10 Natural Ways to Lose Weight

Humans have done everything possible to disconnect itself from nature. We no longer hunt or forage. Our seeds are genetically engineered. Our cattle are filled with hormones and chemicals. We alter everything we eat. We process everything, and in so doing, we’ve forgotten what our bodies need. The effects of our unnatural diets are everywhere, from diabetes to poor heart health. We are hurting ourselves because we won’t get back to our primal roots. It’s gotten so bad that we don’t even know that there’s another way, or how fulfilling that way can be. Instead, we put on the pounds, fill up our arteries, and stock up on refined sugar. That is no way to live.

 Natural Weight Loss

A natural diet is a healthy diet. Diabetes, heart disease, and high blood pressure aren’t always natural. They’re often caused by eating food the human body isn’t supposed to consume, especially in large amounts. These 10 natural ways to lose weight from our functional medicine Studio City doctors at Functional Medicine Los Angeles are centered around what the body should and should not consume, as well as various food items that make it easier to shed those pounds.

  1. Eat a Whole Grain Breakfast
    Far too often we start our days by shoving a piece of toast or a bagel into our mouths before running out the door. Refined wheat isn’t the unhealthiest food that we can consume, but it does convert to glucose quickly. According to WebMD, high glucose levels in the bloodstream can lead to heart attack, stroke, and heart disease, among other things. It’s better to focus on whole grains. According to a Tufts University Study, they decrease the number of calories retained from digestion and introduce a healthy helping of fiber that decreases appetite throughout the day. Bulgur wheat, quinoa, oatmeal, kamut, and millet are great alternatives. Serve boiled or steamed and top with fruit for a burst of natural sweetness. Avoid adding sugar or salt.
  2. Switch Out Candy For Fruit
    Sugar might come from nature, but it doesn’t come in the form of a chocolate bar or a rope of licorice. The human body isn’t meant to binge on caramel and food dyes. We all know that candy is harmful. What we don’t always realize is what it can do to our psyche. There’s the sugar intoxication, kids jumping off the walls, adults frazzled and moving a thousand miles a minute; then the comedown, that slow aching feeling that drains us of all our strength. Those are detrimental in their own way, but it’s the cravings that keeps our waistlines from shrinking. Instead of reaching for a candy bar, next time dig into a bowl of fruit. Our functional medicine Los Angeles practitioners urge you to try a nectarine or a kiwi, or maybe a berry. Blueberries are one of the most nutritious foods the human body can consume. They’re packed with antioxidants, and they’re a known appetite suppressant. They’re often enough to stop a sugar craving from turning into a sugar binge.
  3. Cut Out Pork and Beef
    Both beef and pork contain vital nutrients, but they’re too fatty to eat on a regular basis. Their saturated fat content is associated with poor heart health, weight gain, cirrhosis, multiple types of cancer, and diabetes. That’s just a short list of the problems they cause. Cutting red meat out of your diet might be the best thing you can do to shed those last few pounds. Try chicken instead. Its anti-depressant properties are known to suppress the appetite, and it’s much leaner than beef and pork.
  4. Eat More Fish
    There’s a lot that can be said for a diet rich in fish. Fish is leaner than other meats, and it has a high protein content, which is good for athletic performance. It helps build muscles, and it helps sustain higher energy levels in the body. It’s also rich in Omega-3 fatty acids, which can help reduce appetite, decrease hunger, and aid in metabolism.
  5. Stay Away From Processed Foods
    When making the switch to a natural diet, it’s important to know the difference between processed and unprocessed foods. Unprocessed foods are natural by definition. Processed foods are unnatural because they’ve been altered somehow. Something has been done to change their original makeup. There are also ultra-processed foods, such as baked goods or bagged snacks, like cheese puffs and corn chips. These items are covered in chemicals and generally robbed of their nutritional value. When we turn the package around and read through the ingredients, we’ll often find that manufacturers don’t disclose a lot of what goes inside them. In fact, we still don’t know the chemicals used to flavor soft drinks, many chips, and desserts. What our functional medicine Burbank experts do know is that processed foods are packed with fat, salt, and sugar—all of which will be detrimental to our weight loss journey. Instead of processed foods, go for simple items, things like fruits, vegetables, beans, or anything that hasn’t been altered in some way. They contain less of the things we don’t want and more of the things we need.
