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MINDSET, SELF CARE, MOVEMENT 10 Powerful Tips For Weight Loss

movement Aug 03, 2022

1. Cut Out Sugar and Artificial Sweeteners

Excessive amounts of refined carbohydrates and a sugary beverage have been linked to obesity, diabetes, metabolic conditions, cardiovascular disease and mental health disorders. Sugar is a poison, it is addictive, it acts like a drug in our body and provides unnecessary calories that will have you stacking on the kilos and inability to lose weight. The World Health Organisation has estimated that there are 1.9 billion overweight adults in the world and if trends continue, it is estimated to reach 2.16 billion by 2030. That is a staggering number and it is clear that our next generation is not getting the message that sugar is a serious threat to our health. 

The most fundamental change you can do today is completely cut out sugar and refined carbohydrates from your life. Cleanse your pantry, fridge, and your entire house! Throw out all refined carbohydrates (white bread, cereals, pastries, chocolate, biscuits, pizza, puddings, tomato sauce, BBQ sauce, alcohol) and sugary beverages (soft drinks, cordial, fruit juices and flavoured milk). Treat it like an actual break up and turn up Destiny’s Child Survivor (or song of choice!) whilst you completely rid your house of any signs of sugar.  

And before you go for the sugar-free, artificial sweeteners thinking it will do no harm, think again. When receptors on your tongue get the message that sugar is coming in, your pancreas will secrete insulin to get ready to use glucose as fuel.  Insulin tells your body to stop burning fat because your body will always choose to burn glucose first. You have unknowingly tricked your body that glucose is coming in and this will put a break in your weight loss. Not only that, but you have also just set your body up to crave sugar and carbohydrates because insulin will roam your body looking for sugar.  Artificial sweeteners have also been linked to dysbiosis, insulin resistance and are well-known neurotoxins. These also need to go. 


2.  Reduce Stress

Ask our ancestors to define what 'stress' and they would say, ‘running from lions, facing famine or surviving a cold blizzard’. Ask your best friend and they may say, ‘Making the deadline at work, how I will pay my monthly bills, my Naturopath telling me to quit sugar,  comparing myself to people on Instagram, what will I eat for dinner, that pile of clothes I need to wash’. We are constantly under pressure and our adrenals are constantly secreting cortisol to cope. 

Cortisol is the hormone that tells your body you are under threat. In response, your body will shut down digestion (blood flows to peripherals to run from lions, tigers and bears oh my!), decreases immunity (who cares about fighting a virus if you are going to die tomorrow), reduces testosterone, estrogen and other sex hormones important for reproduction (you're about to die so you can't seriously want to bring a child into the world), and retain fat and fluid (you may need that fat when you are going through a famine). Cortisol is a hormone that we needed back in the day to keep up on top of the food chain, these days when not controlled can be detrimental to our health and wellbeing.

I hear this all the time in the clinic, ‘I just can't move this fat from my hips, but thighs, and especially my belly’. If this sounds familiar, you may want to consider your cortisol levels and the amount of stress you are under. You can find out your cortisol levels by taking a buccal swab at 8 am, 12 am, 8 pm and 12 pm to find out if your circadian rhythm is out of balance. To reduce cortisol is all about calming your nervous system and finding ways to release stress every day. Talk to a counsellor if you are going through a hard time to get tools to get you back on your feet, mind dump by writing everything into a journal, take a holiday, embrace yoga or pilates and most of all BREATH!


3.   Include Sea Vegetables

For those that are reading this in Australia, our continent has been above the ocean floor for a minimum of 2.5 billion years. Our soils are so low in iodine that one of the most common nutrient deficiencies seen in Australia is Iodine Deficiency Disorder. Iodine deficiency can cause hypothyroidism, an enlarged thyroid gland (goitre) and affect fertility, pregnancy and neurodevelopment disorder in newborns. 

Symptoms of hypothyroidism are weight gain, difficulty losing weight, constipation, fatigue, sleep disturbances, thinning of the hair and eyebrows, low libido, muscle weakness and menstrual changes. On the opposite end of the scale is Hyperthyroidism, which presents in weight loss, difficulty putting on weight, increased energy; metabolism and basal body temperature. Thyroid health is extremely important in everyone’s weight loss journey as it tells your metabolism to speed up or slow down. Providing your thyroid with the essential nutrients can ramp up your metabolism, basal body temperature, energy levels and having your shredding down. 

Sea vegetables are some of the highest food sources of iodine that you can start incorporating into your diet today to ramp up your thyroid functioning. Kelp, arame, hiziki, Kombu and Wakame can be purchased at your health food stores and used in salads, as a garnish or put in your smoothie. They are all extremely high in iodine and contain important cofactors such as selenium and B vitamins for correct conversions of your thyroid hormones. 


4. Yerba Matè

Yerba Matè is a deliciously refreshing tea that is enjoyed by millions around the world. It contains a small amount of caffeine that gives you smooth, increased energy without the jittery effects of coffee. It also contains theobromine and theophylline, which stimulates dopamine (neurotransmitter important for motivation and productivity) and enhances memory, mood and alertness. Yerba matè is also extremely effective in proliferating fat cells in the body and converting them into energy. It also reduces appetitive, energy expenditure and improves insulin resistance making it a must-have in any weightless protocol. You can buy Yerba Matè is found at most health food stores or online. Have it in replacement of coffee, pre-workout and during the day. Avoid having Yerba Matè after 2 pm as it contains a small amount of caffeine, which can affect your sleep.


