Weight Loss Meal Plan

We call it the ‘No Diet Nutrition Guide'

Think of this guide as a realignment of priorities - how to actually take a refreshed approach to your day-to-day meals and planning. 

Download the Guide

Change needs to be sustainable.

We understand that getting started is the hardest part — especially having used programs in the past that are confusing and rigid.  Use our materials to learn how to lose weight in a healthy, gradual, and sustainable way.

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Currently Reading Chapter Name Appears Here
It's our Meal Plan for Weight Loss
We call it the ‘No Diet Nutrition Guide'

We’re not interested in a quick fix that’s going to leave you high and dry after acting on a bunch of false promises.

We’re here to help you take that small step forward and take advantage of the resulting momentum. This guide contains the best of the best of our program methods that have helped thousands of people make sustainable change to their lifestyles.

We can’t wait to see the healthier, more confident you!

Macronutrients & Food Groups for Weight Loss

Goodbye Calorie Counting - a renewed approach to your food & nutrition.

We believe that everyone wants to eat the right foods and take care of their body.  It’s a fact. Our approach divides the food universe into five categories to guide your nutrition planning efforts. Good-bye calorie counting, hello food freedom!

The total amount of energy a person needs each day varies depending on a number of factors, including the person’s age, sex, height, weight, and level of physical activity. Within each age and sex category, the low end of the range is for sedentary individuals; the high end of the range is for active individuals. The ranges listed below are only estimates.

Starches for Weight Loss

4-8 daily servings

High quality starches are a healthy, integral part of your diet. Starch fuels our brain and body to accomplish daily activities. It’s important to remember that quality is just as important as quantity.

  • What constitutes 1 serving size?
    ½ cup cooked grains, starchy vegetables, pasta, cereal, 1 slice bread
  • How much starch do I need?
    Starch needs vary based on activity level. If you exercise 4-5 times per week, be sure to eat 5+ starches daily.

Healthy Starch Tips

  • Space starch out evenly throughout the day to stabilize hunger and cravings.
  • Avoid simple carbohydrates. These foods include white flour starches (bread, pasta, rice), fruit juice and sweets. Simple carbohydrates are more likely to spike blood sugar.
  • Choose whole grains, beans, legumes and starchy vegetables instead of refined processed starches.
  • When possible, aim for >3g of fiber per starch serving. 
  • Be sure to eat starch before exercising to provide energy.

Protein for Weight Loss

2-3 daily servings

Protein molecules make up enzymes that facilitate important chemical processes within the body. Your body uses protein to build and repair tissues such as our muscles, bones, skin and hair. 

  • What constitutes 1 serving size?
    • 4 oz of animal protein
    • 1 cup lentils, beans, legumes
    • 4 oz tofu, tempeh, seitan
    • 1 cup low-fat Greek yogurt, ricotta and cottage cheese

  • How much protein do I need?
    Most adults (18-50 years old) require 50-80 grams of protein per day (2-3 4oz servings per day). Protein needs also vary based on activity level. Moderate to heavy physical activity will require a higher daily protein intake.

A simple way to estimate your daily protein needs is to multiple your body weight in pounds by .36 grams.  For example, .36 grams x 150 lbs. of body weight = 54 grams of protein per day.  

Healthy Protein Tips

  • Know where your animal proteins are coming from. Investigate where and how the animals were raised – think “no cages, crates, and no crowding”. Purchase organic meats when possible.
  • Choose fresh fish and skip the farm raised fish, as they may lose their omega-3 benefit due to poor food quality and infection. 
  • Fill your week with poultry, fish, plant-based protein foods, and eggs.
  • Aim to consume red meat 1x/week or less.

For our vegetarian & vegan friends –
Although a plant-based diet can meet 100% of your nutritional needs, you should be aware of a few common nutrient deficiencies. The most common deficiencies include vitamin B-12, vitamin D and calcium. Eating a diet rich in these nutrients (Leafy greens, sardines, soybeans and fortified cereals and grains contain high levels of calcium), or supplementing with vitamins and minerals, will help prevent these deficiencies. 

Fruits and Vegetables for Weight Loss

5-6 daily servings

Fruits and vegetables are a vital part of a healthy and complete diet, packed with antioxidants, phytochemicals and fiber.    Composed of mostly water, fruits and veggies also help to meet your daily hydration needs.   Each fruit and vegetable color group has a unique set of nutritional qualities. It is key to eat the rainbow to optimize your health. 

