.

These are general guidelines for the average adult person.

Nutritional needs differ at different ages and stages in life.

Also, if you are pregnant, you’re an athlete, or you suffer from an autoimmune or chronic disease, you will need to seek advice from a qualified practitioner who can help you with your nutritional needs.

DO WHAT WORKS FOR YOU

What works to lose weight for you can be as individual as you are.

I work with my clients to create solutions that work for them – including their culture and lifestyle.

If you’ve eaten junk food all your life, big dietary changes will not work for you – to begin with.

If you shock your body with food withdrawals, you’ll be more likely to self-sabotage your weight loss goal – especially if you have addictions to sugar and highly refined junk foods.

A Mediterranean diet will not work for someone from a culture where European foods are ‘foreign’ to them or unavailable.

I have clients who are busy raising children, working, and barely coping with all that’s required.

I also have clients with metabolic or immune disorders that require sensitive dietary adjustments as they heal.

There is no one-size-fits-all answer when it comes to what you should eat to burn fat and lose weight.

Do what fits your life – or you will eventually set yourself up for failure – especially in maintaining weight loss.

I believe diet should never be a controlled prescription that you end up resenting and then sabotaging.

I don’t ask my clients to count calories or weigh food with every meal.

Many of my clients are already overwhelmed managing their busy lives.

I’m not going to add more pressure.

Instead, we focus on gradual lifestyle changes my clients can embrace because as you get better, you do better.

Studies show that diets that are flexible and can be adapted according to a person’s lifestyle lead to better adherence and weight loss success.

Your diet is what you eat the most.

No matter your culture or lifestyle, you can create a healthy diet you enjoy eating – that will also help you achieve and maintain a healthy weight.

Diagram depicting a nutrition wheel and how the elements in the food we eat impact the function of our different organs and systems.

EAT A BALANCED DIET

The best diet is one that provides the elements (nutrients) your body needs to function effectively and maintain a balance we experience as health (homeostasis).

The Mediterranean diet is successful for losing weight because it offers a balance of essential nutrition.

Nutrition is the core solution to restore metabolic function and improve your ability to lose weight.

In my blog, Appetite Control For Weight Loss, I share the foods your body needs for optimal metabolic health.

If you haven’t read my appetite control blog yet, start your weight loss journey there.

Because when you understand how your body functions, it’s much easier to change your food choices and let go of what harms you.

I also ask my clients, what did your grandparents and great-grandparents eat (before 1950)?

Your ancestral history can indicate the types of food that better suit your metabolism.

Our ancestors didn’t eat the highly processed foods now consumed world-wide that are devoid of essential nutrition.

And chronic diseases were not at epidemic rates as they are now – globally.

I highly recommend you eat organic or biodynamic fresh produce that’s free from pesticides and synthetic chemicals that harm health.

You also need to provide your body with a variety of different types and amounts of food (nutrients).

A balanced diet helps you burn fat, balance glucose metabolism, and restore gut and metabolic health, especially when the foods you eat contain soluble and insoluble dietary fibre.

Benefits of dietary fibre for weight loss. High fibre in the diet helps reduce inflammation, boost metabolic health, nourish your gut microflora - which directly influences fat and glucose metabolism.

HIGH FIBRE WORKS

Research continually reveals that fibre promotes weight loss and improves dietary adherence (sticking to a healthy diet).

Sticking to an eating plan is an essential part of weight loss success.

But rather than imposing a rigid restricted eating regime, there are ways you can lose weight by adjusting what you eat.

Studies have found that participants who met dietary fibre goals of 20 grams per day stuck to their eating plans and lost more weight comparatively.

Fibre helps slow the absorption of sugar in your gut and nourishes your gut microorganisms, which in turn boosts metabolism.

And soluble fibre blocks fats that would otherwise be digested and absorbed.

You increase fibre by eating ‘whole’ (unprocessed) foods most of the time – as close as nature creates them.

Eat foods that have undergone the least amount of processing – whole grain, whole meal, unrefined, fresh produce, natural.

Food in its whole form provides balanced nutrient ratios that promote better digestion, absorption, and healthier weight management.

Whole foods are full of antioxidants, macro and micronutrients, vitamins, minerals, amino acids, enzymes, and fibre.

Organic and biodynamic whole foods also don’t contain added sugars, synthetic additives, synthetic preservatives, synthetic sweeteners, synthetic chemicals, or unhealthy fats that harm health and undermine your ability to lose weight.

No matter what your health goal is, work towards eliminating highly refined, processed foods that are stripped of fibre and nutrition.

High-fibre whole foods keep you feeling full and satisfied for longer (appetite control) and help you metabolise fat, control your blood sugar, and lose excess weight in a healthy way.

Aim to eat 25 grams of combined soluble and insoluble dietary fibre for women and 30 grams for men daily.

FIBRE GUIDE FOR BUSY PEOPLE

Most of my clients tend to be busy people. They don’t have time to research the nutritional content of foods or weigh what they eat.

So, I devised an easier way to help my clients achieve higher fibre levels in their diets that you can easily adapt to your lifestyle too.

And I’ve included the dietary fibre content of a range of foods in the following Food Portions section, so you can create meals that fulfil your daily fibre requirements.

