Summer is coming, COVID restrictions are easing, and many of us are looking forward to a fun-filled season with friends and family. Many are also scrambling to lose the “quarantine 15” and feel a little more like their pre-pandemic selves before the days at the beach and pool are here.
We all want to feel our most confident, and while not always, sometimes that includes wanting to shed a few pounds.
But what happens if you’re making an effort to eat well and exercise, but you still can’t seem to lose weight? This is called a weight loss plateau, and it’s something I see all the time in my patients. Keep reading to figure out how to break through these stubborn plateaus, even if you think you’ve tried everything else.
Are you hitting a weight loss plateau?
Weight loss plateaus are extremely common. And that’s because most of us approach weight loss all wrong. You may have heard in the past that weight loss is all about that famous “calories in versus calories out” equation. You hear it everywhere: “Just eat less than you burn!” or “Cut calories and you’ll lose weight!”
The problem is, this advice is outdated and doesn’t work for the majority of people, especially women as they get to perimenopause and past menopause. Here are some of the things I hear all the time from my patients:
- “I’m the cleanest eater I know, and I still can’t fit into my pants!”
- “I started a workout routine three months ago and haven’t lost more than a few pounds”
- “I cut out alcohol and sugar, and still — nothing! Not a pound”
Your body composition, metabolism, and weight are the sum total of way more than just how much you eat each day.
What are the three keys to healthy weight loss?
There are three big factors — I call them the Weight Loss Triad — that determine how effectively you can lose weight and maintain your weight. Have an imbalance in any of them, and you can spend all the time and energy in the world dieting and exercising without much success.
1. An efficient digestive system
If your digestion is out of whack, your weight will be too. At the end of the day, you need to not just eat healthy foods, you also need to digest them, absorb the nutrients in them, and eliminate toxins and other metabolites properly through the GI tract. Healthy digestion requires a healthy gut lining and a healthy immune system. This is one of the main reasons why people with Celiac disease experience weight gain or weight loss resistance; the inflammatory-autoimmune response launched by their body when they eat gluten upsets the digestive system and makes weight maintenance impossible.
2. A balanced gut microbiome
I talk all the time about how your gut bacteria control your mood, energy levels, and immune system, but they also have a major say in your metabolism and ability to lose weight. The overgrowth of specific gut bacteria has been linked to obesity. For example, obese individuals had more Firmicutes and nearly 90% less Bacteroidetes than the lean individuals. Other studies have shown that those that are obese have low fecal bacterial diversity. An overgrowth of sugar-eating bacteria can also mess with your hunger signals, causing you to crave simple carbs and sugar. They lead to the vicious cycle of eating and gaining — the more fat you gain in the middle, the harder it is to lose it and the more you’ll gain.
3. A healthy liver
You might wonder how your liver could possibly be related to weight loss; well, when fat is broken down, the toxins that are stored in it have to be processed by the liver before they are fully eliminated from the body. One of the interesting theories behind yo-yo dieting is that when you shed weight quickly, you’re not really processing those toxins so they circulate in your bloodstream and hang around your body. As a defense mechanism, your body tries to build new fat to hold those toxins and take them back out of your circulation.
To achieve healthy weight loss, you need to have a liver that is efficient at eliminating toxins, which means healthy phase 1 and phase 2 liver detox.
As you can see, if you want to be able to maintain a healthy weight, investing in gut health and proper detoxification is crucial. It might be frustrating to hear that weight loss is more complicated than you thought but let me assure you — this is good news! By investing in detoxification support and gut health, you can reach your goal weight with less effort, more freedom, and no calorie counting. Instead of fighting against sugar cravings and fatigue, you’ll be energized for the gym and craving healthy foods that really fuel your body.
7 Habits to Break Through a Weight Loss Plateau
1. Take a probiotic
Taking a probiotic allows you to invest daily in the diversity and composition of your gut microbiome. I designed the Happy Gut REVIVE Probiotics with 10 science-backed strains that block the overgrowth of harmful bacteria that contribute to sugar cravings and weight gain.