  • What constitutes 1 serving size of vegetables?
    6oz raw, 4oz cooked
  • What constitutes 1 servings size of fruit?
    1 cup, 1 medium sized fruit

Fruit and Vegetable Tips

  • The fiber in fruits and vegetables helps reduce bad cholesterol in your blood and supports normal bowel function. Fiber also aids in satiety, reducing unnecessary caloric intake.
  • Look for a locally grown logo when purchasing produce to identify locally sourced products. 

Heart Healthy Fats for Weight Loss

6-8 daily servings

Fats are one of the three major macronutrients, along with carbohydrates and protein. Of the three, fat is the most calorically dense. Fats play a key role in brain development, prevent against injury and provide the energy our bodies need.

  • What constitutes 1 serving size?
    • 5g of fat
    • 1 Tbsp oil/seeds
    • ¼ cup of nuts

Heart Healthy Fat Tips

  • Choose mostly unsaturated, “good” fats; almonds, hazelnuts, avocados, fish, seeds and oils.
  • Add fats when cooking – olive oil, avocado oil and canola oil.
  • Add fats to smoothies - ground flax, chia, hemp, avocado.
  • Bring nuts as an easy on the go snack.

Dairy for Weight Loss

1-3 daily servings

Foods in the dairy group provide nutrients that are vital for health and maintenance of your body. Nutrients such as calcium, potassium, Vitamin D and protein promote improved bone health.

  • What constitutes 1 serving size?
    • 1 cup milk
    • 1 oz. cheese
    • 6 oz. yogurt

Dairy Tips

  • Always choose a yogurt with less than 10g of sugar per serving.
  • Choose skim or 1% milk instead of 2% milk to reduce total saturated fat intake.
  • Try swapping out animal milk for plant-based milks, like almond or soy, to reduce saturated fat intake.

When purchasing plant-based dairy products, choose products that contain at least 5g of protein, less than 5g of fat and no more than 15g carbohydrates per serving.

Take the first step to a healthy living — today!

Take your reading on the go and download the PDF, included with your downloadable guide is a 7-day meal plan complete with easy-to-follow recipes.

Download the Guide

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Food Group Guide

Food Group Examples

Protein

Chicken, turkey, fish, beef, tofu, tempeh, seitan, plain Greek yogurt, cottage cheese, ricotta cheese, eggs, protein powder, beans, lentils, legumes

Starch

Beans, lentils, legumes, starchy vegetables (corn, peas potatoes), squash, grains, pasta, rice, bread products

Fruit

Apple, Banana, Kiwi, Peach, Mango, Cantaloupe, Honeydew, Melon, Watermelon, Cherries, Grapes, Pineapple, Apricot, Plum, Orange, Nectarine, Blackberries, Blueberries, Raspberries, Strawberries, Grapefruit, Tangerine, Clementine

Vegetable

Leafy greens, green beans, broccoli, cabbage, brussels sprouts, zucchini, cucumbers, celery, asparagus, cauliflower, beets, carrots, tomato, peppers, eggplant, mushrooms

Fat

Avocado, olives, olive oil, avocado oil, nuts, seeds, butter

Dairy

Milk, yogurt, cheese

How to Stock a Healthy Pantry

Between the aisles of snack foods, crowds of people, and the ever-expanding specialty foods section, the grocery store can be an intimidating place-especially when trying to create and maintain a healthy lifestyle.

From produce to bakery, and fresh to frozen, identifying your steady go-to’s is pertinent when aiming to make better food choices. The next time you visit your local grocery store, we suggest focusing on the following 3 tips.

  1. Go with a List: Bring a list and stick to it!! Decide what foods you need for the week and how much of each item you need before going to the store. Planning will also help toto avoid unnecessary “junk” food purchases.
  2. Know your Store: Grocery stores have thousands of products. However, most grocery stores arrange foods based on their food groups. Getting to know the layout of your grocery store can save time by avoiding sections with less nutritionally valuable foods. Your major foods; fruits, vegetables, grains, protein, and dairy are typically stored together. Identify which part of the store these food groups are found and aim to stick to those sections to do your shopping. This will ensure you are buying healthy, nutritionally dense food that will meet all of your nutritional needs.
  3. Use the Facts: Nutrition Facts Labels can be found on all packaged foods and beverages. The label includes helpful information to make smart meal and snack choices. We 100% recommend eating whole foods most of the time. But quick, easy pre-packaged foods do sometimes make our lives a bit easier to manage. When choosing packaged foods, follow the recommendations below. We have also included a list of our favorite pantry staples to pick up on your next weekly haul.
Food Group Typical Store Location Best Choices