Every day, make sure you eat:

3 cups of chopped vegetables: provides an average of 10-15 grams of fibre depending on the vegetables you eat.

• 2 servings of raw fruit: provides an average of 5 grams of fibre depending on the fruit you eat.

• 1/4 of a cup (27g) of raw walnuts (preferably organic): provides 2 grams of fibre.

• 1/4 a cup of beans (legumes): provides ≃ 4-8 grams of fibre depending on the beans you eat.

• 1/4 a cup of whole, fibre-rich carbohydrates of your choice: provides ≃ 2-8 grams of fibre depending on the carbohydrates you eat (see food lists below).

• plus a 1/4 of a cup of organic oat bran in your morning smoothies, porridge, or yoghurt: provides ≃ 4 grams fibre.

Fruit and vegetables, including legumes (beans) and whole grain carbohydrates, are nutrient-dense foods rich in fibre, essential vitamins, minerals, and other nutrients that can help you restore metabolic imbalances, reduce inflammation, and lower your risk of chronic diseases.

Walnuts are rich in essential omega-3 fatty acids.

Regular walnut consumption has been shown to promote weight loss, improve cholesterol (lipid) profiles, and is associated with less long-term weight gain.

Beans are fantastic for weight loss too.

Studies have found that regular consumption of beans results in lower food consumption, increased appetite control and satiety (feeling full), less body and belly fat, improved gut and heart health, better control of body weight, as well as better blood lipids and glucose control.

It’s so important to understand food and the right portions to eat – for creating and maintaining a healthy weight, repairing metabolic function, restoring health, and preventing disease.

Eating correct food percentages provides your body with an optimum balance of macro and micro nutrition necessary for restoring and maintaining health, and reducing excess weight.

FOOD GROUP PORTIONS WORK

Diet is the source of energy (fuel) and nutrients your body needs to perform its functions and maintain optimum balance (homeostasis, metabolic health).

A balanced diet provides a combination of both macronutrients (you need larger amounts) and micronutrients (essential smaller amounts).

Eating the correct amount of different food types (portions) provides your body with an optimum balance of macro and micro nutrition necessary for restoring and maintaining health.

A nutritionally balanced diet replaces elements (nutrients) your body has used up (creating and using energy to keep you alive) that it cannot produce itself.

Food portions help fulfil your body’s nutritional needs.

Your body needs fruit and vegetables, whole grain carbohydrates high in fibre (including prebiotic fibre), protein, healthy fats, vitamins and minerals, probiotics, and pure water in different amounts for optimum nutrition.

FRUIT & VEGETABLES

Fruit and vegetables (including herbs and spices) provide essential vitamins, minerals, and plant chemicals (antioxidants and phytonutrients) that restore metabolic imbalances, regulate hormones, reduce inflammation, correct dysbiosis, lower toxic bacteria, protect your cells from damage, support your immune system, and prevent disease.

50% of your daily diet needs to be fruit and vegetables.

To make meal planning easier for you, work towards eating 3 cups of vegetables (including salads and legumes) and 2 servings of fruit (berries for weight loss) every day.

You can eat more vegetables – the minimum recommendation is 3 cups of vegetables daily.

And eat a variety of vegetables (a rainbow of colours) to provide a variety of nutrients – including leafy greens, red and yellow and green and orange vegetables, root vegetables, beans and peas (legumes), and fresh herbs and spices to add deliciousness and health benefits to your meals.

You can find healthy recipe ideas for vegetables in our Healthy Eating Directory.

CARBOHYDRATES & FIBRE

You need to eat unprocessed carbohydrates to provide fuel for your brain, nervous system, muscles, organs, and metabolic processes.

Health-promoting carbohydrates include fibre-rich whole grains, raw nuts and seeds, fruit and vegetables.

You also need dietary fibre to feed beneficial gut microorganisms.

The daily recommended fibre intake is 25 grams for women and 30 grams for men.

I recommend the following foods to most of my clients for their health-promoting properties.

They are fibre-rich and nutrient-dense.

HIGH FIBRE FOODS

Whole Grains

Amaranth: ¼ cup boiled ≃ 3 grams fibre.

Barley: ¼ cup boiled ≃ 9 grams fibre.

Black forbidden rice: ¼ cup boiled ≃ 2 grams fibre.

Brown rice: ¼ cup boiled ≃ 2 grams fibre.

Buckwheat: ¼ cup boiled ≃ 5 grams fibre.

Chia seeds: 1 tbsp raw ≃ 4 grams fibre.

Linseeds (flaxseed): 1 tbsp raw ≃ 3 grams fibre.

Millet: ¼ cup boiled ≃ 4 grams fibre.

Oat bran (organic only): ¼ cup raw ≃ 4 grams fibre.

Psyllium husks: 1 tsp raw ≃ 3 grams fibre.

Quinoa: ¼ cup boiled ≃ 2 grams fibre.

Rice bran (organic only): 1 tbsp raw ≃ 3 grams fibre.

Rye flour (wholegrain): ¼ cup baked ≃ 8 grams fibre.

Spelt flour (wholegrain): ¼ cup baked ≃ 5 grams fibre.

