The Skinny on Weight Loss
Written by Allie Might, FMC, INHC, ATT
Nutritional Consultant – 86th Street • NYC
Allie Might is an Integrative Nutrition Health Coach. She received her training at the Institute for Integrative Nutrition in NYC, is certified by the American Association of Drugless Practitioners, and has obtained Continuing Education Units from Purchase College, State University of New York.
Email Allie: AMight@invitehealth.com
One of the most common questions I am asked is How Can I Lose Weight? This has really become a focus since so many have adopted what is known as the Standard American Diet, or SAD. The Standard American Dietis typically made up of foods such as, red meat, processed and pre-packaged foods, fried and fast food, high fructose corn syrup, white flours (such as pizza, bread, bagels) and sugary beverages. Not only can this be a contributing factor to weight gain and obesity, but also to diabetes and heart disease.
I always advise my clients that the first line of defense for weight loss is a healthy, whole food and balanced diet. Eliminating the Standard American Dietand adding in fresh fruits and vegetables, lean proteins, whole grains (such as quinoa and brown rice), and drinking plenty of water will start you on the right path. I also recommend establishing exercise/physical activity, but always consult with your doctor before starting a workout regimen. Here are my recommendations, though be sure to speak with myself or another certified healthcare professional before beginning any supplement regimen or dietary change:
An Herbal, Vegetable & Probiotic Supplement
The USDA guidelines recommend that we have at least 5 serving of fruits and vegetables everyday1. It is recommended that about 3 of these consist of vegetables and leafy greens1. Due to the StandardAmerican Diet, many individuals still don't get the vegetables and greens that are needed, typically only about half the recommend amount1.
For optimal health and healthy weight management, I recommend 6-9 servings of fruits, vegetables and leafy greens a day. Vegetables and greens provide us with nutrients, essential vitamins and minerals, and fiber. They can also help to keep us full and can aid in detoxification. A great way to start incorporating this into our diets is from what I like to call a GREENS DRINK. This can give us the equivalent of up to 3 servings of vegetables and leafy greens, starting us out on the track to optimal health. A Greens Superfood drink should consist of non-GMO ingredients like Green Tea Leaf Extract, Silica, Turmeric Root Powder and Organic Flaxseed Powder (among others) and, of course, Probiotics to support a healthy gut.
The USDA Guidelines for protein advises 5 ½ ounces of lean protein per day4. As part of a healthy, balanced diet, look for lean proteins such as boneless, skinless chicken or turkey, wild caught fish such as salmon, shrimp and sardines (boneless, skinless an packed in water), eggs, beans, legumes and raw nuts and seeds.
Another option, especially while looking to shed a few pounds, is to add a protein powder to a smoothie as a meal replacement. Whey protein can provide a helpful blend of essential proteins in order to help build lean body mass and restore muscle proteins. A non-GMO whey protein powder can also help improve the feeling of fullness. Look for a protein powder in isolate form, as this means the proteins are separated from the dairy source to remove fat and lactose, but leave the important, concentrated protein.
We've all heard about the benefits of green tea. We've all heard about it being a powerful antioxidant. Well it also has a component called epigallocatechin gallate, or EGCG. Studies have shown us that EGCG and green tea can have a positive impact on weight loss and weight management2. Not only does green tea/EGCG help to support a healthy cardiovascular and metabolic health2, research has also found that green tea can help increase energy, speed up our metabolism and help our bodies to burn fat3.
Do you love pastas, breads, or carbohydrates in general? Who doesn't, right? Well, for individuals who can’t seem to give up unhealthy carbohydrates, White Kidney Bean Extract has been shown to support not only individuals struggling to keep their blood sugar in a healthy range, but also for those that are looking to shed some excess weight. A study published in the International Journal of Toxicology shows us that a Phase 2-White Kidney Bean Extract can be beneficial in inhibiting our bodies from absorbing carbohydrates and converting them into sugar5. This can be a powerful ally when losing weight. You should also be consuming whole grains instead of refined, processed and white carbohydrates.
Conjugated Linoleic Acid, or CLA as its most commonly referred to, can be used to support a number of weight loss related concerns. It may be helpful in increasing metabolism, as well as beneficial for those that have a consistent workout regimen. We've also learned form an article published in The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition that adding 3.2 grams of CLA to our weight loss plan, that we can see a loss of body fat6. Coupling CLA to our exercise plan and healthy diet can help us reach our weight loss goals.
1. Bell, Becky. "USDA: Fruit & Vegetable Recommendations." Healthy Eating | SF Gate, http://healthyeating.sfgate.com/usda-fruit-vegetable-recommendations-9339.html. 27 December 2018.
2. Wolfram, Swen. “Effects of Green Tea and EGCG on Cardiovascular and Metabolic Health.” Journal of the American College of Nutrition, U.S. National Library of Medicine, Aug. 2007, www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/17906191.
3. Kandola, Aaron. “Does Green Tea Help Weight Loss?” Medical News Today, January 2018, https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/320540.php
4. Chang, Sarah. “Back to Basics: All About MyPlate Food Groups.” U.S. Department of Agriculture, September 2017, https://www.usda.gov/media/blog/2017/09/26/back-basics-all-about-myplate-food-groups
5. Chokshi, Dilip. “Toxicity Studies of Blockal, a Dietary Supplements Containing Phase 2 Starch Neutralizer (Phase 2), a Standardized Extract of the Common White Kidney Bean (Phaseolus vulgaris)”, International Journal of Toxicology. September 2006, https://journals.sagepub.com/doi/abs/10.1080/10915810600846229
6. Whigham, Leah. “Efficacy of Conjugated Linoleic Acid for Reducing Fat Mass: A Meta-Analysis in Humans.” The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition. May 2007, https://academic.oup.com/ajcn/article/85/5/1203/4632999