Fruits

Produce Aisle
Canned Goods 
Freezer Aisle
Salad Bar
Fresh, Frozen, Canned and Dried Fruits
Vegetables Produce Aisle
Canned Goods
Freezer Aisle
Salad Bar
Pasta
Rice & Bean Aisle
Fresh, Frozen and Canned (especially dark green and orange). Dry Beans and Peas.
Grains Bakery
Bread Aisle
Pasta & Rice Aisle(s)
Cereal Aisle
Whole Grains for at least half of choices.
Milk, Yogurt, & Cheese 
(calcium-rich foods)
Dairy Case
Refrigerated Aisle
Non-Fat and Low-Fat Milk, Yogurt and Cheeses
Meat and Beans
Fish, Poultry, Eggs,
Soy & Nuts
(protein foods)
Deli
Meat & Poultry Case
Seafood Counter
Egg Case
Canned Goods 
Salad Bar
Lean Meats, Skinless Poultry, Fish, Legumes (dried beans and peas), and Nuts.

 

Food Label Example

Reading a nutrition label properly can help support healthy living and weight loss.

Dietitian Approved Panty Items

Cereals

  • Barbara’s Puffins 
  • One Degree Organics 
  • Arrowhead Mills 
  • Kashi  
  • Nature’s Path Organic 
  • Bran Flakes 
  • Love Grown  
  • KIND 

Nut & Seed Butters (avoid added sugars + oils)

  • Crazy Richard’s 
  • Trader Joe’s brand- no sugar added  
  • Kirkland  
  • Maranatha 
  • Nuttzo  
  • Sunbutter 
  • Soco

Protein / Snack Bars

  • Kind bars 
  • Nuttzo Collagen Bars  
  • RX Bar 
  • Square Organics  
  • OATMega Organics 
  • LARABAR 
  • PRObar 
  • NuGo  
  • PRObar

Salty Snacks

  • Hippeas 
  • Enlightened Broad Beans 
  • Simply7 
  • Rhythm Veggie Chips 
  • Way Better Snacks 
  • Bare Snacks 
  • Harvest Snaps 
  • Enjoy Life Lentil Chips 
  • LesserEvil Popcorn  
  • Skinny Pop 
  • Boom Chicka Pop 

Sweet

  • Enjoy Life Cookies 
  • Emmy’s Organics  
  • I Heart Keenwah  
  • Back 2 Nature 
  • Simple Mills  
  • Unreal Snacks  
  • Bare Snacks Fruit Crisps

Dry Goods

  • Pastas alternatives: 
  • Banza 
  • Modern Table 
  • Trader Joe's red lentil pasta  
  • Explore Cuisine  
  • Whole wheat pasta   
  • Brown rice 
  • Quinoa 
  • Mixed nuts (unsalted) 
  • Dave's killer bread
  • Oats

Sample Do-It-Yourself Shopping List

Protein:

  • Eggs – free range if possible. Liquid egg whites
  • Chicken breast
  • 95-98% ground turkey
  • Fish – wild caught (salmon, tuna, tilapia, halibut)
  • Pork tenderloin
  • Tofu – extra firm
  • Veggie burgers
  • Protein Bars- NuGo, RX, Luna Protein, Clif Builder Bar

Fruits and Vegetables:

  • Picking in-season produce will ensure the freshest selection
  • Fresh and/or frozen - both are great! 