Sprouted whole grain bread: ≃ 3 grams of fibre per slice.

Wild rice: ¼ cup (41g) boiled ≃ 3 grams fibre.

Legumes

Black beans: ¼ cup boiled ≃ 7 grams fibre.

Butter beans (lima): ¼ cup boiled ≃ 7 grams fibre.

Cannellini beans: ¼ cup boiled ≃ 8 grams fibre.

Chickpeas: ¼ cup boiled ≃ 4 grams fibre.

Edamame (baby soybeans): ¼ cup boiled ≃ 3 grams fibre.

Kidney beans: ¼ cup boiled ≃ 7 grams fibre.

Lentils: ¼ cup boiled ≃ 2 grams fibre.

Pinto beans: ¼ cup boiled ≃ 7 grams fibre.

Soybeans: ¼ cup boiled ≃ 4 grams fibre.

Nuts & Seeds

Brazil nuts (only 2 per day): 8 grams raw ≃ 1 gram fibre.

Pumpkin seeds (pepitas): ¼ cup raw ≃ 2 grams fibre.

Walnuts (organic): ¼ cup raw ≃ 2 grams fibre.

Fruit & Vegetables

Acai berries: ¼ cup raw ≃ 3 grams fibre.

Apples (organic only): 1 medium-sized raw ≃ 4 grams fibre.

Artichokes: 1 medium-sized (120g) boiled ≃ 10 grams fibre.

Asparagus, fresh: 1 cup cooked ≃ 3 grams fibre.

Avocadoes: 1 medium-sized raw ≃ 6 grams fibre.

Beans, green: ¼ cup (40g) raw or cooked ≃ 1 gram fibre.

Beetroot (beets): 1 average-sized (170g) beet, raw or steamed ≃ 5 grams fibre.

Blackcurrants: ¼ cup fresh ≃ 1 gram fibre.

Blueberries: ¼ cup fresh ≃ 1 gram fibre.

Broccoli: 1 cup chopped and steamed ≃ 5 grams fibre.

Cabbage: 1 cup cooked ≃ 5 grams fibre.

Capsicum (bell peppers): 1 medium-sized raw ≃ 4 grams fibre.

Carrots: 1 cup grated, raw ≃ 4 grams fibre.

Cauliflower: large 125g portion steamed ≃ 3 grams fibre.

Celery: 1 large stick raw or stir-fried ≃ 1 gram fibre.

Cherries: ¼ cup raw ≃ 1 gram fibre.

Coconut, fresh: 50 gram portion ≃ 5 grams fibre.

Coconut (desiccated): ¼ cup ≃ 3 grams fibre.

Cranberries (dried): ¼ cup ≃ 2 grams fibre.

Cucumber: 1 cup chopped, raw with skin ≃ 1 gram fibre.

Dates (Medjool): 1 date raw ≃ 1 gram fibre.

Fermented vegetables such as sauerkraut and kimchi – ¼ of a cup per day.

Goji Berries (dried): ¼ cup ≃ 4 grams fibre.

Goldenberries (cape gooseberries): ¼ cup ≃ 6 grams fibre.

Kiwifruit: 1 kiwi (75g) raw ≃ 3 grams fibre.

Leeks: 1 leek (200g) sauteed ≃ 4 grams fibre.

Mangoes: 1 mango raw (200g) ≃ 2 grams fibre.

Mushrooms (particularly Shitake): 1 cup sliced ≃ 3 grams fibre.

Olives (5-10 black or green olives daily): ≃ 1.5 grams fibre per 10 olives.

Onions, red: ¼ cup (37g) raw or cooked ≃ 1 gram fibre.

Papaya (paw paw): 1 cup cubed papaya raw ≃ 5.2 grams fibre.

Peas, fresh: ¼ cup (38g) raw or cooked ≃ 2 grams fibre.

Pineapple: 1 thin slice raw ≃ 2 grams of fibre.

Pomegranate: ¼ cup of raw arils ≃ 3.5 grams of fibre.

Pumpkin: 1 cup steamed ≃ 3 grams fibre.

Raspberries: ¼ cup fresh ≃ 2 grams fibre.

Rocket (arugula) 2 cups raw ≃ 2 grams fibre.

Romaine lettuce: 1 head ≃ 8 grams fibre.

Seaweed (particularly Nori, Kelp and Wakame for weight loss) – for snacks and salad sprinkles.

Spring onions (scallions): 100 grams chopped and sautéed ≃ 3 grams fibre.

Sweet potatoes: 1 average portion (225g) ≃ 7 grams fibre.

Tomatoes, cherry (vine-ripened, organic only): ½ cup (125g) ≃ 2 grams fibre.

Zucchinni (courgette): medium (225g) cooked or raw ≃ 2 grams fibre.

FIBRE CALCULATORS

I haven’t included foods from all countries and cultures BUT you can find the fibre and nutrient content of most foods online.

CheckYourFood.com is a free-to-use nutrition database with over 2000 ingredients, and recipes too.

Once you learn the nutritional content of healthy foods available where you live, you can easily plan meals that fit your daily routine.

Healthy Weight Loss - probiotic Nourish & PHGG for appetite control - page divider.

