When I start working with a new client who wants to lose weight, I try to identify where their weaknesses are. More often than not, those weaknesses don’t differ too drastically. Here are four of my tried and true tips that help to bring my clients back into balance with the way they’re eating. If healthy weight loss is your goal, sticking with this could help you lose five pounds in two weeks.   

1) Reserve starchy carbs to one meal a day. Regardless of your body type, if you want to lose weight, cut starchy carbohydrates to one meal (and one serving) a day. Starchy carbs include:
  • Bread/Wraps
  • Pasta
  • Oatmeal
  • Pizza (crust)
  • Rice
  • Potatoes, including sweet potatoes/yams
  • Quinoa
  • Cous cous
  • Waffles/Pancakes
  • Pretzels
Keep in mind, starchy carbs include gluten-free foods, too. Remember, you’re not cutting them out completely, but you are cutting back significantly. If you’re used to eating toast with breakfast, a wrap with lunch and quinoa with dinner, you’ll need to make some swaps. Consider adding the following to your meals as a healthy substitute instead:
  • Sautéed veggies (make extra for dinner and reheat with eggs for breakfast!)
  • Spaghetti squash instead of pasta
  • Fresh berries with yogurt instead of bread or a bagel
  • King size salads piled high with avocado, lean protein, veggies or eggs
  • Freshly prepared soups made with loads of veggies and lean protein
  • Stir Fries (sans rice)
  • Smoothies, including this Gorgeous Green Smoothie
 
2) Rather than workout longer, exercise more intensely. Study after study has shown that doing very short bouts of high intensity interval training (HIIT) a few times a week is more effective at burning stored fat on the body that any other form of fitness. In fact, slow and steady cardio – often times done just to burn calories – can actually stall your weight loss efforts. HIIT can be done by anyone of any age, regardless of your fitness level. 
 
HIIT is something I’ve successful implemented in the workout regime of my clients for years. In fact, I’ve feature 22 workouts in my book, The Belly Burn Plan, scaled from beginner to advanced. 
 
All you need to do is carve out 30 to 60 minutes of time three or four times a week to do these intervals. They can be done on a piece of cardio equipment (like a treadmill or an elliptical), or with your own bodyweight. Here is an example of a very short workout that integrates HIIT. 
 

Warm up for about 5 minutes. Warm up can be anything that starts to get your blood flowing, like a brisk walk.

BLAST SET (What is this? See below.)

  • 60-Second Blast (Very Hard Cardio Effort) <—-This is all out effort
  • 30-Seconds Easy (Easy Cardio Effort)
    COMPLETE this set a total of 9 times

BODY WORK SET (What are these exercises? See below.)

  • 60 Second Jumping Jacks  
  • 30 Second Wall Squat
  • 60 Second Burpees
  • 30 Second Plank
    Rest 1 Minute
    COMPLETE this set a total of 3 times
3) Snacks count, too. Most of us would be surprised by the amount of food we eat in snacks alone. The total caloric value of those snacks is nearly a full meal – about 600 calories. Given that nearly 25% of what we’re eating in a day is in between meals, make sure your making the right choices. Make sure you’re not adding starchy carbohydrates back into your daily diet. 
 
Sometimes we snack because we’re hungry, sometimes it’s because we’re bored, and sometimes it’s because we’re missing something in our diet (usually in the form of healthy fats or protein). Make sure you’re not skimping on fat or protein during mealtime. If you do, you’ll be returning to the kitchen again and again trying to fill the void. 
 
A few healthy snack options include:
  • Vegetables + Hummus
  • Apple + Nut Butter
  • Plain Yogurt + Walnuts + Cinnamon
  • Air Popped Popcorn + Coconut Oil
  • Hard Boiled Eggs

4) Don’t drink your calories. If it’s not snacks that fill you up, then it could be what you’re drinking. All it takes is an extra 200 calories a day to cause significant weight gain over a short period of time. So if you’re making a pitstop at the coffee shop for a sugary latte, or at the corner store for an energy drink, you’re creating weight loss obstacles. The next time you’re thirsty and want to make something healthy to drink, give this Belly Burn Plan smoothie a try. It’s in the book, along with 64 other recipes! 

 
  • 1-inch piece of fresh turmeric (or 1⁄2 teaspoon ground) 
  • 4 strawberries (fresh or frozen)
  • 1 cup spinach
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon honey 
  • 1 cup water
  • 4 ice cubes

Directions

  • Combine all of the ingredients and blend in a blender on high speed until smooth.
 
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