Starch:

  • Whole wheat bread– Dave’s Killer, Alvarado Street Bakery, Ezekiel, any 100% whole wheat brand
  • Whole wheat flatbread or tortillas ​
  • Brown rice​, quinoa, farro, teff​
  • Starchy vegetables: potatoes, corn & peas
  • Black beans, chickpeas, lentils ​
  • Steel cut oats – Bob’s Red Mill, Quaker Steel Cut Oats
    Air Popped Popcorn (Skinny Pop, Boom Chicka Pop)
  • 100% whole wheat or sourdough pretzels, rice cakes

Dairy:

  • Non-fat yogurt - Siggi’s, Fage, plain Greek yogurt​
  • Low-fat cheese - Laughing Cow, Babybel, Mozzarella, cottage, ricotta
  • Reduced fat milk – 1 or 2%​
  • Nut Milk – Silk Protein & Nut Milk, MALK, Ripple Pea Protein Milk, Dream Boosted Almond Milk

Fat and Condiments:

  • Unsalted nuts – almonds, cashews, walnuts, pecans​
  • Nut butter – Justin’s, Crazy Richard’s​
  • Canola oil, olive oil​
  • Avocado
  • Flax seeds, chia seeds
  • Hummus, salsa, soy sauce, fat free salad dressing, spices

Healthy Shopping on a Budget

Grocery costs shouldn't prevent you from shopping healthy for your family.  Stores such as Aldi and Lidl make it possible to build a healthy shopping list for your whole family.  Walmart has also vastly improved its grocery section in a budget-friendly manner.

Many generic grocery stores have increased the number of specialty items they carry, including cage free eggs, non-dairy milks, various gluten-free products, and an increase in local and organic produce. The trick to saving money is knowing what your options are. Read a few examples below for savings we recently found at Walmart:

  • Nut Butters
  • Eggs
  • Produce
  • Meat
  • Gluten-Free and Dairy-Free Products

Read exactly how to save money at Walmart in the full write-up.

Planning for the Whole Family

Establishing new habits may take extra planning if you are also responsible for the shopping and cooking for your spouse and kids.  If you handle the grocery shopping and meal planning for the entire family, follow these tips:

  • Set weekly goals: make these goals visible by posting them on the refrigerator or family bulletin board.  These goals can cover meal prep, family time, or group activities
  • Meal Planning: Consider meal planning every Sunday night and keep your nutrition simple. Get inspiration from Pinterest, cookbooks, or friends and try to plan out each meal for the week. Make a list of groceries you’ll need and have your kids help you grocery shop.  Having meals and snacks ready can also help you avoid late-night snacking after dinner.
  • Practice Mindfulness: As a family, you can practice being more mindful by limiting cell phone usage during family time, taking walks together, and enjoying meals as a group.
  • Encourage Each Other: If you find yourself or one of your family members "in a rut", offer some encouragement and try getting back on track to hit your goals. Remind them of how good they’ll feel when they hit their goals and how healthy their body will be.
Learn all of our tips in our page dedicated to Eating Healthy for the Whole Family.

Take the first steps to a healthy pregnancy — today!

Take your reading on the go and download the PDF, included with your downloadable guide is a 7-day meal plan complete with easy-to-follow recipes.

Download the Guide

no-diet-nutrition-guide-resource-center

Let’s Cook – our proven meal prep strategy

We know what you’re thinking, “I don’t have enough time to plan and cook my meals for the week”. Meal prep can take anywhere from 1-4 hours, depending how many meals you plan for. Remember, YOU DON’T NEED TO MAKE 7 DAYS OF MEALS AT ONE TIME! Meal prep is simply what you do to prepare for the next day – don’t over think it.

  • GET ORGANIZED
    Plan your menu before you start cooking. (Or use the awesome one we’ve provided!) When planning your week, choose 1-2 protein options, 1-2 starchy foods, 3 types of fruit, a variety of vegetables (fresh and frozen) and quick, heart healthy fat. 
  • MAKE A PLAN
    Pick a few days of the week to prepare your meals and snacks. Setting aside 2-4 hours to cook will save precious time in your week.
  • GRAB YOUR APRON
    Standard methods of cooking include baking, roasting, sautéing and steaming. Cooking multiple items at one time will save on time.
  • USE YOUR ENTIRE KITCHEN
    You have the equipment, put it to work! Use your oven to bake protein such as chicken, turkey and fish. At the same time, use your range to hard boil eggs, prep whole grains, and steam veggies.
  • MULTI-TASK
    While your food is cooking, use the extra time to chop veggies, portion out dressing/sauces, and prepare food in other cooking equipment such as a food processer, blender, slow cooker and air fryer.
  • ASSEBMLE YOUR MEALS
    Use measuring cups and a food scale to focus on proper portion control. Each meal should include a protein food, starch and vegetable.
  • SAFETY IS KEY
    Let hot items cool for at least 30 minutes before refrigerating. Most cooked foods will last for 4-5 days if well sealed and stored at the correct temperature.
  • DON’T BE WASTEFUL
    Freeze leftover food items that cannot be consumed during time of optimum freshness.