PREBIOTIC FIBRE

Prebiotic fibre is essential for feeding beneficial gut microorganisms and calming inflammation.

Prebiotics are soluble (they dissolve in liquid) dietary fibres and nutrients that have a prebiotic effect.

I share the importance of prebiotics in my blog Your Gut Microbiome & Why Prebiotics Are Essential.

I use prebiotics widely for most health conditions, including restoring metabolic health issues and gut dysbiosis.

Restoring metabolic health is one of the major reasons why I created NOURISH Prebiotic Breakfast Drink Powder.

For weight loss programs, I combine Nourish with partially hydrolysed guar gum (PHGG) to help my clients feed beneficial microorganisms and for appetite control.

I’ve included this customised recipe in a daily meal planning page – HEALTHY WEIGHT LOSS Daily Meal Plan.

It’s a free download you can share with family and friends and inspire each other to live a healthy life.

PROTEIN

You need to eat protein foods because they contain amino acids that are the building blocks of your muscles, organs, bones, cartilage, skin, and hair.

Amino acids are also involved in making hormones (endocrine system), enzymes (metabolic energy and oxygenation) and antibodies (immune system).

Most adults need around 0.80g of protein per kilo of body weight per day.

You calculate your weight x .80 to work out how much protein you need.

So, if you weigh 70kg – calculate 70 x .80 = 56 grams of protein daily.

If you are pregnant, elderly, an athlete, highly active, or suffer from kidney disease, your protein needs will differ – so seek professional advice.

Sources of healthier proteins include:

Almond butter (organic) 1 tbsp (25g) ≃ 5 grams protein.

Amaranth: ¼ cup boiled ≃ 7 grams protein.

Asparagus, fresh: 1 cup cooked ≃ 4 grams protein.

Avocado: 1 medium-sized raw ≃ 3 grams protein.

Black beans: ¼ cup boiled ≃ 11 grams protein.

Broccoli: ½ cup chopped and cooked ≃ 4 grams protein.

Butter beans (lima): ¼ cup boiled ≃ 9 grams protein.

Cannellini beans: ¼ cup boiled ≃ 12 grams protein.

Chia seeds: 1 tbsp raw ≃ 2 grams protein.

Chickpeas: ¼ cup boiled ≃ 9 grams protein.

Coyo coconut yoghurt (Natural, with live cultures): ½ cup (125g) ≃ 1.6 grams protein.

Edamame (baby soybeans): ¼ cup boiled 8 grams protein.

Eggs (organic only): one medium egg (55g) ≃ 7 grams protein.

Green peas, fresh: ¼ cup (38g) raw or cooked ≃ 3 grams protein.

Hemp seeds (hulled): 1 tsp ≃ 2 grams protein.

Hummus (hommous): 1 tbsp (24g) ≃ 2 grams protein.

Kidney beans: ¼ cup boiled ≃ 11 grams protein.

Lean meat (organic chicken): 100 grams chicken breast ≃ 24 grams protein.

Lean meat (wild caught fish, not farmed): 100 grams salmon ≃ 25 grams protein.

Lentils: ¼ cup boiled ≃ 12 grams protein.

Millet: ¼ cup boiled ≃ 6 grams protein.

Miso paste: 1 tbsp (24g) ≃ 3 grams protein.

Mushrooms (portobello, shiitake, maitake, lions mane, enoki): 80 gram serving ≃ 2 grams protein.

Oat bran (organic only): ¼ cup raw ≃ 4 grams protein.

Peanut butter (whole grain) 1 tbsp (25g) ≃ 6 grams protein.

Peas, fresh: ¼ cup (38g) raw or cooked ≃ 3 grams protein.

Pinto beans: ¼ cup boiled ≃ 11 grams protein.

Pumpkin seeds (pepitas): ¼ cup raw ≃ 10 grams protein.

Quinoa: ¼ cup boiled ≃ 6 grams protein.

Soybeans: ¼ cup boiled ≃ 18 grams protein.

Soy milk (Bonsoy): 100mls ≃ 4 grams protein.

Spirulina (organic only): 1 metric tbsp (9g) ≃ 5 grams protein.

Tahini (organic): 1 tbsp (24g) ≃ 4 grams protein.

Tempeh: ½ cup (88g) ≃ 16 grams protein.

Tofu (firm): ½ cup (130g) ≃ 11 grams protein.

Walnuts: ¼ cup raw ≃ 4 grams protein.

Wild rice: ¼ cup (41g) boiled ≃ 6 grams protein.

WHAT TO AVOID

If you eat animal protein, I recommend that you buy only organic meat and eggs to avoid antibiotics and chemicals used in conventional livestock farming and manufacturing processes.

Avoid eating any processed meats that contain artificial chemical ingredients – including synthetic preservatives, colours, flavours, and texturisers.

The worst processed meats you could eat include – sausages, salami, luncheon meats, deli meats, ham, hot dogs, frankfurters, saveloy sausages, cocktail sausages, chicken nuggets, bacon, canned meat, and commercially cured meats.

Always check processed meat ingredient labels – including plant-based and cultivated meat products.

To investigate synthetic ingredients, you can freely use the Environmental Working Group database.

Avoid growth hormones too, which are banned in animal farming in Australia, but it is worth checking if you live in other regions of the world.