2. Support Phase 1 detoxification
Phase 1 detoxification requires a blend of nutrients and antioxidants to metabolize stored toxins that are sabotaging your weight loss goals. These nutrients come in the form of foods like green tea, turmeric, and green tea extract, which are a staple part of my Detox 1 supplement formulation.
3. Eat plenty of fiber
Healthy elimination requires a healthy amount of fiber, which not only feeds your beneficiary gut microbes, but also keeps things moving so you’re eliminating regularly. Fiber also helps you feel full, so you don’t overeat at mealtimes. You can get healthy fiber from foods like sweet potato and leafy greens. I designed the HAPPY GUT® CLEANSE SHAKE with a proprietary blend of fruits and veggies that contain all the fiber you need for optimal satisfaction and weight loss.
It might seem overly simple, but one of the best ways to release the toxins stored in fat is to sweat. I recommend doing whatever activity you love — whether it be running, biking, hot yoga, or gardening — that gets your heart pumping. And for those that love self-pampering (who doesn’t?!?), then get yourself to (or purchase) a far infrared sauna, where those infrared rays can penetrate deep beneath your skin to help you release toxins stored in the subcutaneous fat. As an added bonus, sweating will also help you improve your cardiovascular health, build muscle, and boost your mood. You’ll be confidently and happily hitting the beach in no time!
5. Support phase 2 detox with amino acids
Amino acids are key to phase 2 liver detoxification, which helps take toxins that have been released from fat cells, processed by the phase 1 liver enzymes, and eliminates them. I formulated the HAPPY GUT® DETOX 2 supplement to include a unique blend of nutrients — like l-glutamine and n-acetyl cysteine — specifically designed to support phase 2 detoxification.
6. Gut out gluten
It’s Celiac disease awareness month, so it’s worth mentioning that not only can a hidden gluten issue make you hold onto weight, it can also leave you bloated and retaining water. That’s why when you do the HAPPY GUT® RESET: 7 Day Detox, I have you eliminate common food irritants like gluten, dairy, and grains. If you’re looking to burst through a weight loss plateau, eliminating these foods can make the difference.
7. Get high-quality protein
Protein not only helps you build muscle, but is also the most satiating of the macronutrients, so it’s essential for breaking through a weight loss plateau. Most people, in an attempt to restrict calories, tend to eat too little protein, leading to weight loss stagnation. I formulated the HAPPY GUT® CLEANSE SHAKE to include not just hypoallergenic pea protein but also nutrients like glutathione, milk thistle, and quercetin to support overall metabolic detoxification.
The seven habits above are guaranteed to help you break through weight loss resistance by supporting detoxification and optimal gut health. And if you do the HAPPY GUT® RESET: 7-Day Detox, which I designed to maximize liver detoxification, reduce bloating, and boost energy, you can combine all seven steps above into an easy, all-inclusive experience that is extremely effective, not just for weight loss, but also for recovering from a bout of bad eating or a cold or flu that left you listless, so you can have all the energy you need to enjoy the outdoors in the coming months.
But don’t take my word for it! Here are just some of the testimonials I get from people who have tried the RESET:
Just wanted to send you a quick note to say thank you so much for encouraging me to do the 7-Day Detox. I can’t believe I’m going to say this but I actually found it easy to do AND enjoyed it.
And that’s saying a lot coming from me since you know I have a love affair with food.
Nevertheless I know you said that this would be really helpful to RESET things after coming out on the other end of catching the coronavirus — and you were totally right.
What’s shocking to me is that I feel “lighter” after just one week, not just physically but mentally — almost as if I came out of a fog or something.
I also feel like my energy is back which is wild because I’m always one for a nap. But now I’m working out from home with some old DVD workouts I did years ago — I know they’re old school but I haven’t worked out in months and I’m actually excited to do them everyday now before work.
The best part I think is that for the first time in my life I don’t feel bloated and fall into a food coma after eating!
I’ve always accepted that I was on the “fuller size” and that just comes with the territory but today I was able to put on a pair of jeans that I haven’t worn in years.
So whatever this magic is that you’ve conjured in this 7-Day Detox, can I get a promo code on a second one?! LOL
Figured it wouldn’t hurt to ask, but seriously thank you for helping me to feel like myself again.
— J.C. , Brooklyn, NY | Model Agency Director