Meal prepping should be fun and save you time throughout the week.  For more tips on meal prepping, check out a few new ideas from our friends at Porch.

Cooking Methods for Weight Loss

Whether you choose to bake, roast, sauté or steam your food – we’ve got you covered. Batch cooking is our favorite meal prep method. When planning your week, choose 1-2 protein options, 1-2 starchy foods, 3 types of fruit, a variety of vegetables (fresh and frozen) and quick, heart healthy fat. 

ROAST + BAKE

Roasting in the oven is our go-to recommendation when it comes to making food in bulk. Most protein and vegetables can be roasted together or separately at 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Cook for 30 minutes, then check every 10 minutes until cooked through. Chicken should be cooked to 165 degrees but vegetables can be cooked to your liking. See below for a full list of easily baked and roasted foods. Top these foods with our favorite seasoning blends and sauces to create a delicious meal.

  • Chicken
  • Carrots
  • Sweet potato
  • Potato
  • Broccoli
  • Cauliflower
  • Turnips
  • Beets
  • Brussels sprouts
  • Eggplant
  • Cabbage
  • Squashes
  • Onions
  • Peppers
  • Mushrooms
  • Tomatoes
  • Garlic
  • Frittatas

Seasoning Blends

  • Lemon, pepper, garlic
  • Cumin, pepper
  • Soy sauce, garlic, chili paste
  • Chili powder, onion, garlic
  • Fresh rosemary, pepper
  • Lime, cayenne pepper

Flavorful Sauces

  • Salsa
  • Pesto
  • BBQ Sauce
  • Mustard
  • Balsamic Vinegar
  • Teriyaki Sauce

Lean how to Roast + Bake with this video from wikiHow: https://youtu.be/bkaaqwmi6XQb0

SAUTE

Sautéed foods are cooked in a thin layer of fat over medium-high heat, usually in a frying pan. Be sure to choose an oil with a high smoke point such as avocado oil to avoid potential free radicals. Mushrooms, onions and peppers all taste great sautéed!

Learn How to Sauté with this video from wikiHow: https://youtu.be/xb2nrlWGzaM

STEAM

Steaming veggies is a great option to maximize the food's nutrient value. The steam cooks vegetables without touching the water. This ensures the nutrients won't leak into the water.

Learn now to Steam with this video from wikiHow - https://youtu.be/R-QBlNYpl6c

Must Have Kitchen Gadgets

Last, but certainly not lest – our favorite kitchen gadgets. Stocking your kitchen with these helpful tools will make your cooking a breeze.

Kitchen Tool Purpose
DIGITAL FOOD SCALE The most important tool in your kitchen! A reliable food scale helps you to control portions and serving sizes.
WET AND DRY MEASURING CUPS These little cups and spoons are just as important as your new food scale.  Portioning is key!
NON-SLIP MIXING BOWLS From salads and gazpacho to DIY protein bars and energy bites, there's no limit to the dishes you can whip up in these bowls.
KNIFE SET Using dull knives is frustrating and dangerous.  If you don't want to splurge on a full set, we recommend picking up a chef and paring knife.
SLOW COOKER This gadget can cook an entire meal with minimal effort.  If you're busy, this tool is a life saver!
BLENDER/FOOD PROCESSOR Easy way to mix wet or dry ingredients. This tool is also great for chopping veggies + fruits.
VEGETABLE AND FRUIT PEELER This little tool makes peeling carrots, potatoes, or even apples much easier.
CUTTING BOARDS Use separate, color-coded plastic cutting boards for different ingredients to prevent cross-contamination. Wooden cutting boards are porous, increasing the change of spread harmful bacteria.
SHEET TRAYS Easy way to cook an entire meal at one time.  Combine your protein, starch and vegetables on one sheet pan to create the perfect meal.
THERMOMETER Nothing ruins a dinner party like under cooked meat.  A digital thermometer is always best.
CAST IRON SKILLET A cast iron skillet can move from stove top to oven seamlessly.  This reduces clean up time.
GLASS STORAGE CONTAINERS Glass bowls are easier to clean than plastic and can be safely microwaved.