For the health of your endocrine (hormone) system, it’s best to avoid all foods containing growth hormone factors, including animal milk products.

Mothers’ milk contains Insulin-like Growth Factor hormones (IGFs) that signal the rapid growth of their new-borns.

Hormones such as prolactin, oestrogen, androgens, progesterone, prostaglandin and corticoids are also found in animal milk.

Studies confirm a link between animal milk consumption and excess weight, early onset menarche (menstruation), acne, type 2 diabetes, prostate and breast cancer, lymphoma, and neurodegenerative diseases.

I recommend avoiding animal milk products and replacing them with organic, plant-based milks that are activated (pre-soaked).

If you make your own nut milk (especially almond milk), make sure you soak the nuts in pure water for 12 hours in the fridge.

Soaking nuts for twelve hours before making milk helps counteract nutrient inhibitors (anti-nutrients) that block digestive enzymes and mineral absorption.

Some studies have raised concerns about anti-nutrients in nuts, seeds, and vegetables that block the digestion and absorption of other nutrients.

What has also emerged in research is that high levels of beneficial intestinal flora in your gut helps you adjust to nutrient inhibitors – particularly the probiotic lactobacilli.

Boosting beneficial gut microflora, eating sprouted grains and seeds, and adding fermented foods to your daily diet counteract anti-nutrients.

I also invite you to look at the live-linked research we share in our references so you can make an informed decision about your consumption of animal dairy foods.

HEALTHY FATS

Healthy fats are also an essential part of healing and maintaining your health.

Healthy fats reduce the risk of heart disease, lower bad cholesterol (LDL) and boost good cholesterol (HDL), have a beneficial effect on blood pressure, stabilise heart rhythms, reduce inflammation, and help prevent cancer, arthritis, diabetes, and neurological disorders.

We need healthy fats for optimal gut and brain health, and to protect our eyesight too.

Healthy fats also help our bodies absorb essential antioxidants and fat-soluble vitamins – including vitamins A, D, E and K.

WHAT FATS YOU NEED

The healthy fats you should aim to eat are POLYUNSATURATED and MONOUNSATURATED fats, which are made up of fatty acids.

These fats are commonly known as omega-3, omega-6, and omega-9 fatty acids.

Fatty acids are the building blocks of the fat in our bodies – and play a vital role in energy production (metabolism) and the proper function of every cell.

POLYUNSATURATED FATS are the omega-3 and omega-6 fats.

Omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids are both essential but in the correct ratios.

When omega-6 is too high in your diet (compared to omega-3), it can promote chronic inflammation, cell damage (oxidative stress), allergies, asthma, cardiovascular disease, cancers, plus inflammatory and autoimmune diseases.

The best ratio of omega-6 to omega-3 fatty acids is 4:1 – which means for every 1 gram of omega-3, we should eat 4 grams of omega-6 fat.

The problem with modern diets is that we eat up to 20 times the amount of omega-6 to omega-3 fats.

To improve the ratio of omega-3 to omega-6 fats, eat more omega-3s.

Foods high in omega-3 fats include chia seeds, linseeds (flaxseeds), hemp seeds, walnuts, seaweed, algae, broccoli, spinach, mangoes, edamame beans, kidney beans, lettuce, brussels sprouts, organic free-range eggs, wild-caught fatty fish including salmon and sardines, flaxseed oil, and algae (algal) oil.

Avoid over-consumption of foods high in omega-6s, including safflower, sunflower, grapeseed, corn and peanut oils, mayonnaise, commercial salad dressings, and highly processed foods.

My advice is – always check the nutrition panel on food labels.

MONOUNSATURATED FATS are the omega-9 fatty acids.

Omega-9 fats are found in foods such as olives and cold-pressed olive oil (oleic acid), avocado oil, almond oil, sesame oil, raw almonds, cashew nuts, and seeds.

Omega-9s alleviate insulin resistance and fat metabolism dysfunction, reduce bad cholesterol in the blood (LDL) and increase good cholesterol (HDL), improve insulin sensitivity, and decrease inflammation.

GOOD SOURCES OF OMEGA OILS you can easily add to your smoothies and dressings include:

Algae (algal) oil.

Flaxseed oil.

Hemp seed oil.

MCT coconut oil (medium-chain triglycerides).

Olive oil – organic cold-pressed.

Pumpkin seed oil.

Sesame seed oil.

Walnut oil.

You can also eat avocado, black olives, hemp seeds, raw nuts, and seeds for a good boost of healthy omega fats.

DAILY HEALTHY FAT INTAKE

The amount of healthy fats we should eat daily is argued, and calculations can be complex.

The daily recommendation is that you should eat half to one gram of healthy fat per kilogram you weigh to avoid essential fatty acid deficiency.

It becomes complex because different oils and foods have different levels of fats.

To make it easier for my clients, I generally recommend 30ml of healthy oils and a handful of nuts and seeds every day to ensure optimum fatty acid nutrition for typical adults.

30mls equals 6 Australian metric teaspoons.

A metabolic-boosting way to add healthy oils to your diet is to eat them with fibre-rich foods in smoothies or salads or poured over baked vegetables.