  6. Eat More Greens
    When we think of greens, we often think of basic lettuce. It’s a plant, isn’t it? It must be better than a chip or a cheese puff, but iceberg lettuce doesn’t have a lot of nutritional value. It’s mostly water, and it’s boring. That’s why we drench it in fat and oil and top it off with bacon bits and croutons. That’s not healthy, and it’s not going to help anyone lose weight. Romaine lettuce poses the same problem. It’s greener, but it’s not actually classified as a green. If we want to take full advantage of nature’s bounty, we must integrate plants like spinach, kale, mustard greens, and different types of chard. They’re packed with vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants, and they’re known to have chemicals that reduce appetite. A salad made from kale is a lot more filling, and a lot tastier, than a basic chunk of iceberg covered in ranch dressing. Be careful, though. Far too often we ruin the nutritional value of greens by boiling them or sautéing them. We’ll add sugary lemon, salt, fat, and cured meats. This adds to the caloric value of the dish and completely diminishes the point of eating it. Try greens raw instead. Top them with fruit, fish, or almonds, and toss them around with a little vinegar. That’s one of the most nutritious ways to lose weight.
  7. Drink Only Water
    According to John Hopkins University, the brain will often mistake mild dehydration—basically thirst—with hunger. When we’re thirsty, we’re more likely to walk into the kitchen to get something to eat. Drinking water instead will help satisfy those trick hunger cravings along with our thirst. Water is also a great replacement for high-calorie drinks like milk and soda, which we often drink out of habit. It will help reduce sugar and carbohydrate cravings, and in turn reduce caloric intake. Chilled water is another great trick because the body must burn calories to warm it up.
  8. Snack on Nuts
    Instead of reaching for a bag of potato chips or cheese puffs, try a handful of nuts instead. If eaten in small amounts, the protein and fiber found in nuts work as an appetite suppressant. They’re filling, and they contain small amounts of sodium that will help satisfy those snack cravings. Almonds are considered the best because of their high amounts of protein, antioxidants, and vitamin E. Walnuts are a close second for their Omega-3 fatty acids. The fattiest nuts are cashews. They are tasty, but it’s better to make a healthier choice instead.
  9. Eat More Beans
    As providers of functional medicine digestion in Los Angeles, we recognize that beans are amazing for a lot of reasons. They’re a great substitute for fatty meats like pork and beef, so they’ll help bring down saturated fats, cholesterol, and general caloric intake. They’re also high in fiber and protein, both of which are known to cause the stomach to feel fuller longer. That’ll cut down on the need to snack or take a second helping, and they’re a low-glycemic food. Integrating them into the diet will decrease cravings for sugar and steady energy levels, further decreasing appetite. They can be used in most dishes that call for ground beef, pork, or sausage. Try them in a kale wrap with zucchini or use them as a topping for brown rice.
  10. Eat More Soup
    Soup can be an amazing asset for anyone trying to shed those extra pounds. The liquid takes the place of solid meals, tricking the stomach into thinking that it’s full without reducing portion sizes. So, it’s great for dealing with cravings that won’t go away but be careful. Soup can be just as unhealthy as anything else. Avoid cream, dumplings, noodles, salt, and fatty meats. If a broth is used, it should be a low-sodium vegetable mixture, as opposed to something meat-based. If the recipe calls for chicken, only use boneless, skinless breast. Thighs are too fatty, and the extra matter that comes with bone-in just widens the waistline. Instead of salt, try flavoring the soup with garlic, celery, onion, spices, and maybe a tomato sauce or a vegetable puree. Red lentils are the perfect trick if flavor is a concern. They have a natural, savory aftertaste that can act as the perfect replacement for salt.

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