 

Do Popular Diets Help with Weight Loss?

Keto for Weight Loss

The Keto Diet remains one of the most common fad diets in popular culture and in online marketing.  You may also know it as the ketogenic diet, low carb diet or low carb high fat (LCHF)… pretty much, the diet that primarily focuses on eating exclusively high-fat foods.  The Keto diet emphasizes a diet high in fat, moderate in protein and very low in carbohydrates. Its goal is to train your body to burn ketone fats as a primary energy source instead of glucose, which we get from carbohydrates. Ketosis is the state in which you’re striving for – a natural process initiated by the body when food intake is inadequate.  The reality is that it is very difficult for your body to reach ketosis.

The Keto diet is problematic for many reasons:

  • It is an extremely restrictive diet because the lower your carbohydrate intake, the sooner your body will enter ketosis.
  • Any highly restrictive diet like Keto is difficult to sustain over long periods of time
  • Although some people see quick weight loss following the Keto Diet, the initial “weight loss” is water weight
  • Unfortunately, any fat loss is quickly regained once normal eating resumes.

We and our friends at Today’s Dietitian like to remind people that a Ketogenic Diet is only medically used to treat refractory seizures, typically for children.

Paleo Diet for Weight Loss

The premise of the Paleo Diet is if cavemen didn’t eat it, then neither should you. Advocates of the Paleo lifestyle argue that humans did not evolve to digest a variety of modern foods.

It all sounds reasonable until you realize the healthy and important foods it excludes:

  • Dairy
  • Whole grains
  • Legumes (peas, beans, peanuts).

The foods that are allowed when following a Paleo diet is practically anything you could hunt or gather back in the Stone age – fish, nuts, meats, vegetables, fruits and seeds.  Like the Keto Diet, the paleo is highly restrictive and most initial gains you realize are likely to evaporate.  As you can tell, we prefer an all-foods-in-moderation approach in which you make progress step by step.

Read more about the Paleo Diet and why it may not be the best choice for reaching your health goals.

Intermittent Fasting for Weight Loss

Not exactly a diet but more-so a way of eating, Intermittent Fasting, or IF, is all about when you eat, rather than what and how much you eat. IF follows eating patterns that cycle between periods of eating and fasting and can be done in a few different ways. The first approach combines days of normal to high caloric intake with a few days of extreme restriction. The second and most common method is to eat your entire daily intake in a small window of time.

The bottom line :

  • Intermittent Fasting is not a sustainable way of eating.  Many people may find themselves enjoying snacks after dinner, defeating the whole concept.
  • The most difficult part about IF is that you can relapse, easily and quickly, back to your old eating habits and lose all progress that you made

Read more about these fad diet and why they can be problematic for building long term habits and sustainable success.

Sustainable Tips for Weight Loss

  • First, determine how much energy your body needs to make it through a normal day (our nutritionists can help with that).  We use your age, height, gender, and other factors to calculate how much energy (measured in calories) you will need to achieve your goal (weight loss, weight gain, weight maintenance).
  • You should eat a variety of foods: A plan including all major macronutrients best supports long term health and eliminates ongoing feelings of deprivation. Your nutritionist/dietitian will help you determine if limiting certain foods long term will be helpful based on your specific medical needs.
    • Starches: whole-grains, starchy vegetables, beans, and many others
    • Protein Foods: poultry, pork, fish, beef, plant-based protein foods 
    • Fruits: apples, oranges, bananas, and many others
    • Vegetables: peppers, carrots, lettuce, cucumbers, and many others
    • Dairy: milk, yogurt, cheese, plant-based dairy alternatives 
    • Fat: nuts, seeds, unsaturated oils, avocado
  • You should not be hungry: Effective weight loss (if that’s your goal) occurs when your body can maintain ongoing metabolic activity, plus being hangry just isn't fun. This also preserves and improves your relationship with food.  Eating smaller meals and snacks throughout the day also helps you avoid late night snacking.
  • Stay consistent and be accountable to someone: to yourself, to a partner/friend, or to a group of people who you are sharing your journey with
  • Work with a professional to help you reach your goals.

Weight Loss Principles

Weight Loss and Calorie Intake

It might seem like a no-brainer to simply reduce your calorie intake when embarking on a weight loss journey. However, not all calories are created equal. Our bodies are complex systems where different nutrients are required for different functions.