You can also add healthy, fat-rich foods to your recipes – such as avocadoes, black olives, hummus, tahini, and pine nuts.

Or, for a brain-boosting afternoon snack, eat a handful of raw walnuts and Brazil nuts or pumpkin seeds (pepitas).

I’ll keep sharing recipes that include healthy fats in my blogs.

Plus – our Healthy Eating Directory provides links to amazing chefs and delicious recipes to inspire you.

WHAT FATS TO AVOID

*Limit Saturated Animal Fats because they are associated with cardiovascular diseases, obesity, high blood pressure, diabetes, glaucoma, gallbladder disease, and bowel cancer.

*Avoid Trans Fats because they are considered unsafe for human health. There is no safe limit you can eat.

Trans fats are artificial fats created from hydrogenated liquid oils.

Manufactured trans fats are commonly found in highly processed foods, margarine, deep-fried foods, biscuits, cakes, pastries, desserts, takeaway foods, hamburgers, pizza, and hot chips (fries).

Always check the ingredients in the foods you buy.

Trans fats are listed on food labels as hydrogenated or partially hydrogenated vegetable oils.

PROBIOTICS

Probiotics help your body maintain a healthy population of beneficial gut microorganisms for optimal metabolic and immune health.

The quantity and diversity of beneficial gut microorganisms in your gut control your state of health.

Your body’s ability to function depends on the interaction and cooperation between trillions of microorganisms, and they need to be nurtured and properly fed or they starve to death.

Aim to eat a range of probiotics with every meal or two servings daily.

Probiotic Foods include:

• Cultured (live) organic yoghurt – unsweetened, free of additives and flavouring.

• Cultured organic Greek yoghurt – unsweetened, free of additives and flavouring.

• Cultured organic coconut yoghurt – unsweetened, free of additives and flavouring.

• Kefir – a cultured, fermented milk drink.

• Kombucha – a slightly fizzy drink made from fermented black tea.

• Kvass – a fermented drink made from rye, berries, herbs and honey.

• Tepache – made from the peel and the rind of pineapples and cinnamon.

• Kimchi – a spicy, traditional Korean sauerkraut made from fermented vegetables.

• Natto – a traditional Japanese dish made from fermented soybeans.

• Miso – fermented soybean paste used as seasoning and making soup.

• Tempeh – a traditional Indonesian food made from fermented soybeans.

• Sauerkraut –fermented, finely sliced cabbage with a salty and sour flavour.

• Fresh organic green peas.

• Fermented pickled vegetables.

• Organic or biodynamic (only) apples are abundant in beneficial bacteria.

• Organic apple cider vinegar with the mother.

• Organic, aged Gouda cheese for those that eat animal dairy products.

• Organic Paneer – a raw Indian cheese is also rich in probiotics.

PROBIOTIC SUPPLEMENTS

I use probiotic supplements for restoring gut and immune imbalances.

BUT – there are many bacteria strains used in different probiotic formulas.

It’s best to seek practitioner advice to match the right probiotic supplement for your health issues.

Herbs & Spice that promote healthy weight loss.

HERBS & SPICE

I was blessed to be raised in a family where herbs and spice were a part of every meal – to add deliciousness to recipes and protect our health.

Herbs and spices contain the highest levels of healing antioxidants and anti-inflammatory compounds of all foods.

They can also promote weight loss too by aiding digestion, reducing inflammation, fighting infections, nourishing your gut microbiome, curbing appetite and cravings, preventing insulin resistance, and boosting fat metabolism.

Add organic herbs and spices generously to all your recipes – fresh and dried – to boost your metabolism, nourish your gut microbiome, and protect your immune system too.

FOR WEIGHT LOSS

Aleppo pepper.

Basil seeds.

Black cumin seeds (nigella sativa).

Black pepper, cracked.

Cardamom.

Cayenne.

Chilli.

Cinnamon (Ceylon only).

Coriander.

Cumin.

Fennel.

Garlic.

Ginger.

Jalapenos.

Rosemary.

Turmeric.

Healthy Weight Loss apple cider vinegar page divider

ORGANIC APPLE CIDER VINEGAR

Apple cider vinegar has prebiotic properties that promote the growth of beneficial gut bacteria, aid digestion, reduce body weight, and boost fatty acid oxidation, which decreases body fat and increases lean muscle.

An intake of 15ml of apple cider vinegar (750mg AcOH) per day is enough to achieve these effects without causing adverse effects.

After eating your evening meal, drink 15ml of organic apple cider vinegar (with the mother) in 50ml of pure or distilled drinking water.

Make sure you rinse your mouth out after consuming vinegar because the acetic acid in vinegar can affect tooth enamel.

Use pure monk fruit extract for healthy weight loss.

SWEETENERS

Whether you want to heal your health or lose excess weight, ditch all artificial (synthetic) sweeteners and refined sugar – especially ‘hidden sugar’ used in manufacturing processed foods.

ARTIFICIAL SWEETENERS

Studies reveal that artificial sweeteners – including plant-based sugar alcohols – undermine your gut microbiome and can cause metabolic imbalances.

Side effects from consuming artificial sugar substitutes can include digestive symptoms, bloating, gut bacteria imbalances (dysbiosis), metabolic syndrome, glucose intolerance, weight gain, and increased risks of several cancers.