5.  Fasted Cardio

Fasted cardio generally means exercising 3+ hours without eating.  The idea behind fasted cardio is that your body has entered a glycogen depleted state, meaning there is no glucose in the body to burn as energy so your body will utilise stored fat to fuel the workout. Waking up first thing in the morning and doing high-intensity interval training like an F45 session can get you straight into the fat-burning zone and have you hitting your weight loss goals faster than any other exercise. If you don’t like the idea of not having something in your stomach before a workout, have something low in carbohydrates like the famous bulletproof coffee (coffee and MCT oil), a small handful of nuts or a boiled egg. Anything that contains carbohydrates like a banana will stop fat burning and use for fuel as glucose. 


Not everyone is going to enjoy getting out of bed and exercising first thing in the morning. If you enjoy exercising in the afternoon, make sure you have no food 3+ hours prior to your workout. You can sip on tea’s and water to avoid those hunger pains.


6. Choose the Right Amino Acids

Amino acids are the building blocks of your body. They build different proteins, encourage bone and muscle growth, aid recovery,  synthesise neurotransmitters and fuel the body. Choosing the right amino acids for your body can help get the most out of your fat-burning capabilities, workout and recovery. All amino acids are extremely important and play a unique roll in the body, but I will discuss only 2 here.

L-Carnitine is important to drive Lipolysis (fat burning) in the body. Carnitine creates an enzyme called carnitine palmitoyl-transferase, which drives lipids into your cells and converts them into Adenosine Triphosphate ATP (energy!). Combine 5gm of L-carnitine and fasted cardio and you are giving your body the best chance proliferate fat stores and drive the lipids into your cells to use as energy.

Another favourite amino acid of mine is L-Glutamine. It is one of the most abundant amino acids in the body and will help build other amino acids for muscle growth, recovery, neurotransmitter production and restoring amino acids stores after exercise. It is also a powerful gut-healing amino acid, which can improve gut permeability, food intolerances and inflammation.


7.  Be Persistent and Stay On Track

Get clear on your goals, commit to reaching them and stay on track until you get there. Transforming your body is not easy. You are changing the way you eat, think, sleep, move and you may also need to change relationships in order to become the best version of you. To be consistent in reaching your goals make friends with the people you exercise with, find a health coach or work with a Naturopath, experiment with healthy meals, embrace health books and blogs and journal everything! You are on a wonderful journey and taking control of your health and wellness is extremely powerful (go you!).

‘Slipping up’ is completely natural. I like to think of it as ‘keeping it real’. If you do overindulge at the girl’s cocktail night (or boys night with beers), have a big bowl of ice cream or skip your cardio for a sleep in, don’t look back. Get up, dust yourself off and keep committed to your goals. Putting yourself down or thinking, “what’s the point I just blew so I may as well keep eating or sleeping in” will stop us from reaching your goals.  


8. Get 8+ Hours of Sleep

If there is one thing that you get out of this article, getting more sleep is the most effective and profoundly beneficial tip that you must do! Getting 8 hours of sleep per night is essential for maintaining overall health, improve cognitive functioning, mood, immunity, skin health and organ function. Sleep regulates your hormones that determine your physical activity, thermoregulation and appetite such as insulin, leptin, ghrelin and cortisol.

The quality of your sleep can be determined by external factors (food, environment, medication) or internal factors (stress, health conditions). You can improve your sleep quality and duration by reducing alcohol consumption at night, make sure your room is dark with no artificial lights, avoid caffeinated beverages after 12 pm, exercise daily, avoid TV and phone use before bed, have a magnesium bath before bed or make a ‘sleepy time’ tea.


9. Treat Yo Self! In a Healthy Way

Eating healthy is a form of self-respect, so do it the most nourishing way. There are an abundant amount of cafes, restaurants and health food stores that offer you the most nutritious and delicious raw foods, salads, poke bowls, Buddha bowls, juices, smoothies, raw treats, fermented foods and even 6-course meals that are all nourishing for your body.

Treating ‘yo self’ can also mean thinking outside the food box. Do something spiritually, physically and emotionally nurturing like joining a yoga class, taking yourself out to the movies, running yourself a bath, going for a mountain climb, dancing in your bedroom, taking a long shower, having a float tank session, seeing a chiropractor or joining a painting class. Nourishing your mind, body and soul should be practised on a daily basis, and finding ways to nourish your body without using food can set healthy habits.


10. Stay in the Fat Burning Zone (glycogen depleted)

When we wake up our bodies are in a glycogen depleted state because we have used up all the glucose overnight, and we have not yet broken our fast (hence the work break-fast). When our bodies have no glucose stores left it will turn to burn fat! This is a great window of opportunity to do our HIIT workout and burn fat as energy as suggested in point number 5. If we stay in a glycogen depleted state (meaning low carbohydrate intake) we will keep our body burning fat and proliferating fat stores as energy. To do this, keep your carbohydrate intake low in the morning and add carbohydrates in at night. For example, have eggs, spinach and mushrooms for breakfast, salmon and salad for lunch and for dinner have complex carbohydrates such as sweet potato, rice or sourdough bread. 

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