High quality foods contain antioxidants and nutrients that are essential for our bodies to function properly. They contain little or no saturated fat, and no trans-fat; both of which are linked to coronary artery disease. High quality foods also have lower levels of sodium and simple sugars.

Choose complex carbs like quinoa and whole grains over simple carbs like white bread and cookies.  Kicking up the quality of your food choices can help stabilize your blood sugar levels and lead to less sugar cravings throughout the day. 

Meal times can affect body weight, metabolic regulation, and even your sleep cycle. Throughout the day, our organs secrete hormones.  If we aren't eating in line with those hormones, we're essentially feeding our bodies calories (energy) at a time when it’s less receptive to using them.

In the mornings, our bodies are in a fasted state, and need to be replenished with carbs, fats and protein. Between the larger meals, try eating foods that will hold you over to our next meal, usually protein and fiber. For lunch and dinner we want to provide our muscles with enough energy and sufficient protein, while continuing to support moderate blood sugar levels.

Learn all of the science behind food quality and meal timing here.

Body Shape and Health Risks

Are you an apple or a pear?

For those with an apple body shape, excess fat surrounds the internal organs, thus increasing the risk for heart disease.  On the other hand, people with a pear shapes store excess fat on the hips, legs and butt.  If your hip measurements divided by your waist is greater than 0.8, you have an "apple" shape.

Having an apple shape (also called central obesity) is very common.  So, are we all doomed?  THANKFULLY, NO! Losing belly fat can greatly decrease risk and improve long-term heart health.  Small changes make a big impact!  Tips for people with an apple body shape include:

  • Reduce sugar intake
  • Increase fiber intake
  • Eat more protein (any source is helpful)
  • Choose healthy fats such as avocados, nuts, and flax/olive oil
  • Increase exercise

Want to learn more?  Read more about your body shape and health risks.

Mindfulness and Weight Loss

One of the first steps in taking back control of your nutrition and eating is to become more mindful.  But what does mindful eating really mean or even look like?  Mindful eating is being more aware of your eating habits, the sensations you experience when you eat, and the thoughts and emotions that you have about your food.  It is more about how you eat than what you eat.

The key mindfulness principles we help our clients implement are:

  • Remove distractions
  • Sit down and relax while you eat
  • Pause between bites
  • Eat with your non-dominant hand
  •  Save your favorite food for last!
Want more? Check out our full discussion of how mindfulness can help you achieve lasting weight loss and improved health.

How to Avoid Overeating

Wondering how to curb compulsive eating for good? Try the following tips:

  • Enjoy food cravings moderately: Cravings aren’t anything to fear. If you want an occasional treat or sweet, build it into your routine and commit to eating one serving
  • Eat slowly: No matter what you’re eating, try to enjoy and savor each bite. Make time for meals, rather than just shoveling down a sandwich at your desk or eating as you walk
  • Pay attention to your eating patterns: 
  • Get more sleep
  • Try a change of scenery

If you think that you may be dealing with binge eating, ask yourself:

  1. Does something feel off? Is there something external prompting this?
  2. Recognize and Reflect. Name specific emotions, note how your body feels physically, explore your hunger or fullness, reflect if you’ve had enough to eat today.
  3. Sit with uncomfortable feelings. It’s okay to feel negative emotions and it’s important to let your body feel these things instead of trying to mask them with consumable comforts.
  4. Think of “future you”. How will you feel an hour from now? Tomorrow? Next week?
  5. Engage in a “spiral up” activity. Journal, go for a walk, talk to a friend, read a book, take a bubble bath, have a dance party.
  6. Celebrate all wins. Remember progress over perfection. Any habit change no matter how small is a victory!

If you believe that you may need help with binge eating, consider working with a specialist.

If the issue is overeating, working with one of our dietitians can help.  Read our overeating tips here.

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Our Team Listens

Your symptoms are unique to you. Your nutritionist tracks your food with you and makes specific recommendations to help you and your developing baby.

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A plan built just for you

Based upon your daily routine, we will build a custom plan to help you feel alert, strong, and well-nourished while pregnant.

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Continuous Improvement

Success does not happen overnight. If something isn't working quite right, we make changes right away.

Questions? Contact Us!

“My team and I would be honored to be part of your health journey! Our priority is your health and happiness; no goal is too big or too small. We look forward to working with you soon!”
Britney Kennedy Founder
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