Artificial sweeteners to ditch include saccharin (Sweet‘n’Low), acesulfame, aspartame (Equal, NutraSweet), neotame, and sucralose (Splenda).

Sugar alcohols (polyols) to ditch include sorbitol, mannitol, erythritol, xylitol, maltitol, lactitol, and isomalt.

Check food labels and avoid them – they are widely used in diet and sugar-free products.

SUGAR

Excessive consumption of refined sugar and hidden sugar in processed foods (especially corn syrup) contributes to:

• cancers.

• candida (yeast overgrowth).

• cell ageing.

• cognitive decline.

• dementia.

• depression and mood disorders.

• diabetes.

• fatty liver disease.

• gout.

• gut bacteria imbalance (dysbiosis).  

• heart disease.

• high levels of uric acid in your blood.

• immune dysfunction.

• inflammation and joint pain. 

• leaky gut. 

• metabolic syndrome.  

• neuroinflammation (brain and nerves).

• obesity, and

• tooth decay.

HEALTHIER SWEET CHOICES

I personally use ‘pure’ monk fruit extract for sweetening – because it has a prebiotic action and a zero glycaemic index score.

Monk fruit is used in Chinese Herbal Medicine as a natural sweetener and to improve:

• constipation.

• depression.

• gut, kidney, and heart health.

• inflammation.

• insomnia.

• lung congestion.

• scrofula, and

• to promote longevity.

When you buy monk fruit, make sure to check the product label.

Some monk fruit sweetening products have a small percentage of monk fruit combined with erythritol.

Don’t be fooled by packaging. Only buy pure 100% monk fruit powder or liquid.

Other natural sweeteners that support a healthy gut microbiome include:

• organic dates.

• pure raw honey.

• unsulphured blackstrap molasses.

• coconut sugar.

• pure organic 100% maple syrup.

If you’re really craving something sweet – eat a line of organic dark chocolate or a Medjool date.

And if you’re prone to craving sweet foods, it could be because of mineral deficiencies.

Talk to your naturopath about a mineral supplement formulated with chromium, magnesium and zinc for blood sugar support.

I go further into the health effects of artificial sweeteners, sugar consumption, and monk fruit in my blog, PURE Monk Fruit Sweetener Benefits.

I would love you to share this blog widely so that together, we can help people everywhere heal the suffering artificial sweeteners and excessive sugar consumption cause.

Water is vital for healthy weight loss.

PURE WATER

Dehydration is a common health issue.

Many people are not drinking enough water to maintain good health.

Your body is approximately 66% water.

You need pure water to replace fluids lost in all the metabolic processes that keep you alive.

Water also helps remove metabolic wastes from your body through sweat, exhalation (breathing out), urine, and bowel movements.

If you don’t drink enough water, you become dehydrated.

Symptoms of dehydration include feeling tired, brain fog, headaches, smelly urine, dark urine, and constipation.

Studies also reveal that dehydration is linked to weight gain, metabolic dysfunction, and increased disease risk.

Increased water intake is associated with weight loss, decreased hunger, increased fat burning, and improved metabolic health.

WHAT TO DRINK

We all need to drink pure water.

Don’t drink sugar-laden and carbonated drinks (fizzy drinks, pop). They don’t count when it comes to keeping your body well-hydrated.

Synthetically sweetened diet drinks are even worse – especially for your gut microbiome.

Ditch these junk food drinks and switch to pure hydrating water.

Fruit juices are too high in concentrated sugars.

And coffee dehydrates your body – so keep that in mind when calculating your fluid intake, and drink no more than 2 cups of coffee a day – preferably before 3pm so it doesn’t interfere with sleep.

If pure water isn’t your favourite drink, there’s always a solution.

You can drink hot or cold herbal teas – and sweeten them with pure monk fruit extract.

You can also add a squeeze of lemon or lime juice or 50ml of cold-pressed organic pomegranate juice to your water bottle.

Fresh spearmint leaves in your water bottle are wonderfully refreshing.

Spearmint tea helps you burn fat too.

HOW MUCH WATER

Optimum hydration depends on your level of activity and even the climate you live in.

If you’re exercising and sweating, you’re an athlete, or you live in a hot climate, you need to replace the fluids you lose more frequently.

On average, though, adults should aim to drink two litres of pure water daily – especially when you increase fibre in your diet.

Take a water bottle with you wherever you go.

And to stop you from feeling bloated, sip water throughout the day rather than guzzling down glasses of it at a time.

Herbal teas for health weight loss.

HERBAL TEAS FOR WEIGHT LOSS

Herbs provide many health-promoting properties, including boosting metabolic health, reducing inflammation, improving digestion and absorption of nutrients, and boosting gut health and immune function.

Herbs are one of my passions because they can help us heal and live a healthier life.

You can easily include a variety of organic herbal teas in your daily fluid intake to help you achieve and maintain a healthy weight. 

Enjoy a cuppa – or two or three – daily.

Ginger root – digestive tea, anti-inflammatory, alleviates nausea.

Green tea – speeds up metabolic processes.

Hibiscus – anti-obesity effects, improves fat digestion.

Lemon Balm – inhibits obesity and insulin resistance.

Matcha – anti-inflammatory, increases thermogenesis (calorie burning).

Pu’errh – digestive tea, reduces body fat, improves lipid profile.

Spearmint (Mentha spicata)- aids digestive disorders, anti-obesity action.

Stinging nettle (Urtica dioica L.) aids insulin resistance, fat-blocking abilities.

Intermittent fasting works for weight loss because it helps reset your fat, glucose, hormone, and protein metabolism.

INTERMITTENT FASTING WORKS

Intermittent fasting works because it helps reset your fat, glucose, hormone, and protein metabolism.

Fasting involves restricting the intake of solid foods.

Intermittent fasting for weight loss switches between short periods of fasting for usually 16 hours and eating healthy meals for 8 hours within each 24 hours.

When you starve your body for long periods without food, your metabolism slows down.

However, studies have shown that fasting for short periods can enhance your metabolism.

You can fast from 12 to 48 hours without your metabolism switching to starvation mode.

My advice is to fit your fasting hours into your routine, particularly if you’re raising children and accommodating family needs or working rotating shifts.

I’ve found that a twelve-hour fasting period is more sustainable for many of my clients.

On average, a 12-hour fast from 7 pm to 7 am works, with eight hours of sleep from 10 pm to 6 am.

You can adjust your fasting clock to fit your life as long as you:

• Fast for a minimum of 12 hours a day.

• Eat your first meal of solid food one hour after waking. 

• Eat your last meal ideally 3 hours before sleeping.

• Aim to get 8 hours of sleep a night for proper rest and repair.

MEAL PLANNING

Meal planning is ideal for the busy lives we live and reduces stress about what to eat.

Meal planning can also help you achieve your weight loss goals because you organise what you are going to eat and the portions served.

You can also prep meals ahead to save time and make life easier.

Plan your meals around your fasting hours.

I recommend breaking your fast with a high-fibre meal to nourish beneficial gut microorganisms and feel full for longer.

As you plan your meals, your attitude matters.

Instead of ‘dieting’ to lose excess weight – be an explorer and go on a journey of discovery.

Learn all you can about nutrition and how delicious healthy foods can be.

I always advise my clients to never go ‘on’ a diet but embrace a lifestyle that promotes health and healing.

Your lifestyle includes what you eat.

Everything you consume is either nurturing or undermining your health.

That’s the outcome of every meal we eat.

We all need to choose wisely and eat with awareness.

MEAL PLANNING DOWNLOAD

You can save and print our HEALTHY WEIGHT LOSS Daily Meal Plan.

I have even included high-fibre and healthier protein food lists to help your meal planning.

MEAL PLANNING RESOURCES

Another great resource for meal planning is the Check Your Food nutrition calculator.

Once you get to know what’s in the food you eat, meal planning becomes routine.

You can also check out our Healthy Eating Directory for healthy recipe ideas

And – if you want to make meal planning even easier, check out Meal Plans by Rainbow Plant Life.

Nisha from Rainbow Plant Life takes all the planning and guesswork out of meals for you.

Nisha’s recipes are plant-based, and each week you get a PDF sent straight to your inbox that contains:

• a categorized grocery list complete with substitutions.

• a quick but impactful set of meal prep steps that will streamline your weeknight dinners.

• and gourmet but doable recipes.

Exercise is essential in any weight loss program. Many of our organ functions, including metabolism, rely on movement for optimum performance.

EXERCISE WORKS

Your body is not designed to be inactive (sedentary).

Many of our organ functions, including metabolism, rely on movement for optimum performance.

Studies show that exercise can improve insulin resistance and your ability to burn fat.

Daily physical activity reduces adipose (fat) tissue, improves metabolic and mental health, and even promotes better bowel movement.

People who don’t exercise have a higher risk of obesity, type 2 diabetes, heart and bowel disease, anxiety, depression, osteoporosis, osteoarthritis, and other chronic diseases, including cancers.

All types of physical activity and exercise are beneficial, including high-intensity interval training (HIIT), aerobic exercise, running, walking, swimming, dancing, gardening, playing sports, weight training, pilates, and yoga.

Include friends and family in your fitness goals to keep you motivated and each other healthy.

Try to be physically active every day for at least half an hour.

If you’re a busy parent, include your children and teach them that exercise is an invaluable health skill for the whole family.

If your budget is a factor that limits your choices, there are free exercise and yoga classes on YouTube.

And walking vigorously or running costs nothing except time and a determined commitment to your well-being.

Make time to move your body every day.

You’ll learn to love what you can achieve as you improve your fitness and reenergise.

Stay inspired!

Have Fun!

NEXT UP

Everything we eat and drink has an action and a reaction.

Coming up next in my blogs, I want to share delicious recipes with ingredients that bring health and energy back to life.

Food is universal and our common ground.

We all need to eat.

It’s what we eat that makes the difference!

All the very best,

Lisa Rieniets ND

 

REFERENCES

We include live-linked references in our blogs so you can explore studies about human health and nutrition.

The more you learn, the more empowered you become.

Your body is designed to be healthy – especially when you know what it needs to function at its best.

And you do it!

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